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But Joe Kavalier is driven by motives far more complex than your average hack. In fact, his first act as a comic-book artist is to deal Hitler a very literal blow. (The cover of the first issue shows the Escapist delivering "an immortal haymaker" onto the Führer's realistically bloody jaw.) In subsequent years, the Escapist and his superhero allies take on the evil Iron Chain and their leader Attila Haxoff--their battles drawn with an intensity that grows more disturbing as Joe's efforts to rescue his family fail. He's fighting their war with brush and ink, Joe thinks, and the idea sustains him long enough to meet the beautiful Rosa Saks, a surrealist artist and surprisingly retrograde muse. But when even that fiction fails him, Joe performs an escape of his own, leaving Rosa and Sammy to pick up the pieces in some increasingly wrong-headed ways.
More amazing adventures follow--but reader, why spoil the fun? Suffice to say, Michael Chabon writes novels like the Escapist busts locks. Previous books such as The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys have prose of equal shimmer and wit, and yet here he seems to have finally found a canvas big enough for his gifts. The whole enterprise seems animated by love: for his alternately deluded, damaged, and painfully sincere characters; for the quirks and curious innocence of tough-talking wartime New York; and, above all, for comics themselves, "the inspirations and lucubrations of five hundred aging boys dreaming as hard as they could." Far from negating such pleasures, the Holocaust's presence in the novel only makes them more pressing. Art, if not capable of actually fighting evil, can at least offer a gesture of defiance and hope--a way out, in other words, of a world gone completely mad. Comic-book critics, Joe notices, dwell on "the pernicious effect, on young minds, of satisfying the desire to escape. As if there could be any more noble or necessary service in life." Indeed. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Phenomenally written, larger than life novel. A literary masterpiece that is visual in nature and offers a glimpse into New York City during the comic book age. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Andrea Scaglione
Very well written written book and certainly an intriguing topic with intriguing characters set against an intriguing time period. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Glen M.
Very touching, sorry to finish it. That said a nice conclusion, I grew quite attached to the characters here in this book.Published 14 days ago by V. Beety
This deserves every star in the known and unknown universe.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is the sprawling epic tale of two Jewish cousins, one a native New... Read more
I have been falling into a reading rut lately, with most of my reading made up of fantasy. I often say that I read fantasy in order to escape reality, and that I like... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Margaret Fiore
There was too much extraneous detail that didn't seem to contribute to the overall plot. I also thought the characters where a bit dull. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Joshua A Zink
One of the best books I've ever read. I'm now teaching it to three once-reluctant college classes, and they are loving it too. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Anonymous Publisher