Customer Reviews for

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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(10)

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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 October 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Adventure

    The first book of Michael Chabon that I read was "The Yiddish Policemen's Union." Based upon my thorough enjoyment of that book I read "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and was hooked on the author. The characters were very believable and his style of being very descriptive makes you feel as if you are riding along in the car with him. I was sorry to have finished the book so I picked up "Wonder Boys" and enjoyed that just as much. Now I am going to tackle "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay." I believe Michael Chabon has become my new favorite author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    Ha

    The problem with reading Michael Chabon is it is so good you do not want to stop but you do as you want desperately to stop the journey from ending.

    This is my 4th visit to Chabon-land and, as always, I enjoyed the trip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Michael Chabon was truly at his best early in his career.

    Michael Chabon was truly at his best early in his career.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2007

    Wonderful First Novel!

    This is one of those titles I kept putting off reading, but now, having read it, I do not know why I procrastinated so long, especially since the film 'Wonder Boys,' which was based on Chabon's second novel, has been one of my favorite movies and was shot at Shady Side Academy (where my two children matriculated) and at Carnegie Mellon (where my daughter has attended), with myself having attended Pitt as a graduate student for a number of years. So, in this way, I could easily identify with many of the locales in 'Mysteries,' especially Hillman Library, Squirrel Hill, and Forbes Ave. What I especially enjoyed, however, is Chabon's writing style: he has a command of creative language which to me is nearly as distinctive as that of a Vonnegut or an Updike. Many of his novel's characters, moreover, are as memorable as those of other great writers. Cleveland, for instance, reminded me of Kerouac's Dean Moriarty, while Art, Chabon's central character/narrator, brought to mind Salinger's Holden Caulfield and Charles Webb's Ben Braddock, a character who, like Art, in the process of ascertaining his post-graduation career route, discovers important facts about himself and others through a variety of sexual, interpersonal, and familial experiences. Absorbing, entertaining, and easy to relate to, I would recommend putting 'Mysteries' at or near the top of your reading list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2006

    Great Read

    Simply put, I adored this book. It is unusual, and it really makes one think. I thought it quite mature for a first novel and always admire Chabon's use of words. But I think the reason I loved this book the most was the quote 'it is easier to love some one than to have friendship.' It was a concept I have not thought of, and something that I thought quite true. I highly recommend and hope you will give this unusual story a chance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    A wonderfully strong first novel

    Mysteries of Pittsburgh is a fantastic read that deals with the indecision of growing up, and coming out in society today. Possibly the greatest aspect is that it manages to tell a story about the main character, Art, without coming off as just another painfully autiobiographical coming of age story, or painfully over the top gay fiction. This story helped to put Chabon's name out there, and upon reading it, it becomes easy to see why. Easily worth one read through, if not more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    WOW!

    A different take on relationship and life. A great writer with uniquw ideas and ways of expressing them. This one can be read more than once!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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