Curmudgeonalia
I see I taste I write Links What?
November 22, 2005

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Chabon – ISBN 0312282990

Pulitzer Prize winning, this book is the fifth book by Chabon, and (in my opinion at least) his best except for his newest The Final Solution, which I reviewed earlier.

Kavalier and Clay, young Jewish cousins--one from Brooklyn and one a budding artist and recent immigrant from Hitler’s Europe (Prague)--who involve themselves in the comic book craze which began before WWII. It is based in the actual facts of the era, though the characters are fictionalized. It is a delightful read, and informative both on the subject, and on the difficulties of the Jews during the Holocaust. As well it is an absorbing and memorable story about America, its dreams and possibilities, trepidation, romance, tragedy and redemption.

Each chapter--many are only a page or two long--is a single adventure of one or both of the cousins. Some are funny, others poignant, still others deeply thought provoking.

As with his other books, his clear and colorful language, sharp wit, “inventiveness and ambition make this a novel of towering achievement.” (N Y Times Book Review)

Clay is the follower—the “Indian,” after a fashion--and Kavalier the dreamer, artist, escapist and victim of Nazi evil. Together they manage to create a variety of characters, stories and heroes, becoming successful if not wealthy in their endeavor.

While lengthy it is engaging and easy to read because of the regular “shifting of gears” which allow the book to be put down almost any time, and picked up again without losing the plot(s).

And as might be expected the plot twists and turns frequently, precluding certainty about how it will all end.

Posted by respeto at November 22, 2005 1:44 PM