Sunday, June 6, 2010
This was just a fun read. After reading Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union, I came across Gentlemen of the Road, saw it was short, wanted more of his dense, clever, and intelligent writing, and picked it up. Super fun historical fiction novel about two guys 1100 years ago in the Caucasus trying to get by. One's a huge Abyssinian (African) veteran with a large axe, one's a rail-thin Frankish (French/German) barber (doctor) who fights rather well with a very thin sword. Both of these gentlemen happen to be Jewish. This was when Islam was still relatively new to the world, and Jews had a kingdom called Khazaria. The plot unfolds in a swashbuckling adventure story about a deposed bek (king), a runaway prince (who's not what he seems), and the friendship of these two guys. I absolutely enjoyed it - I only wish it was longer!