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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 is so well written it almost seems true instead of fictional. Interesting time, place and characters - I really enjoyed the entire experience.Published 19 hours ago by Paul Courchene
Friends have recommended this book. It won the Pulitzer prize. Loads of good reviews. It must be really good right? Read morePublished 2 days ago by Das Englisch von Königin
This is one of the top 10 books I've read in my life and I just finished it. Rarely have I read a book where the author makes every word mean something. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Kevin P.
A very good book, but staggeringly long, and I found myself wishing it would end several times before I finally got there. Surprised it won the Pulitzer, to be honest... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Quit after 20%. Not interested in the topic and cannot get past the page-long sentences of endless adjectives. Too much fluff for the weird story.Published 21 days ago by Raymond D Parpan
Well, this is a very long book! Very long! My book club selected it and I felt obligated to read it and while the author's style is charming and skillful, I thought there was just... Read morePublished 22 days ago by MARCIA M HUNTER
I wanted to like it but gave up by page 222. Too long. Too much information, too many story lines. It felt like a chore to keep reading. So I stopped. Read morePublished 23 days ago by dr
A big, interesting, funny, deep, satisfying novel. l couldn't stop reading and enjoying it although almost 700 pages. (Good thing it was the holiday season and l had the time. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Bob Edelson