I'm actually glad that I put off reading this book for as long as I did. A great deal of my enjoyment came from outside sources: my previous experience of reading essays on literature by Chabon (his book Maps and Legends) and my slowly growing interest in the form and history of comic books and graphic novels. It took me a long time to get through this book, because I kept deliberately setting it down for a week or more at a time, as I felt I was devouring it too fast. While I'm a strong advocate of subsequent readings, there will always be something special about the first time through. Many of Chabon's favourite subjects are here. Gay characters; Jewish characters; gay, Jewish characters; the city of New York; the interplay and inter-inspiration between life, artist and art. What really makes this book shine, however, is that Chabon is a master of prose. On the back of the edition I read is a quote from the Chicago Tribune: "Chabon is a reader's writer; with sentences so cozy they'll wrap you up and kiss you goodnight." It's not a word of a lie. It's not surprising to learn that Chabon is the son of two lawyers, a profession that requires both precision and persuasion in language.