Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read the Yiddish Policeman's Union first, and I really didn't want to like Kavalier & Clay better. Because I loved the Yiddish Policeman's Union, and because people said I had to. I'm so contrarian. They tie. For first place.

Both books deal with the Holocaust from an American perspective. This one deals with two Jewish wiseguys who help start the comic book business from offices in the Empire State Building. One wiseguy, Clay, is American, the other, Kavalier, a Czech refugee from Nazi occupied Prague.

The book is about many things. Secrets, love, the Holocaust, the Empire State Building, magic, Jews, Harry Houdini, the Golem of Prague, sex, and Comics. It is written as history, with fake footnotes and all. As if the Escapist, the comic book the characters create, was real and has fans and collectors today.

After the Yiddish Policeman's Union came out, much was made of Chabon writing genre fiction. After being awarded a Pulitzer for Kavalier and Clay and everything! Some people were upset. They obviously didn't read Kavalier & Clay closely. It drips with love of comics, magic, science fiction, and their fans. There are a few brief moments of magical realism in Kavalier and Clay, and references to Lovecraft pop up in the oddest of places.


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1 comment:

  1. I completely agree... I don't read much fiction, but I loved every minute of Kavalier and Clay. Guess I oughta read YPU now, too!