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Adventures of Kavalier and Clay


Buckeye
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Wow. What a great book. If this doesn't classify as a Great American Novel I don't know what does.

 

In the vein of Ragtime and Forrest Gump we have fictional characters being put in real historical sitautions with real historical characters (Salvadore Dali and Uta Hagen spring to mind).

 

Anyways the book focuses around Joseph Kavalier a refugee from Nazi invaded Prague. He's also a trained excape artist as well as a painter. He ends up staying with his cousin a comic devotee of such titles as Actions Comics and Detective Comics. Together they create The Escapist (based on Superman with the ability to break out of any trap who has promised to free anyone living under wrongful improsonment).

 

The comic storylines and characters are etched out in the form of a rough outline giving quick character sketches as well as the main plot (without the visuals it reads like a comic during these sections). But the main storyline focuses on the characters of Joe Kavalier and Same Clay.

 

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you're afan of the Wonder Boys or any other of Michael Chabon's work, then check this out! Also, you can check out the author's webpage www.michaelchabon.com , which is a pretty decent website where he gives his fans an insiders view of what it's like to be a famous writer (for instance, he was slated to write the X-Men film but didn't feel he was doing it justice and gave up, saying it would be an impossibility; eventually X-Men got made without him and he saw it and was very impressed and let down by his own shortcominmgs).

 

Also, they recently released actual comic versions (in one 20 dollar trade paperback collection) of the actual comics featuring The Escapist as well as other Kavalier and Clay creations (as realized by Chabon himself as well as comic notables Neil Gaimen and Will Eisner).

 

Great stuff.

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