Moonglow

Michael Chabon

Moonglow
In 1989, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother's home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon's grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis of the novel Moonglow.

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as "my grandfather." It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at mid-century and, above all, of the destructive impact - and the creative power - of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies. (From Harper) 


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Excerpt:

At the end of my grandfather's life, his doctor prescribed a powerful hydromorphone against the pain of bone cancer. A lot of Germans were busy knocking holes in the Berlin Wall around that time, and I showed up to say goodbye to my grandfather just as Dilaudid was bringing its soft hammer to bear on his habit of silence: Out flowed a record of his misadventures, his ambiguous luck, his feats and failures of timing and nerve. He had been installed in my mother's guest bedroom for almost two weeks, and by the time I arrived in Oakland he was getting nearly twenty milligrams a day. He started talking almost the minute I sat down in the chair by his bed. It was as if he had been waiting for my company, but I believe now that he simply knew he was running out of time.


From Moonglow by Michael Chabon ©2016. Published by Harper.