the-mysteries-of-pittsburgh

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
—  Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
I felt happy – or some weak, pretty feeling centered in my stomach, brought on by beer – at the sight of the fading blue sky tormented at its edges with heat lightning, and at the crickets and the shouting over the water, and by Jackie Wilson on the radio, but it was a happiness so like sadness that the next moment I hung my head.
—  Art Bechstein (Michael Chabon - The Mysteries of Pittsburgh)

Drew one of my bookshelves ♥

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
—  The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Michael Chabon)

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. 

“When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness - and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness—and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.
— 

Michael Chabon, final paragraph of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

I just finished rereading this novel, and the final paragraph hit me particularly hard, because the first (and, until now, the only) time I read the novel was in 2004…and I am now writing a novel based on some of the events of 2004, and yes, this is how I feel about that summer of my own life, that whole year of my own life.

“The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” by Michael Chabon

Overall Rating: 10/10 – I loved everything about this book.

Brief Summary: College graduate Art Bechstein is looking forward to a fun and carefree summer before he has to venture into the real world. After meeting a fascinating young man with the same name who makes advances on him, Art begins to struggle with his own sexuality. Caught between the relationship he has with a woman named Phlox and his attraction to the unusual young man, Art must decide a path to take. Throughout the book, Art struggles with his father’s connections to organized crime, and a shaky friendship with a man named Cleveland who could have similar connections. Despite all of the issues and decisions he’s faced with, he finds that he’s truly finding happiness.

My Opinion: This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I don’t use that lightly. Every character is incredibly unique and developed, making it feel as if you really know these people. This book has a very nostalgic feel to it and will make you yearn for things you’ve never actually experienced. The book isn’t very “exciting” as in there’s not a ton of “action” but the beautiful story and the colorful characters make up for that tenfold. I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE.

I smoked and looked down at the bottom of Pittsburgh for a little while, watching the kids playing tiny baseball, the distant figures of dogs snatching at a little passing car, a miniature housewife on her back porch, shaking out a snippet of red rug, and I made a sudden, frightened vow never to become that small, and to devote myself to getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
—  Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
Riding on a city bus along the route that you have taken from your job, from the movies, from a hundred Chinese meals, with the same late sun going down over the same peeling buildings and the same hot smell of water in the aftershower air, can be, in the wake of a catastrophe, either a surrealistic nightmare of the ordinary or a plunge into the warm waters of beautiful routine. I watched, among the forty hot, plain people, a mother brush her daughter’s hair into ponytails wrapped kindly and tight with pink elastic bobos, and by the time I pulled the bell cord for the Terrace stop, I knew that everything would be all right, and that soon, very soon, I was going to able to cry.
—  The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon