Thursday, 20 September 2018

Gentlemen Of The Road by Michael Chabon

Gentlemen Of The Road by Michael Chabon
First published in America in 2007.

How I got this book:
Swapped for at a campsite book exchange

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Amazon US / Amazon UK

In the Caucasus Mountains around AD 950, two wandering adventurers and unlikely soul mates live as they please and survive as they can – as blades and thieves for hire and practised bamboozlers. Until, following a bloody coup in the Jewish empire of the Khazars, they get dragooned into the service of a fugitive prince, who burns to reclaim his throne.

Summoning the spirit of The Arabian Nights and The Three Musketeers, this is a novel brimming with action, raucous humour, cliff-hanging suspense, and a cast of colourful characters worthy of Scheherazade's most tantalising tales.

I hadn't read any Michael Chabon novels before and chose this one purely for its historical setting as I hoped it would fit nicely alongside a couple of other recent reads: Ibn Fadlan's travel memoirs of Western Asia in the Viking era and Edouardo Albert's humorous Conrad Monk And The Great Heathen Army adventure tale. Gentlemen Of The Road is closer to Conrad Monk in style, although not as funny, however it does feel based in a solid historical reality and I could appreciate that Chabon had certainly done his research.

The story is a classic adventure tale which gallops across medieval Khazaria at such a pace that I did sometimes find myself left behind. At its heart is a wonderful friendship between two men, apparently as different in physical appearance and temperament as it is possible to be, yet perfectly suited to each other and utterly loyal. They get themselves into ever more dire predicaments, yet somehow always manage to scramble clear of total disaster. Gentlemen Of The Road is a fairly short novel, but a very entertaining one. Perhaps its overall arc is a little too predictable, however the twists and turns are great fun to follow and I enjoyed the inventiveness of the plots. The humour is tempered with a spot of philosophy here and there and it was interesting to learn more about the unique kingdom of Khazaria.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Michael Chabon / Adventure fiction / Books from America


  1. I didn't really have any adventure books on my shelves until I discovered Matthew Reilly! On the older book side I do have a few by Jules Verne I haven't ever got round to.

    1. I don't think I've read any Matthew Reilly. I did try a Jules Verne which was good but veeerrry sloooow!!

  2. This sounds like a fun read. Never read Michael Chabon. This sounds like a Preston and Childs set in the past. ❤️❤️

  3. this sounds like a good read, my type of genre