One street, two families. As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there, longtime friends, band mates and co-regents of Brokeland Records. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of semi-legendary nurse midwives. Archy and Gwen are expecting their first baby; Nat and Aviva have a teenaged son, Julius. When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to go forward with the construction of his latest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear the worst for their vulnerable little enterprise. But behind Goode's announcement a nefarious story lurks. As their husbands struggle to mount a defence, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a professional struggle that tests the limits of their friendship. And simultaneously, into their already tangled lives, comes Titus Joyner, the teenaged son Archy has never acknowledged, now the love of Julius Jaffe's life. An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet.