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Kavalier and Clay

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  • Kavalier and Clay

    A little plug for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay-

    Chabon has a deserved reputation as a wordsmith. He has an interesting command of language and vocabulary that he puts on full display in this book. Those skills, along with most of the other elements of this work would be entirely too over-the-top with anyone else, but Chabon manages to make the Holocaust, the Golden Age of Comics and World War II simply parts of a story, and settings like the Empire State Building and Antarctica just place where things happen.

    This is the story of two cousins and their respective talents, which come to fruition in the exploitive golden age of comics. Seeing the nasty side of that business is interesting, and makes a fine story in itself, but Sammy's and Joe's personal journeys are really what makes the story. Big settings and big events often overshadow even big characters. Chabon found a way to make all fit admirably. Joe lives with the guilt of survival and escape from Nazi persecution, along with the guilt of his success, while Sammy lives with the disfigurement of a childhood disease, his enormous dreams, and a sexual awakening that he does not embrace fully.

    Big ideas, big heart, big gestures.

  • #2
    Something's jinxed with me and the book, I read it halfway through twice, only to be interrupted for several months, and then it is difficult to find a "re-entry". A very particular world with so many details, especially in the world of 1930's/40's comic and cartoon artists, and difficult there to keep apart where the author makes up things and persons or introduces historical figures and uses facts for his folio. So I advise: make sure you really have the time and leisure to read it in more or less one go.
    Google ergo sum

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    • #3
      I agree completely, L'E. I had the luxury of reading the first three-quarters almost uninterrupted. Because of other commitments, I did not get to finish it the same way. That last quarter was difficult. Chabon demands a lot from a reader, especially in this novel (and Wonder Boys). This is usually good. However, if you are looking for a breezy beach read, this probably is not the right choice.

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      • #4
        I was lucky; I read the novel in the course of a week or so two years ago. I absolutely loved it, though I haven't read any of Chabon's novels since. I have, however, begun to remedy that. I started reading The Final Solution this morning. I'll get around to Wonder Boys at some point as well, as I picked up a cheap copy at my favorite bookstore a few months back.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doc
          I agree completely, L'E. I had the luxury of reading the first three-quarters almost uninterrupted. Because of other commitments, I did not get to finish it the same way. That last quarter was difficult. Chabon demands a lot from a reader, especially in this novel (and Wonder Boys). This is usually good. However, if you are looking for a breezy beach read, this probably is not the right choice.
          Finding a beach soon is my greater concern. Another 1 1/2 months to go.
          Tuscany this year!
          Google ergo sum

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          • #6
            Tuscany in August sounds wonderful, book or no book.

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            • #7
              Thanks, Doc. Check here: http://www.usignolo.eu/html/podere_usignolo1.html
              Last edited by L'Etranger; 07-03-2006, 06:35 AM.
              Google ergo sum

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              • #8
                Very nice! You may not want to go home after being there.

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                • #9
                  I loved Kavalier and Clay and I've read all of Chabon's work, from his first novel and short stories. I enjoy The Escapist comic, too! I think I admire K&C more than any other American literary novel I've read in recent times. Not everything that gets a Pultizer seems to merit the prize, but they should have given two to Chabon for this.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                  • #10
                    Well, if that is the case, I'll give K&C another try - in Tuscany!
                    Google ergo sum

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