Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Written by: Michael Chabon

First line: In later years, holding forth to an interviewer or to an audience of aging fans at a comic book convention, Sam Clay liked to declare, apropos of his and Joe Kavalier's greatest creation, that back when he was a boy, sealed and hog-tied inside the airtight vessel known as Brooklyn, New York, he had been haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini.

Why you should read this book: In a vast epic that encompasses World War II, the birth, growth, and subsequent emasculation of the comics industry, four continents, surrealism, love, death, and art, the author breathes life into the characters of a partnership of cousins each running headlong away from his own demons. Joe Kavalier is the haunted Czech fellow whose narrow escape from Prague and talent for drawing are the stuff of legends; Sam Clay is the ambitious American whose copious ideas flow from his mind to page like water from a faucet. This book is as meticulously researched as it is imagined and written, and, like the comic books produced by the partnership of Kavalier and Clay, it presents a vision of life larger and more colorful than the mundane existence that we read to escape.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Sometimes, reading a book like this makes me angry because I know I will never write anything so good.

No comments: