"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
Just finished listening to this book with the kids. It seems to effortlessly float between the walls of genre fiction. At once Watership Down is a children's book, a heroic fantasy novel and a clever, classical exploration of heroic themes. Adams' seems very comfortable in exploring ideas of heroism, sacrifice and community (and others) using the language and strategies of the Greek and Latin masters (Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid) . I'm not sure if it is more incredible that Adams dared to drop a heroic quest novel into a warren of rabbits or that he actually pulled it off.
Let's just get this out in the open -- Michael Chabon is an amazing prose stylist. Occassionally, I imagine I can grow up one day and become a writer, then I read Chabon and I recognize just how HIGH that hill can be. His dexterity with the English language borders on magical. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is at once playful and soulful.
Listening to AAoK&C, I was reminded of Saul Bellow's ability to dance with language while also keeping the novel briskly centered on its well-paced story. Chabon's characters are boyantly alive, cinemagraphiclly painted, and infused a with dialogue that seems to require a high level of stereophonics (all enhanced by Colacci's amazing reading).
Even in comic books, good doesn't always win over evil, but it seems like with Chabon love still conquers all. A fantastic novel to view the 20th century through. Chabon expertly captured the colors, smells, and magic of New York. Anyway, Kavalier & Clay is a world I don't ever want to escape from.
There is something I love about Walker Percy. I think it is the loveliness of Percy's confrontation and struggle with spiritual belief. His characters are amazing, his prose is lovely. He writes these quirky scenes, in a sometimes peculiar prose, without them seeming fussy or overwrought (an amazing balancing act right there).
Perhaps, I am just drawn to my big Trinity of Catholic Novelists(Greene, O'Connor, Percy). They don't play in an easy hothouse of consecration. They don't write about faith, belief, or redemption as if these topics were easy loads to lift. Percy, to me, meets the Modern man where he is; trapped between light and darkness, between falling and hoisting, between Heaven and Hell. Percy greets the reader and lifts him, slaps him on the ass, and pushes him on his way.