Thursday, 26 July 2012
Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
I had not read Chabon before picking up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000 - winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2001). I had seen the film of his Wonder Boys and hated it mightily. Then I saw that this was about American superhero comics, which I loved as a kid and still retain a fondness for, so I had to have it.
A marvellous book, combining the Golem of Prague and gay Hollywood actors circa 1940, amongst many other themes. It's something of a monster itself - 636 pages of tightly-wrought, pitch-perfect prose - but I didn't find a single bum note or a passage I speed-read through. I wallowed in it. I luxuriated. The characters were so well crafted that they could do anything and I would still root for them. Chabon does not do goodies and baddies. Here, everybody is basically good and a little bit bad. Even walk-ons like Sammy's feckless midget strongman of a father take root in your imagination.
One of those books I can't recommend highly enough. Gimme more!