GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD is set in the Kingdom of Arran, in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, A.D. 950. It tells the tale of two wandering adventurers and unlikely soulmates, variously plying their trades as swords for hire, horse thieves and con artists - until fortune entangles them in the myriad schemes and battles ...Read MoreGENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD is set in the Kingdom of Arran, in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, A.D. 950. It tells the tale of two wandering adventurers and unlikely soulmates, variously plying their trades as swords for hire, horse thieves and con artists - until fortune entangles them in the myriad schemes and battles that follow a bloody coup in the medieval Jewish empire of the Khazars. Hired as escorts for a fugitive prince, they quickly find themselves half-willing generals in a mad rebellion, struggling to restore the prince's family to the throne. As their increasingly outrageous exploits unfold, they encounter a wondrous elephant, wily Rhadanite tradesmen, whores, thieves, soldiers, an emperor, and discover the truth about their young royal charge. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is a novel brimming with raucous humour and cliff-hanging suspense, combining the spirit of The Arabian Nights with the action of The Three Musketeers.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-09-03 Pulitzer Prize winner-Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union) recreates 10th-century Khazaria, "the fabled kingdom of wild red-haired Jews on the western shore of the Caspian Sea," in this sprightly historical adventure. Zelikman and Amram, respectively a gawky Frank and a gigantic Abyssinian, make their living by means of confidence tricks, doctoring, bodyguarding and the occasional bit of skullduggery along the Silk Road. The unlikely duo find themselves caught up in larger events when they befriend Filaq, the headstrong and unlikable heir to the recently deposed war king of the Khazars. Their attempts to restore Filaq to the throne make for a terrifically entertaining modern pulp adventure replete with marauding armies, drunken Vikings, beautiful prostitutes, rampaging elephants and mildly telegraphed plot points that aren't as they seem. Chabon has a wonderful time writing intentionally purple prose and playing with conventions that were most popular in the days of Rudyard Kipling and Talbot Mundy. Gary Gianni's elegant illustrations, a cross between Vierge's art for Don Quixote and Brundage's Weird Tales covers, perfectly complement the historical adventure. A significant change from Chabon's weightier novels, this dazzling trifle is simply terrific fun. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2007-11-26 The odd bond between the young Frank Zelikman and the older, dark-skinned giant, Amram, serves as the basis for Chabon's short novel about life, war and religion in the 10th century. Wandering along the Silk Road, using both knowledge and trickery to earn their way, they stumble upon Filaq, the displaced heir to the Khazar throne. The two employ their many skills to return Filaq to the throne. Braugher delivers a strong and commanding performance with a lilting rhythm to his voice that is almost hypnotic. His resonating baritone voice proves appealing for the narration. His vocalization of the strong and solemn Amram is perfect, while his lightened tone for Zelikman is also a good match. His female vocalizations aren't nearly as powerful. Chabon reads the afterword, enlightening listeners to the reasons for writing a novel he originally intended to call Jews with Swords. Simultaneous release with the Del Rey hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 9). (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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