Arun Divakar's Reviews > The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
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Aug 15, 12

it was amazing
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Read from July 30 to August 15, 2012

Being a new comer to Michael Chabon, I was very skeptical in the first few pages which gave way to open admiration in the space of a few chapters.I totally loved this book !There is a way in which the author made me recount childhood days spent in the company of comic books and animated TV series. Days and months spent tracing the adventures of a bullied young man bitten by a radioactive spider, a group of uncanny societal rejects who battled a man with the power of magnetism and his minions, an alien who upheld truth,justice and the American way in Metropolis while his dark,grim brother prowled the night in the streets of Gotham.

While the title proclaims this to be the adventures of Kavalier and Clay, the focus is mostly on Josef Kavalier. He is someone whom if given the garb of the traditional tragic hero, will fit snugly into it. Undoubtedly it is those tragic incidents in his life that drive him on a path of intense creativity and to the birth of a costumed superhero The Escapist . Kavalier as a character evolves in front of our eyes from a child who indulges in magic to a world weary comic book illustrator. The odyssey that he undertakes is one of a kind for it makes him a character worth remembering. Sammy Clay is the flipside of this coin being mostly an enigma and his inner machinations did not reach me like they did for Kavalier. Their short lived but incredibly creative partnership in comic books forms a kernel around which this entire stroy is built.

The beauty of this tale was the way in which Chabon mixed the fictional with the real. Along with the stories of the protagonists, the reader is treated to a history of the comic book medium and a detailed look at its golden age, stage magic (especially the medium of escapes) and of America in brink of WWII. A lot many luminaries make their cameos in the course of the tale. I counted Stan Lee, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali but none of them overshadow the tale and add more to the ambiance than anything else. A lot many facets of the world at that time are explored without going into too much intricate detail which is what I believe a good author should set out to do. That being said it is an extremely human tale in the lives of the characters that come out in vivid detail. Once the lives of the characters came a full circle, I was a satisfied reader.

Easily a favorite.
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