I've *loved* two books by Chabon--THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, and THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION. I loved them so much that despite really not loving two others--GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD and THE FINAL SOLUTION--I decided to complete the entire Chabon ouevre as part of Fill-in-the-Gaps.
I'm left with not a whole lot to say about Wonder Boys. I'm not going to bother to do a full review over on thebookbook. There is no plot to speak of; it's about a lecherous pot-head middle-aged mid-Western writing professor with writer's block (blech to the premise) and offers a lot of moments of discomfort for those of us who work in publishing. But it's full of beautiful little Chabon-isms. So overall: meh. I didn't love it. But I didn't hate it. And here are some nuggets:
"Like most good first novels it possessed an imperturbable, mistaken confidence that all the shocking incidents and extremes of human behavior it dished up would strike new chords of outrage and amazement in the reader." (249)(ouch. that one stings.)
"All male friendships are essentially quixotic: they last only so long as each man is willing to polish the shaving-bowl helmet, climb on his donkey, and ride off after the other in pursuit of illusive glory and questionable adventure." (326)(gents, is it true?)
"It struck me that the chief obstacle to marital contentment was this perpetual gulf between the well-founded, commendable pessimism of women and the sheer dumb animal optimism of men, the latter a force more than any other responsible for the lamentable state of the world."(applies to my parents, at least.)
Anyone else read it? Wanna chat?