Book Review: “Moonglow” by Michael Chabon

“I’m disappointed in myself. In my life. All my life, everything I tried, I only got halfway there. You try to take advantage of the time you have. That’s what they tell you to do. But when you’re old, you look back and you see all you did, with all that time, is waste it. All you have is a story of things you never started or couldn’t finish. Things you fought with all your heart to build that didn’t last or fought with all your heart to get rid of and they’re all still around. I’m ashamed of myself.”

– Chabon

In this review, we are going to talk about a memoir, or more accurately, a “novel-memoir.” Despite what you may think, this isn’t a story about a famous historical figure, a president, an athlete, or a nobel laureate. This is a story of an old man — “a dying man, remembering his story.”  In “Moonglow,” Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer-winning author of “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay,” assembles the stories his taciturn grandfather tells him while under a myriad of painkillers on his deathbed. We learn of his experiences as a soldier hunting Nazi rocket scientists during World War II, as an engineer with a passion for space travel, as a man falling in love with a girl, and as an employee choking a boss with a telephone cord.

The constant jumping and hopping between different settings and time periods makes this work similar to a collection of short stories, each with its own unique tone from humorous to heartbreaking. Similar to his other novels, Chabon masterfully crafts each sentence, stitching together beautiful metaphors to make each scene remarkably vivid and exuberant with emotion and familiarity. This book serves as an example of how versatile a novel could be and will definitely draw you to Chabon’s other works.