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October 05, 2004

Yes, it really is Amazing.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon Sometimes I'm just an asinine contrarian, the latest example of which is illustrated by The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Friends of mine recommended it. It made the rounds in all the right literary circles. It won a Pulitzer. Was this enough for me to finish it in time for my book group? (No.)

Apparently, the churlish pouty cow side of me wanted to resist this book just because of the seeming heaps of hype. Fortunately my better sense prevailed. In the last couple of weeks I decided to commit. I set aside all other bits of reading. I stayed up to read instead of channel surfing and falling asleep to infomercials for videos of wayward college girls. And in a final burst whereupon I simply had to finish the book or die trying, my glorious read came to an end over the weekend at 2:37 Sunday morning.

This isn't a book to read five minutes at a time. It sucks you in, it grabs you by the collar and shakes you, demanding that you pay attention and consult the dictionary if need be, damn it! (When you're thrown a delicious word you've never heard before - say, nystagmus - it's hard not to get all goosey with excitement. That is, if you're the kind of person who longs for their own personal copy of the OED. But even if you're not, the language of this book is full of shivery thrills.)

The book is brimming with the sizzling heady energy of New York. It's like an epic roller coaster as it follows the title characters on their quest for art, love, and life by way of the comic book. One of my favorite chapters was the origin story for Luna Moth, but given that it features a librarian who becomes the embodiment of an ancient goddess and has to save mankind from itself, I guess I'm kind of partial. ;) Breathtaking.

Love love love this book. And if they ever make a movie, Adrien Brody has to be Joe Kavalier. Has to! (Thanks to Mags for the link that gave me the sudden epiphany.)

Yours, &c., LC | 03:59 PM | Writing & Language | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Kavalier and Clay is one of my favorite novels of the last few years, if not my absolute favorite. I'm biding my time until I reread it again. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. And those chapters about the comics themselves, like the origin of Luna Moth, are perfect translations of the comic book page to prose form.

Posted by: Justin at October 5, 2004 06:15 PM

Do you know about the "Michael Chabon Presents: The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist" graphic novel?

Posted by: Laura at October 5, 2004 08:26 PM

I've heard about it. I'll have to check it out!

Posted by: Lady Crumpet at October 5, 2004 10:59 PM

There's a Luna Moth origin strip in the first comic collection. Remind me and I'll show it to you.

Posted by: LTR at October 5, 2004 11:03 PM

I much prefer "Old Flame" - Luna Moth done by Dan Brereton. That and the Glen David Gold/Gene Colan collaboration, "The Lady or the Tiger," are my favorite from the first collection. Hmm, the second is due out early next month, I think.

Posted by: Justin at October 6, 2004 12:16 AM

The second's out! The third comes out 10/13.

Posted by: LTR at October 6, 2004 02:29 PM

I wait until they collect two issues and put 'em out at a smaller size. So, the next collection I get will have #3 and #4.

Posted by: Justin at October 6, 2004 03:53 PM

I will have to see what this is all about! :)

Posted by: Lady Crumpet at October 6, 2004 04:48 PM

Huh what? I missed small Adrien gushing?

I've reserved Adge to play Grigg in the film version of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB but then you can have him. ;-)

Posted by: Mags at October 11, 2004 06:58 PM