Michael Chabon was at Elliot Bay Book Company on Friday for those occasional superstar appearances at the bookstore, where it is standing room only and the fans spill out into the cafe which is normally separated fro the reading area. I would imagine most of the crowd has read one or all of his books. I, naturally, haven’t ready any because I never get around to reading American authors (something I hope to remedy soon). In the great tradition of salesmanship, I went to be sold on his writing. Right now he is touring his new book Manhood for Amateurs and he read a couple peaces about the joys and disappointments of comic book loving geekdom. While parts were entertaining, I can’t say I’m going to rush out to read the book, because the points he ultimately raise about the joy of the geek life and sharing it with your children were not particularly compelling—nice, but not compelling.
The questions he took, though, led to a great quote and underscores the truth that sometimes what an author writes isn’t as interesting as what they talk about. I am still curious to read one of his novels. Perhaps in a few more months.
In talking about how the comic book and genre geeks create new ideas by taking what an author has created and extending it in new ways he said,
The Talmud is fan fiction of the Torah. The New Testament is fan fiction on the Old Testament.