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Extended Audio Sample Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure, by Michael Chabon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,160 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Chabon Narrator: Andre Braugher Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9780739357903
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Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, sprang from an early passion for the derring-do and larger-than-life heroes of classic comic books. Now, once more mining the rich past, Chabon summons the rollicking spirit of legendary adventures–from The Arabian Nights to Alexandre Dumas to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories–in a wonderful new novel brimming with breathless action, raucous humor, cliff-hanging suspense, and a cast of colorful characters worthy of Scheherazade’s most tantalizing tales.

They’re an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can–as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. No strangers to tight scrapes and close shaves, they’ve left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.

None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and foolhardy bravado . . . not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there–along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of–will be much more than half the fun.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 2/17/2014

    " A fun adventure novel. Chabon imitates the style of classic adventure novels with over written passages and flowery language which were sometimes difficult to follow. Ultimately though, this book was a quick read and an exciting tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 2/10/2014

    " I loved this -- it's a swashbuckling, sort of silly "Boys Own Adventure," complete with illustrations, swordplay, and chapters that end on cliffhangers. Michael Chabon clearly had a blast writing this, and I had a blast reading it. It's not literary in the manner of some of Chabon's other works, but despite its rolicking nature, it's not complete fluff, either. Take this on an airplane or hide out for a few hours with some tea and cookies, and enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara | 2/1/2014

    " Well-written and a good read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Chamberlin | 1/27/2014

    " Beautiful writing, plot a bit thin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 1/27/2014

    " Entertaining adventure tale from long ago and far away. Very different from Yiddish POliceman's Union. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/23/2014

    " Some excellent writing, but the characters and stories were just a little too unbelievable at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 HBalikov | 1/17/2014

    " I like Chabon's recent adventure books. He provides interesting characters, situations and alternative views of history. This is a quick read and very enjoyable if you can get into 9-10th Century interactions of Muslims, Jews, Vikings, Franks and an empire about to break up. Being of Khazarian heritage, myself, it was a chance to visit a place that I had only held in my mind before this tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Woodman | 1/14/2014

    " "Jews with Swords" was the working title for this short and wonderful book. Loved it. Love Chabon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Bailey | 1/10/2014

    " Good, not great. Of course he has set a high bar w/ his previous works. It's a very good, old fashioned adventure story in the mold of Ali Baba/40 Thieves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 1/8/2014

    " Listened to this one on CD, so didn't absorb everything, but found this book quite enjoyable nonetheless. And it's quite short- an added bonus! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed | 12/24/2013

    " This book has a great opening, but then begins to lose focus. I'm stuck in the middle of the second act, but determined to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 12/15/2013

    " Entertaining saga of con men and dreamers parlaying cunning, disguise and chutzpah to right wrongs and make some money if possible. A wonderful story focusing on two characters who are very dissimilar tempermently and physically but who trust each other. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Miller | 12/9/2013

    " You get the feeling Chabon wrote this during the commercial breaks while watching a disney film with his kids... a couple hours of fun with highfaluten' vocabulary hung on a swashbuckling plot gone wild "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joe | 12/1/2013

    " Obvious why it's a lesser Chabon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 furious | 11/27/2013

    " a literary excursion into pulpy historical adventure fiction. this is Chabon channeling R.E. Howard, tracing the lives of the original odd couple - a mismatched pair of Jewish soldiers of fortune - as they traipse through the Near East around the turn of the millennium (~1000 AD). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 7/9/2013

    " My least favorite Chabon book so far, but still fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danita M | 7/1/2013

    " I love Chabon, but this was really hard for me to get into. I'll have to try again later. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eriel | 9/8/2012

    " Another epic adventure by Chabon, full of witty banter and outlandish adventure. Laurance of Arabia meets the crusaders! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 L. | 7/7/2012

    " Very disappointed. Not original at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean Hoskins | 5/19/2012

    " Chabon is such a smart writer that it was a little confusing following the multiple clauses of each sentence, the multiple names he introduces, etc. I thought there would be more adventure, but it was alright. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Calvin | 3/28/2012

    " Truth be told I didnt even finish it. Chabon should be credited for writing well outside his usually style and Genre(s) but frankly he didnt pull it off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie Tighe | 3/22/2012

    " I listened to the audiobook version of this, and it was tremendous. I'm actually not sure if I would have enjoyed the book in traditional form. It was really fun as a road trip backdrop, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roland Briscoe | 2/22/2012

    " Bit short, but only in that I was enjoying the fun and would have liked a little more. Great illustrations too by Gary Gianni. Will definately look for this author again (and for Gary Gianni for that matter) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathryn Ferrara | 10/27/2011

    " Loved this book, the characters were great the story was thrilling and kept me wanting to get back in the car to listen. Set in a vague past two not so admirable 'thieves' find themselves at the center of a revolution and must decide who they really are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marijan | 10/15/2011

    " Fun little adventure, very capably written but nothin' to write home about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 8/5/2011

    " I love the flavor of this old story, the long sentences, and the Don Quixote feeling. Chabon is talented. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corrie | 5/23/2011

    " Enjoyed this short novel by Chabon. Descriptive, good action and clever plot twists. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 5/15/2011

    " The marriage of a tale of legend to an adventure story ends in a literary divorce. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ken | 5/9/2011

    " So, so disappointing. I loved everything I've read of his, so I was excited to start this one.
    I had to force myself to finish it.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 5/8/2011

    " Every blurb for this book calls it "swashbuckling," which it is, but the language and sentence structure is probably far more elaborate than any other swashbuckling adventure out there! In short, what you would hope for and expect from Chabon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doron | 4/30/2011

    " It defenetly want for me. Too slow, Too low.
    The language was hard to read. Pitty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 4/22/2011

    " This book was amazing. I loved the characters and the plot. Just everything was fantastic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/18/2011

    " I know he's supposed to be a great writer, but I thought this was just boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ivy | 4/14/2011

    " Rollicking, exotic, adventure story about Jews with swords. Not an easy read...but it would make a great movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fred | 3/14/2011

    " Wonderful read --- leaves you desiring more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 3/5/2011

    " Wow, what a fun book. Michael Chabon is a master with the language and with creating the world he is writing about for the reader. Even the chapter titles were fun--here's one of my favorites, "On following the road to one's destiny, with the usual intrusions of violence and grace." "

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