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Gentlemen of the road
Michael Chabon
Adult Fiction CHABON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The odd bond between the young Frank Zelikman and the older, dark-skinned giant, Amram, serves as the basis for Chabon's short novel about life, war and religion in the 10th century. Wandering along the Silk Road, using both knowledge and trickery to earn their way, they stumble upon Filaq, the displaced heir to the Khazar throne. The two employ their many skills to return Filaq to the throne. Braugher delivers a strong and commanding performance with a lilting rhythm to his voice that is almost hypnotic. His resonating baritone voice proves appealing for the narration. His vocalization of the strong and solemn Amram is perfect, while his lightened tone for Zelikman is also a good match. His female vocalizations aren't nearly as powerful. Chabon reads the afterword, enlightening listeners to the reasons for writing a novel he originally intended to call Jews with Swords. Simultaneous release with the Del Rey hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 9). (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Having tackled alternate history and hard-boiled mystery in The Yiddish Policemen's Union, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay now tries his hand at a historical adventure along the lines of The Arabian Nights. Set in the medieval Jewish empire of the Khazars, this novella, originally published serially in the New York Times Magazine, follows two "gentlemen of the road" who find their fortune wherever they can-and don't mind taking up what seems like a lost cause just for the adventure of it. A lost cause shows up in the form of a secretive young man with a tragic past who is trying to raise an army to avenge the death of his family. Few can resist his powers of persuasion, including our gentlemen adventurers, and the story wraps up with a satisfying twist or three. Chabon says in an afterword that he semiseriously intended to call the story "Jews with Swords" to highlight a little-known aspect of Jewish history. Chabon has a humorous, acrobatic writing style that translates rather well to the adventure genre. Highly recommended for public libraries.-Jenne Bergstrom, San Diego Cty. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Zelikman
Pale; rail-thin; moody; left his family; makes his way with Amram through the Caucasus Mountains; lives as his pleases; survives by hiring himself out; becomes an escort for Filaq.

Gray-haired; giant; has a quick-tongue; makes his way with Zelikman through the Caucasus Mountains; wanders the trade routes searching for his daughter who was stolen from his village; lives as his pleases; survives by hiring himself out as a thief or hired blade; becomes an escort for Filaq.
Con artist

Strong-headed; feisty; attempting to restore himself to the throne and overthrow his uncle.

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