From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

It is three o'clock in the morning. I just turned the last pages of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Maybe its too late to try to do a coherent review, but here are some initial thoughts.

Michael Chabon is a very, very trained and talented writer, who obviously did a butt-load of research and knows a hecka lot more than I do. The Pulitzer Prize badge on the cover of the book is not surprising. The sentences are beautifully precise, and the detail and description is absolutely stunning. In other words, the prose is a pleasure to read.

The story is like-wise very interesting. Very intricate and complicated plot, with intricate and complicated characters. The book is divided into sections and spans at least a twelve year period and even spends a good chunk of time in Antarctica. I didn't even know Antarctica was in any way involved in World War II, but apparently it was. Told you Chabon is one smart dude.

It leaves me wondering, though, whether all critically acclaimed/Pulitzer Prize winning books always have to deal with World War II, family secrets and homosexuality. Is it just me or does it seem like most of them do? I'm not saying those are bad things. Actually they're quite intriguing, interesting things to write about. And I'm not saying that the book is formulaic. It does seem a bit like it was perfectly made from some Pulitzer Prize recipe, but not because Chabon was trying to follow certain steps, you can tell that it's just the story he wanted to tell, and he did it brilliantly. Still, though, while I appreciated the epicness of its scope and grandness of its themes and beautiful prose, I did sort of miss my Austenian drawing room.

So yes. I absolutely enjoyed reading it, and thought the story and characters were totally engaging. It made me want to simultaneously know as much as Michael Chabon does while intentionally wanting to go in a simpler direction. A beautiful, epic book, highly recommended.

Anyone else read this or anything else by Michael Chabon?

Sarah Allen


  1. I tried for about one hundred pages but I couldn't stay with this book. I did read Chabon's Wonder Boys which I had no trouble reading, sort of breezed right through, but ultimately found unrewarding. I think he is an amazing writer but I don't feel connected to his work. But John Green says he inspired him to write (I know you are a Green fan too), so I bow to Chabon in thanks. :)

  2. I read his book "Summerland" and it is amazing. I reread it every so often. It's about baseball and life and finding your place and growing up and the Tree of the World and Coyote.

    So yeah. Basically Michael Chabon is a rockstar. And now I want to play baseball.

  3. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years but I never got around to it. I'll have to try it now!

  4. no i haven't--it sounds good though!


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