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!

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