Five essential books by Michael Chabon
The–winning author of “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” is blessed with literary chops and a touch. The film version of “The Mysteries of ,” Chabon’s 1988 debut novel, hits theaters on April 10. His picks:
My Five Most Important Books
1. “Complete Stories of .” The first writer I fell in love with, for the personal intensity of his imagination.
2. “R Is for Rocket” by. The first writer to draw my attention to the pleasure of metaphor; I’ve yet to recover from the image of butterflies trapped in the grille of a roadster.
3. “Collected Stories of.” Nearly perfect in their construction, use of exposition, pacing and compression of language and imagery. Supreme among them: “The Swimmer.”
4. “Trickster Makes This World” by. A quirky, quicksilver study of the Trickster in the human cultural condition. The most important work of nonfiction I’ve read in a decade.
5. “Love in the Time of Cholera” by. For the first quarter, the best book ever written. Inevitably, it falls off, though the last 50 pages are also incomparably beautiful.
A classic you revisited with disappointment: “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren. It utterly destroyed me at 19 or 20, but when I went back, I found myself laughing at the most serious moments.
A book to which you always return: “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville. My desert-island pick. It should be No. 6 on the list up there.