Customer Reviews for

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I love Michael Chabon

This was his thesis for college and the prof thought it might be accepted by a publisher. It was and with good reason! Thoroughly enjoyable!

posted by beastiesmom on March 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A Missed Attempt.

I initially bought Chabon's book based on the raving reviews that compared this work to that of J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." And, boy, was I disappointed with the actual product.

I will not go as far as to sa...
I initially bought Chabon's book based on the raving reviews that compared this work to that of J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." And, boy, was I disappointed with the actual product.

I will not go as far as to say that Chabon's work was a complete failure: this writer is very talented at constructing creative similes and appears to have a great deal of fun coming up with clever ways to describe commonplace situations, emotions, and places.

The execution of the storyline and character depth, however, are poor. This book is not similar to Salinger's and Fitzgerald's works because it is expertly constructed or engaging in the least. In fact, the only reason why this book can be compared to such classics is because Chabon seems to have taken elements of each of these stories (while infusing a little bit of The Godfather as well as some exploration of homosexuality) and mashed them together in a blatantly obvious manner. Throughout the entirety of this book, I felt assaulted by what seem to be Chabon's failed and superficial attempts to make this work a masterpiece. Chabon tries too hard with this work, so hard in fact, that he loses all of the originality and endearment that had the potential of achieving.

To avoid a long and repetitive rant, I will end here by saying that there are MANY much better books to devote your time to than this one. Please, don't waste your time on "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" -- it is an attempt, but nothing more.

posted by TheNeonNarwhal on May 30, 2011

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Even though the author meant Pittsburgh to be a character, the author fails miserably to show the reader any of Pittsburgh's mysteries. I suggest you don't waste your time with this book.

    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

    This is the second time I've read this book. I wonder now why I bothered. It is remarkable and it astonishes me every time, how many published authors can't write.

    Meet Art Bechstein, son of a prominent DC gangster who is torn between the mysterious Phlox Lombardi and Arthur Lecomte. Even though this is a coming of age story, the love triangle is stupid and boring. By placing characters without any kind of fictional value, almost like they were just the names written in ink, without any kind of background, almost erratic behavior, Michael Chabon tries to paint «summer of love» and fails miserably.

    Oh, we have everything here that modern man (and women) want, for instance, struggle for identity, spitting on upper-class, homosexual intercourse, mysterious yet scarred educated young people, who, regardless of their education do nothing at all. But what we lack is that line that will hold the story together, so that we have no that horrid feeling that author has just stamped some scenes on the paper and published it, hoping that just the sight of his name will sell the book. What we lack here is competence in narration. How would you feel like if someone bragged about something for a whole day and actually said two or three sentences that were logically or even semantically connected?

    Even though the author meant Pittsburgh to be a character, the author fails miserably to show the reader any of Pittsburgh's mysteries. I suggest you don't waste your time with this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2003

    How about 'no'?

    I can't believe all the good press this book gets. It's disappointing, to say the least. The main character is a pansy and all of the characters are developed poorly. 'Coming of age'? Isn't this Art guy supposed to be out of college now? Shouldn't he already be 'grown up'? Isn't that what the whole college experience is about? A waste of money if you ask me; the only semi-developed character in the book dies clutching a dollie.

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