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Michael Chabon’s Moonglow – A Book Review

Clarissa Poston

Posted on April 17, 2021 16:38

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Moonglow, written by Michael Chabon and published in November of 2016, is a unique, literary masterpiece.

Chabon’s Moonglow, categorized as a fictional piece, provides readers with an excellent source of literary uniqueness. Through the entirety of the book, Chabon walks readers through a story told in various literary genres.

Moonglow tells a story about the life of the narrator’s grandfather – a rocket-obsessed veteran – who, after World War II, marries a Holocaust survivor who experiences mental illness-related troubles. This story is said to be told in “episodes” – each with its own genre. Some genres used by Chabon may include adventure, science-fiction, nonfiction, etc.; therefore, readers never know what to expect, creating an exciting and unpredictable read.

Also found throughout Chabon’s Moonglow are interesting references to outside sources. For instance, Chabon includes references to other literature, interviews, etc., some of which are highly respected in the world of literature. Chabon may have included these references to supplement or embellish his own work; however, either way, the inclusions of these references allowed readers to see where Chabon may have potentially gained some of his inspiration for Moonglow.

From multiple literary journals, Chabon’s Moonglow has been looked upon as a literary masterpiece. It has been deemed a non-conforming piece of literature that stretches the boundaries of “proper literary writing.” However, Chabon’s book has also faced criticism.

Some of the controversy surrounding Chabon’s book deals with the romanticizing of America’s past, alongside the inclusion of the scattered mentioning of the Holocaust. While mentioning the Holocaust is not controversial on its own, it was the way in which Chabon chose to approach the subject that caught the attention of critics.

For instance, many took issue with the fact that Chabon included the Holocaust as an important aspect of his story, especially because the memoir within the story is potentially inaccurate. In other words, many thought that Chabon’s mixture of a playful fictional story and an unnecessary, embellished mentioning of the Holocaust was not an appropriate mix.

Critics also took issue with the unreliable narration throughout the entirety of Moonglow. Chabon was criticized for stretching temporal and space boundaries – the way in which he wrote his narration made it increasingly difficult for readers to differentiate between past events and those currently happening in the book. Others criticized Chabon’s lack of confidence in the historical accuracy regarding his nonfictional inclusions.

Regardless of the criticisms Moonglow has received, I believe it is a book worth reading. I feel that this book is a perfect example for teaching readers that there is no “right” way to write a book. By stretching the boundaries of literature, Chabon created a unique reading experience for all involved.

Clarissa Poston

Posted on April 17, 2021 16:38

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Source: Screen Rant

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