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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 about two young men who create graphic books together. This is the second time I have bought this book. This one is for my artistic grandson. Read morePublished 14 days ago by MaryAnn Dodd
Jews and especially homosexuals guaranteed it a contemporary Pulitzer win. Okay book, but not as good as its cover.Published 17 days ago by Dale Lund
captivating look at a different aspect of the war years and New YorkPublished 19 days ago by michael vincent
Chabon has the most free-flowing and free-wheeling descriptive writing style I have had the good fortune to encounter. Wonderfully rich and dazzingly complex. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Doug Crawford
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I was thrilled by the action, charmed by the beauty of Chabon's language and touched by the experiences of his characters. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Heart L.
Terriblly boring and corny. I would not recommend this onlybifbyou have trouble slleeping, it will put you to sleep very quickly !Published 26 days ago by Raoul Hurwitz
This was my introduction to Michael Chabon. I'd always heard he was a good writer, but I was intimidated to start his books because their length. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Yahkov
Michael Chabon's a magician with a distinctive and at times baroque vocabulary and an outsized and outrageous imagination. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rieja
In Telegraph Ave., Chabon exuded fluency in every LP issued from the 1940s through 80s. In Kavalier & Clay, it's every comic book published
--or dreamed of---from the 1920s... Read more