The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Thoughts taaokacbymc by Michael Chabon, Picador 2000, 639 pages

Narrated by David Colacci audiomcdc 26 hours, 20 minutes

Challenge: Pulitzer Reading Challenge (unofficial)

I’m just going to ramble and don’t feel like following my usual review template. This is one of those books that fell into my life without me remembering how and why or who recommended. I am sure that I read somewhere about it winning the Pulitzer and I am aware the Mr. Chabon is married to author Ayelet Waldman. I haven’t read anything by her, either, though I follow her on Twitter. I really do think her first name is cool. And that’s all I know. Wait! I do know that Chabon wrote Wonder Boys and I liked the movie, I think. Maybe it is really just an admission that my memory is not what it should be!

Kavalier and Clay are comics writers. They were instrumental in the first heady days of the comic book industry of the late 1930s and early 40s. Do I read comic books? No. Do I read graphic novels? No, but I always put the ones everybody talks about on my tbr but I never seem to get to them.

(I do know who Stan Lee is. I do watch The Big Bang Theory.) It could be said that there is a lot to geek out about in this book if you were such a person who geeks out about literature and comics and magic and…  lots of stuff.

Would I have read this book if I had known it was about the comic book industry?! I think I wouldn’t have. I do not remember how I came to be in possession of a print copy nor how/why I also secured the audiobook. Oh well. Committed, I shall be.

I was not disappointed. I really did enjoy reading about Sam Clay and his cousin from Prague, Mr. Joe Kavalier. But especially Rosy and Tommy. The descriptions of NYC; the life and times in that city were fascinating. The city and maybe the Empire State Building could be considered characters. The book is sprawling and epic, back and forth in time somewhat (early days for both Sam and Clay) and I, as a reader, became invested in their goals, dreams, and struggles.

I am pretty sure I wanted to read this because it won the Pulitzer and though I am not obsessed with trying to read every winner, I seem to add them to my tbr and they seem to show up on my ‘read me next’ stack. Perhaps it best not to analyze too much.  I read two this month with little thought about it – “Oh yea, that won the Pulitzer. Huh.”

I learned a  lot about comics, I learned about about Judaism. I came to really appreciate Chabon’s skillful writing. Definitely has humor and amusement to balance against the sad crap of life situations and nastiness of war and the Holocaust. and OMIGOODNESS! The obvious research depth and wonderful creativity! Yowza POW!

I did not, however, find the narration to be as excellent at the story. I didn’t like the voice for Joe Kavalier. Too Dracula-sounding. But I will give credit that he did quite good with Rosy and Tommy and it was easy to tell the differences between characters. I just did NOT like Joe’s voice. At all. I listened to most of the book but ended up reading the last 100 pages.

May I point you to a fabulous review of this novel that really has much more insight? I present –> LitLove’s Tales from the Reading Room <–

fourpie

SPOILERY QUESTIONS FOLLOW  – READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK!  PLEASE CONTINUE if YOU *HAVE* READ THIS BOOK!

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Do you think Sam makes good in Hollywood? Do you think Joe ended up publishing his Golem story at his new company? Does Rosy continue HER career? Did you buy that the casket with the delivered Golem was so very very heavy and all it had inside was ‘soft silted dirt’? or did I read/hear that wrong? Would you read a sequel? Do you think a sequel is necessary (I do not. I just wonder about the answers to my questions; probably not best that the author attempt to answer them…) What do you think of the portrayal of women in this novel? Don’t you think if you were Stan Lee you would THRILLED to all HECK to be mentioned in a book that won the Pulitzer?!

 

pierating

RATING: Four slices of pie.  I don’t think I caught any pie mentions.

fourpie

 

 

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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13 thoughts on “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

  1. I’ve heard lots of good things about this one. The only Chabon I’ve read is the Yiddish Policeman’s Union and it’s terrific. Set in Alaska, it’s a detective mystery with great dialogue and a lovable loser hero. I keep meaning to read more by him but you know how that goes…

    1. I hope to read more. I know I would like to read Wonder Boys (cuz I love to read the books and see the film or vice versa) and Telegraph Avenue looks interesting.

  2. I don’t remember enough details to comment on your questions, but mostly what struck me was Chabon’s writing, which I think is amazing, even when I don’t necessarily like the book, if you know what I mean.

  3. I’d have read this book DOUBLE if I’d known before I started that it was about comic books — but I still didn’t like it. It’s one of my saddest author disappointments that I just do not care for Michael Chabon’s fiction. As much as I try to (and I have tried because I really feel that I SHOULD like Michael Chabon), I simply cannot like his novels. Sob.

  4. I’ve had this book on my shelves for many a year now, but I can’t seem to make myself pick it up. You said it’s “sprawling and epic” and I think that’s the very thing that keeps me from reading it. Which makes no sense, because I really do enjoy sprawling and epic when I can force myself to read it. But that seldom happens. What can I say, my brain is an idiot. 😉

  5. litandlife

    So I knew I listened to this one a while ago but I can’t really remember too much about it. I had to go track down my review to even remember what I thought of it, other than that I recalled I liked it. I still can’t recall the specifics of the book, even after reading my review, but it has been 6 years and my brain is like that these days. It was my second Chabon book; I’ve read three now – he never ceases to amaze with his command of the English language and his craft.

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