Saturday, April 16, 2016
MY THOUGHTS: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
August 25, 2001
(first published 2000)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2001), PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominee (2001), Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee for Best Novel (2001), California Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction (2000), New York City Book Award for Fiction (2000), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Fiction (2000).
Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to his America - the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.
**About the Author**
Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Puliter Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty-four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), which was a major critical and commercial success. He then published Wonder Boys (1995), another besstseller, which was made into a film starring Michel Douglas. One of America's most distinctive voices, Chabon has been called "a magical prose stylist" by the New York Times Book Review, and is known for his lively writing, nostalgia for bygone modes of stroytelling, and deep empathy for the human predicament.
Stay connected with Michael Chabon
Note: This review contains NO spoilers
This book was wildly imaginative and expansive for a historical fiction. This is the first book I've read from the author. I was first introduced to his book(s) by a co-worker of mine who is also a booknerd...haha! He suggested this read since I, too, am a booknerd and a comic book fan.
Although I read this book a couple of years ago, I am only now writing the review. No excuses...lol! But, I guess I wanted time to absorb what I read...Ummm, nope, I just forgot to write a review....haha!
Anyways, these are the tales of Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay of growing up and making a living with comic books in America during the WWII era. Chabon's ability to mix historical events and fiction was astounding and entertaining. This was a mash up of two likeable characters whom have endured many difficulties in life and survived.
What I enjoyed in the book was Chabon's integrated the history and creation of comic books into Kavalier and Clay's lives...as if they were a part of it. Plus, Chabon's descriptive writing on their lives from the past to the "present." Pretty cool, too, that the book included footnotes as to all the historical information. However, Chabon tends to take the story and "run away" with all this historical information, which, in turn, felt like the story lagged and failed to move forward...like getting lost in time. I pretty much zoned out from time to time. However, this in no way detracts from Chabon's incredible talent to deliver a fascinating story.
I can see that the end may be the end for this book, but it seems like there can be many more stories from this. Moreover, the end was satisfactory in giving me a delightful, yet bittersweet, read.
The Amazing Adventuress of Kavalier & Clay is definitely a worthwhile and delightful read for those that enjoy history and comic books. However, this is definitely not a story for the light-hearted. This is a tale of two characters coming-of-age during the difficult times of the WWII era...it's not always pretty.