Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

by Michael Chabon.
I loved it. Highly recommended.

Mild spoilers ahead!

The distorted history of comic books is explored, through the very personal saga of two creators. Kavalier is jewish, and is unable to save his family from the Nazis after he escapes. Clay is homosexual, but doesn't realize it until later in life. He then suppresses it when he experiences persecution and abuse.

Some of it is familiar, but I was drawn in (ha!) by the unlikely combination of subjects that meshed in the narrative. A new chapter that tells the story of a comic book character - but wait, is it a character? engaging.

I haven't tried to track down whether the congressional hearing condemning comics was real, but it felt like it was taken from a real event, and the exposure of Clay as a homosexual on the second day was added. The remark that, paraphrasing, he should have said that adding a side-kick to a hero immediately increases sales by 19% or whatever was memorable for me.

The heart wrenching preposterousness of war reminded me of Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The combination with aspects of fantasy reminded me of Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.

Info at PBSwap
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