Chris's Reviews > The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
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's review
Aug 23, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary
Read from May 31 to August 23, 2011

Bloated with historical detail, it reminded me why I never liked reading history textbooks: no matter how salient the facts, external detail just can't move me in the way that empathetic, developed internal detail can. I think Chabon should have either written a creative non-fiction work about the comic book heyday (for which he obviously has a strong passion) or focused more on writing a gripping novel. I imagine that if you're as enthralled with comic books and their place in American history as Chabon is, it would be a fascinating read, but as someone with no previous interest in this subject, it didn't really grab me. I wanted to like the characters--especially Sammy, who is by far the most complex (although Joe is given the most complex treatment, he himself is too stoic for any significant introspective moments)--but they got lost amid pages and pages of quasi-historical meandering. It seems like an unfortunate symptom of the Wikipedia era, with the abundance of knowledge obscuring genuine feeling. It could have been half the size and brilliant.
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