Bookends: Collected Intros and Outros

Michael Chabon. Harper Perennial, $16.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-285129-1
Pulitzer Prize–winner Chabon (Pops) presents a collection of brief but insightful essays, most of them introductions or afterwards (“outros”) to his own and others’ books. Selections from the latter category reflect his fascination with genre fiction, pop culture, and childhood, and were originally written for, among other things, a Ray Bradbury short story, the classic children’s novel The Phantom Tollbooth, an anthology of Mars sci-fi sagas, an art book devoted to superhero costumes, and a study of Wes Anderson films. In the pieces about Chabon’s own work, he is especially strong in reflecting on his writing process, for example in the foreword to his YA novel Summerland, which punctures the easy clichés authors use to explain how they find their subjects (“The whole book just came to me, like a vision, complete”). Chabon’s range of interests, though it includes room for a cookbook, will chiefly appeal to his fans and to readers fascinated by superheroes and fantasy. Some of the intros reproduced could use introductions of their own, as it is disorienting trying to find a foothold into books one has never heard of (and few readers will be familiar with every single book). Nevertheless, the essays are intelligent and entertaining, and being none too long, can be read easily and quickly. Agent: Daniel Kirschen, ICM. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-290879-7
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-285130-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-9826-0689-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-9826-0688-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-9826-0687-9
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-06-288813-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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