The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

After I read the first 300 pages of this, I thought they merely went to confirm the notion I’d been harbouring since reading his Bradbury reviews, that Paul Bryant is insane. This book was unputdownable, it made me laugh out loud with what must have seemed like monotonous regularity for those around me, the subject matter, the style, the clever interaction of fact and fiction, it all supported my theory.

The fact is, however, that there were several hundred pages to go, and I ended up skimming. Not just skimming, but skimming while noting to myself that I should undertake a speed skimming course. I just couldn’t make it go fast enough. Great book until the night the story dies, the night the two boys die too. Not really die, otherwise we’d be saved the second half of the book. but inside. Ruined forever. Like the book. I’m so disappointed to be writing this about a Chabon book, he’s my hero.

As for the Pulitzer Prize: it seems to be worth about the same as the Booker and the Nobel. I can’t help wondering. It turns out it is the democratic right of any American to have their novel read for the Pulitzer. All they have to do is pay the fee involved and I’d say it is well worth it for the advertising one is able to do next ‘Read for the 20xx Pulitzer’. Sounds impressive, right? So I’m just wondering, maybe this particular year, Chabon was the only American willing to part with his hard earned.

Please do enlighten me if I’m wrong.

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9 thoughts on “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

  1. It may be that I am insane, of course, I have wondered that on various occasions, but not while I was writing my well-balanced, thoughtful and not even especially provocative review of this giant tome. I do detect that I sometimes play the role of buzzing wasp which you just can’t quite swat in your reading life…. long may it continue.

  2. I just read this book. I feel you’ve explained it perfectly. I actually made a line in the book, a line in ink, marking the last paragraph before the bad thing happened, so that if I go back and re-read the book I know where to stop.

    I really really want to like Chabon though, and have been thinking about trying some of his other writing – I gather, from your comments, that it’s worth pursuing, yes?

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