I am a New York musician, a New York native, and a passionate reader of fiction. Audible is helping me fill in some serious literary gaps.
I am new to audiobooks and am reveling in their power. I'd picked up "Kavalier and Clay" several years ago and gotten bogged down by the sheer size of the volume--a real doorstop of a novel. But I'd always wanted to read it, and am grateful for this superb audio version. In that sense: yes, the audiobook was better for me than the print book.
The historical sweep, the sense of what World War II meant to Americans and Europeans on a personal, experiential level, the complexity and reality of the characters, and (as always with Chabon) the delicacy, respect, and sensuality with which he treats gay characters. I'm not sure where this straight author's fascination with homosexuality comes from, but he is one of the greatest of our "gay" writers. He dramatizes the struggles of Jewish people and the struggles of gay people with an almost uncanny empathy.
David Colacci nailed everyone, but his portrayal of Joe Kavalier took my breath away.
"K & C" has the sweep and depth of a classic nineteenth-century novel--a book of great intelligence, imagination, and depth.
So glad to find this unabridged version of Kavalier and Clay. I read the novel several years ago and loved it then. The narration is excellent.
English major. Love to read
Somehow I wasn't paying attention when people were reading this book and raving about it. Now that I have read it, many of my literary friends are looking at me and saying -- "of course I have read it, it's fabulous!" My silly response is "why didn't you tell me?" I think this all points to the fact that I truly love reading a book that takes me somewhere else. whose words I relish over and over and whose characters I just simply miss at the end of the reading. This is such a story - not to be missed. As a matter of fact, just download it now because you won't be disappointed.
I enjoyed this book. It tackled interesting topics (e.g., [spoiler alert] the rise of comic books, being Jewish, and being gay) in a work of historical fiction taking place mostly in New York City and mostly during the 1940s and 50s in an appealing way. I liked the characters, the writing, and the narration.
That said, it didn't strike me as being on par with the other Pulitzer Prize winning fiction I've read. I'm deducting one star from my rating for that.
But I'd still recommend it as an enjoyable read.
I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
I was very disappointed in this book. It received such rave reviews. It started out very strongly with the first 1/4 but then it fizzled. The book should have been a novella. The beginnings of the comic book industry and how comic book stories are conceived was really interesting and exciting. But then the story began to sway from sub story to sub story with no apparent reason. Why was it important to spend so much time on Joe's time in Antarctica and why was there such an emphasis on the dog relationship. It seemed to me that Chabon had made up a story board like they do in comic books and tried to fit them all in to the book. Some parts of the book seemed like it was trying to be a True Romance comic. My overall feeling is that the author was trying to hard to write a really powerful book but just didn't have the story upon which to hang it. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
The brilliance of this writing is so subtle, I fear it will be lost on many. If I had been listening with another person, I would have stopped over and over to make sure they caught the unique, never-cliche descriptions of things and the storytelling that makes you feel the writer must've experience 100 different lives himself to have felt the characters so deeply. Some say the ending was so so, it was perfect -- just as it had to be without ruining the whole story and making some dramatic "artistic" statement. Truly a masterpiece.
For whatever reason, probably PC baggage, some authors think their stories need homosexual underpinnings to be "good." Chabon and Kavalier & Clay is one such. A potentially excellent story becomes ordinary or even offensive when abherrent behavior is stuffed down the reader's throat as normal or praise-worthy. Keep the social-engineering in public schools where it's already proven to be wanting.
This book starts out very well, but degenerates into a story where most the characters are cretin-like and foul-mouthed. The American characters all talk with a Brooklyn accent and appear to have an i.q. of room temperature. None of them are very likable.
Not sure if it was written so that all the Americans have a heavy Brooklyn accent, or if the narrator simply chose to narrate that way.
I quit about halfway through. Way too many F bombs and other profanity, and none of the characters were very likable.