Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy us

In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, 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, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain in the ongoing magic act that is the art of Michael Chabon.

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. A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the twentieth century, Moonglow is also a tour de force of speculative history in which Chabon attempts to reconstruct the mysterious origins and fate of Chabon Scientific, Co., an authentic mail-order novelty company whose ads for scale models of human skeletons, combustion engines and space rockets were once a fixture in the back pages of Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and Boy’s Life. Along the way Chabon devises and reveals, in bits and pieces whose hallucinatory intensity is matched only by their comic vigor and the radiant moonglow of his prose, a secret history of his own imagination.

From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill Prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of “the American Century,” Moonglow collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional non-fiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most daring, his most moving, his most Chabonesque.

Moonglow Details

Book TitleMoonglow
Book Author
by 364 users

Moonglow Reviews

  • Dorothy
    Dec 4, 2016


    Michael Chabon just gets better and better as a writer. While I can't claim to have read everything that he's written, each book of his that I have read has been better than the last. Moonglow is the best one yet and it's hard to see how he can improve with the next one.This book takes...

  • CC
    Dec 2, 2016


    I happen to love Michael Chabon. He seems smart. And real. Like he could laugh, at you. At himself. His view is his own and his writing reflects that. Also, he is married to author Ayelet Waldman, who seems like a funny, smart, and feisty broad I would like, as well. Chabon's writing i...

  • Darwin8u
    Dec 1, 2016


    "I see the hidden lovers, fates entangled like their bodies, waiting for release from the gravity that held them down all their lives."- Michael Chabon, MoonglowFantastic. I needed to chew on this for a night, to stare at the moon, dream and fantasize about what I really wanted to say ...

  • tortoise dreams
    Dec 1, 2016

    tortoise dreams

    A man recounts the incredible stories told him by his dying grandfather.Moonglow is a work of fiction. A novel. I only say that because so many in the national media seem to be treating it as a lightly fictionalized memoir, when Michael Chabon himself says it's all made up. In intervie...

  • Kay Wright
    Dec 1, 2016

    Kay Wright

    Chabon warns you right up front that he made up most of this Milky Way of stories about his mother's father. Or step-father. Does it matter? Not really, but the constant thrum of the question, is this true?, is so much a part of reading Moonglow that I can't imagine enjoying it as much...

  • Alan Chen
    Nov 30, 2016

    Alan Chen

    I'm a loyal reader; when I start a relationship with an author, I press on through their duds and am always optimistic that they'll recapture the magic of whatever book that attracted me in the first place. I loved Chabon's earlier works: Kavalier and Clay, Wonder Boys, Mysteries of Pi...

  • Sean Curley
    Nov 28, 2016

    Sean Curley

    Michael Chabon's latest novel is a fictionalized family memoir (fictionalized in the sense of being a pack of lies, as he himself puts it) that has a certain similarity to earlier novels in his canon -- in particular, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Police...

  • Sandra
    Nov 27, 2016


    Very engaging overall and brilliantly written in the parts that aren't bogged down by the author's love of jargon, odd detail, and technical arcana. ...

  • Nancy
    Nov 26, 2016


    Sometimes I finish a book, and I loved it, but I feel too puny a mind to say anything to do it justice. I just am not learned enough, wise enough, deep enough. I am at a loss for words.Moonglow by Michael Chabon sat on my Edelweiss shelf for 45 days until I could finally make a space t...

  • Elyse
    Nov 26, 2016


    "'Moonglow' has been looked up 2315 times, is no one's favorite word yet, has been added to 3 lists, has 1 comment, and is not a valid SCRABBLE word". Michael Chabon: I love your classy name - your books -and your wonderful talented -courageous wife: author Ayelet Waldman. So before I ...