By Michael Chabon
Because the summer time of 2004 attracts to an in depth, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are nonetheless placing in there, long-time neighbors, bandmates and co-regents of Brokeland files, a state of used vinyl situated within the sketchy but freewheeling borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Archy and his spouse, Gwen, expect their first child; Nat and Aviva have a teenaged son, Julius. Cranky, unsuitable and loving one another with the entire fierceness we've come to anticipate of Chabon characters, Archy and Nat have labored to build lives and livelihoods that experience a groove, trying to attach throughout limitations of race and sophistication, and clinging to a feeling of order and safety via their stubbornly old-school ways.
When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fourthrichest black guy in the US, declares plans to build his most modern Dogpile megastore on a close-by overlooked stretch of Telegraph street, Nat and Archy worry it capability convinced doom for his or her weak little company. What they don't be aware of is that Goode's assertion marks the climax of a decades-old mystery background, encompassing a forgotten crime of the Black Panther period, the tragedy of Archy's personal deadbeat father-- a long-faded Blaxploitation star-- and the perpetual shining failure of yank optimism approximately race.