Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, 2000, 675 pages

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon has been on my to be read list for sometime.  When I received notice the Kindle edition was for sale for $2.95, down from $10.95 I hit purchase now.

I found the first half of the book very interesting, as the work procceded on I almost quit reading.  Only Chabon is so creative I did not want to miss out on what might come next so I finished it, am glad to have done so.

Kavalier enters the story as a young Jewish boy who escaped from Prague with a stopover in Shanghai only to wind up in Brooklyn at the house of his cousin clay.  It is 1935 or so.  The account of how he escaped from Prague is very interesting.  The boys, in their late teens, have never met before but soon find a bond in their love for drawing.  Clay gets his cousin at the company where he works, a publisher of comic books, just starting to get big.  Kavalier is very worried about his family left back in Prague.  Compressing a lot, the cousins start a comic book series called The Escapist.  The Escapist is a Nazi fighting super hero with Houndini like skills for breaking locks.  The boys gradually develop a very large following, making good money.  

As the war gets nearer, Kavalier develops a hatred for Germans.  This gets him in fights, in one cool interlude he is beaten up by a German boxing champion.  We see a lot of the business and creative side of producing a comic book series.

About half way through their partnership ends.  One boy starts a romance with Rosa Saks, from the department store family.  One slowly accepts he is gay and begins a romance with a man who plays The Escapist in a radio drama.

I will say no more about the second half of the book.  It won the Pulitzer Prize.

I do hope to read his The Yiddish Policemen's Union one day.

Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer 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 bestseller, which was made into a film starring Michael 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 storytelling, and deep empathy for the human predicament.  .from Goodreads

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

This and Yiddish Policeman's Union are both on my TBR. I'm curious, though, why you were considering giving up on the second half. Did you become less interested? Or was there something about the story after that point which you did not enjoy? If this is a spoiler, feel free to disregard my question, as obviously it's worth reading, as you've indicated. Just wondering.