Our book club picked this out of a hat because no one could decide which of our list was a majority favorite - and we ALL loved it. It's a story about the comic book industry, being different in the 40's, life as a Jewish holocaust survivor (and the guilt) and it's just the perfect storm of great characters, great writing, angst, and hope with the best fun surprises thrown in. I hope my next Chabon book is this great because after this one I'm willing to read more of his work!
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 people, the setting, the time, the comic books were all engaging characters in this story. All complemented and enhanced each other. I have no particular interest in comic books, but loved the book anyhow.
The forgiveness, love and acceptance when Joe finally came home.
I highly recommend this book!
Say something about yourself!
As a Superman fan, I had very high expectations for this novel, and, while it didn't meet them, I enjoyed this novel on its own terms. The characters of Kavalier and Clay are compelling, and the fantasy world of the Golden Era of comics is a good framework for drama. The only drawback is Colacci's "voices" which distract from the story - Clay's New York accent, and Kavalier's Czech accent are ridiculous and laughable.
The voice actor doing this book is phenomenal, especially his Brooklyn-Jewish accent. Very authentic and conversational, and reads at the perfect pace: fast enough to hold your attention, but slow enough that you can listen to it during a commute and not be thrown off.
Sammy Clay: good guy, can't say much more without giving stuff away.
He is phenomenal. Great performance of 1940s Jewish New York accents, and lively well-paced narration. One of the best readers out there.
This is probably the most enjoyable book I've ever listened to, and I've listened to quite a few.
Michael Chabon's writing is rich, insightful, nimble. This book had everything: great writing, engaging story and characters, historical interest, romance, and adventure. David Colacci really brought the characters of Sammy and Joe to life wonderfully. I did not want this book to end.
This is a genuine artistic accomplishment. First and most important, the author captures and brings to life many different characters that are interesting, multidimensional and above all, human.
Second, his langauge is highly constructed and yet you will rarely notice it, and when you do it will still punch you. Its precise, and acutely illuminates the humorous flaws in our natures; those that linger in the shadows of our perception, and can only be fully illustrated by master authors.
This book deserves the highest praise from those who appreciate art that interprets reality, without making it ragged and grotesque, like a battered corpse. You're allowed to taste, smell, and feel, but not forced to choke on it.
Its a story that will help you find a part of your soul that is at once young and old, happy and profoundly sad, bound and free, and once introduced, will leave you to enjoy more of yourself. In short, it evokes a broad emotional range.
I find the narration to be enjoyable and undistracting, the voices well matched to the characters, and the reader's rhythm helps to bring out many of the deminsions of the language that I might miss if I experienced the story in print.
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.
Equally good. The narrator does a fine job and the book takes to its audio form very nicely.
The weekend of development. An idea, a group of young men and an amalgam of dreams come to life.
Can't see a change for this one.
Well done story, excellent characters and very well researched. It felt very real, very lifelike and was very well written.
This book about two men who create a well read comic book hero is really about too men who go through unusual and challenging lives. For example, Joe is trained as an escape artist and is able to escape from the persecution of the Jews in a casket holding a statue disguised as a person. These childhood events shape the rest of these men's lives.
While this book is engaging and actually quite moving, it was too heavy for me. This was not the kind of escapism for me as it has too much pain and not enough fun or mystery. Not that this book was full of sorrow, there were some fun moments, like the excitement in creating their first comic book.
I am better off sticking with mystery, thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy. But I recommend this to anyone who likes books that build fascinating if slightly tortured characters. Too much like real life for me.