The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a very strange read for me. It was written in a way that sounded so true that I had to look up "The Escapist" to see if it was a real comic book (since I've never read a comic book in my life and know nothing about them). It was a good, engrossing story, though a bit slow in parts. It wasn't one of those books that I just HAD to read, or that I felt compelled to keep reading, or that I couldn't put down. But it was enjoyable enough that I never considered abandoning it in favor or something flashier.
I enjoyed all the adventures of both Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, but I did find the book wasn't exactly an equal portrayal of both men. Joe was without a doubt the main character, with only small glimpses of Sammy now and then. That's a shame, too, because I found Sam the more compelling character, despite the scarce page time and lack of adventures. Joe got to have all the excitement and adventure, and yet, it was Sammy, who had never left New York in his life, that I wanted to read about. At times, I grew frustrated with Joe and wished the author would give us a glimpse into what Sammy was doing while Joe was getting into all kinds of trouble for hours of page time at a stretch.
The novel was well-written, with a straight-forward narrative sprinkled with little word-gems that made me stop to savor them for a few seconds before going on. The author has a masterful grasp on the language and twisted it in delightful, unexpected ways.
A recommended read for adults age 16+. Language, sex, and violence peppers the novel, but not in a disturbing way.
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