Saturday, July 27, 2019

Michael Chabon - Pops (4th Estate, 2019) ***½

Michael Chabon is not only a great literary stylist and entertainer, he is also a great human being, as was already demonstrated by his recent novel "Moonglow". In "Pops", a compilation of seven short stories about his relationship with his children and father, he links personal insights and emotions with the literary expert's skill of building up the stories to an unexpected and sensitive end.

The fun thing is that he - the author, the father - builds his stories often by making a lot of assumptions. He has to educate his children, he has to navigate his off-spring through the difficulties of life and social interaction, but in doing so, he also misunderstands the inherent logic of why his children are doing what they're doing, rectifying or surprising him for his narrow, protective fatherly perspective on things.

There's a lot of warmth and love in this little book. In his introduction, he is challenged by another writer with the unwritten literary law not to have children: "You cannot write great books when you have children". Obviously - and luckily - Chabon proves him wrong.

Highly enjoyable read.

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