The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay first entered my reading pile as it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, and I have challenged myself to read all the winners. It quickly got propelled to the top of my reading pile when it came up as a match for A Fine Balance (one of my favourite books) on Storycode (see post below)

 

The book started off really well, and by page 35 I was so fond of the characters that I had tears in my eyes when they had to say goodbye to each other. This is a very rare event for me, as I don’t often cry when reading. There are perhaps five books that have managed to move me to tears in my entire lifetime, so this just goes to show the power of the writing in this book.

 

It continued well, and I loved the detail of the magic tricks, and Joe’s escape from Prague in 1939 to his cousin’s flat in America. Then everything went wrong. There were about 200 pages of boring details about life in a comic book office. I completely lost interest in the book, and at one point I nearly gave up on it. I’m really glad that I didn’t though, as the last third of the book was as good as the beginning. The plot was clever, the vivid characters were back and the ending was very satisfying.   

 

An amazing book, with a long, dull bit in the middle. It could easily have had 9 or 10 stars if the boring bit had been condensed to about 10 pages.

 

Recommended, as long as you are able to get through a long slow section – it is worth it in the end!

 

Also reviewed by Sophisticated Dorkiness


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2 Comments

  1. Jacky — I too read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for Fiction. This one though did not impress me. But I appreciate your comments. The Pulitzer’s I’ve like the best are:

    Gone With the Wind, A Thousand Acres, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hours

    Enjoy!

  2. I really appreciated Chabon’s writing style–it’s educated, but still accessible. I’m a comic book geek, so the pages you found boring were interesting to me–different strokes and all.

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