Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, sprang from an early passion for the derring-do and larger-than-life heroes of classic comic books. Now, once more mining the rich past, Chabon summons the rollicking spirit of legendary adventures-from The Arabian Nights to Alexandre Dumas to Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories-in a wonderful new novel brimming with breathless action, raucous humor, cliff-hanging suspense, and a cast of colorful characters worthy of Scheherazade's most tantalizing tales.
They're an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can-as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. No strangers to tight scrapes and close shaves, they've left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.
None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and foolhardy bravado . . . not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there-along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of-will be much more than half the fun.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Michael Chabon is the author of Wonder Boys, which won universal critical acclaim and was made into a feature film starring Michael Douglas. Entertainment Weekly included his latest, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, on its list of the best books of 2000. Both are available from Brilliance Audio. He received his B.A. from The University of Pittsburgh and his M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine. He lives with his wife and two children in California.
Gary Gianni has adapted and illustrated a wide variety of books, including John Henry, Kidnapped, Moby Dick, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, The Complete Conan of Cimmeria, and more recently, Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road. His comic's work includes Classics Illustrated, The Shadow, and The MonsterMen. He won an Eisner Award for his illustration of "Heroes," a tale included in Batman: Black and White. Gianni currently serves as the illustrator of the Prince Valiant Sunday comic strip.
Praise for Michael Chabon
“Michael Chabon can write like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader with their beauty and their style.”
–The New York Times
“[Michael Chabon] is, simply, the coolest writer in America.”
–The Christian Science Monitor
“[Chabon is a] stupendously gifted and accomplished writer . . . a writer not merely of rare skill and wit but of self-evident and immensely appealing generosity.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“Whether making us laugh or making us feel the breathtaking impermanence of things, Michael Chabon keeps us wide awake and reading.”
–Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered
“Chabon’s writing is elegant and limber.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“From his editorship of an issue of McSweeny’s to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon has mined genre fiction and pop culture in pursuit of literary gold.”