Customer Reviews for

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

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(6)

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(4)

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(2)

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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

4 out of 4 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 May 30, 2011

    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 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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    When Art Bechstein was finally able to leave Washington, D.C., and his mob father behind, he ran to Pittsburgh to attend school. His last summer in the sweltering city proved to be an exciting and intriguing adventure. The handsome and personable Arthur Lecomte introduces Art to women, sex and a new way of life, but with the arrival of Arthur¿s mysterious friend, Cleveland, Art must face his father and the ¿family¿ he tried to forget. Michael Chabon¿s debut novel, set in the 80s, is a coming-of-age tale of excess, sex and friendship. It paints a different side of the crumbling steel city, a side of grit and grime, where the unexpected is lurking behind every corner. Chabon¿s writing is colorful and imaginative, but the story lacks real excitement. It is slow to take off and quickly fizzles. It is a story that is always on the edge of breaking through, but never pushes the reader over the ledge. ¿Mysteries¿ is an easy read that doesn¿t force the reader to think too much. In short, if you don¿t want a tough plot that twists and turns like a rollercoaster, then this book is it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2002

    Clueless

    He seemed to have trouble writing credible characters. His gay character was especially two dimensional. I won't be buying any more of his books again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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