Kavalier and Clay

Kavalier and Clay

by Michael Chabon

Janet Kolodner: Loved this book.... The writing is beautiful. The story is engrossing. The characters come alive. After reading this, I read some of Michael Chabon's other books. He is one of this generation's great writers.
Rating: ****

Judy Goldman: I usually don't read books as long as this, however it had been highly recommended to me. Once I began reading I found myself engrossed and the book seemed to go quickly. I thought the characters were well developed and events of the day kept the book's timeline in perspective. It was easy to feel the elations and pains, especially of Joe and his cousin Sammy as they tried to break into the tough business of comic book illustrations and story telling. The story is told so well, I found myself wondering how much of it was true. I highly recommend this book. It has appeal for all.
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: This is a long book (648 pages) and follows the characters for approximately 15 years during the time of the Holocaust. Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish adult, escaped from Nazi-invaded Prague to land at the home of his cousin, Samuel Clay, in Brooklyn. They both are artistic and creative and together end up writing and illustrating various comic books, most notably "The Escapist." The heroes they bring to life perform dramatic acts against the Nazis, performing feats that these two men wish that they could actually perform themselves in real life against this enemy.

The main characters of this book are well-developed by the author, whose wonderful literary style is delightful. I grew to care for Sammy and Joe a lot and felt Joe's pain in his inability to get his family out of Prague and into the US. I enjoyed the earliest portion of the book most where the cousins work together and create new heroes for their comic books. I did not enjoy the middle portion of the book when Joe leaves to join the military in order to personally fight the Nazi enemy. It just seemed to drag on for too long.

Chabon brings into play a female character, the love interest of Joe, but the relationship is as complicated as Joe is. A son is born after Joe leaves for the military and Sammy steps in to take Joe's place.

I learned a lot about the golden age of Comic Books and about events that took place in the mid-1900's.  I definitely would recommend this book for people who have the time to read long novels.
Rating: ****

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