Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.
" 'The Escapist.' " Joe tried it out. It sounded magnificent to his unschooled ear -- someone trustworthy and useful and strong. "He is an escape artist in a costume. Who fights crime."
"He doesn't just fight it. He frees the world of it. He frees people, see? He comes in the darkest hour. He watches from the shadows. Guided only by the light from -- the light from --"
"His Golden Key."
- Excerpt from "Part II: A Couple of Boy Geniuses"
Chapter 7, p. 121
Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is about two Jewish cousins, one a native of Brooklyn and one a refugee from Nazi-invaded Czechoslovakia, who create and illustrate a superhero, the Escapist, during the Golden Age of comic books.
Chabon continues to blow me away with his prose. It's almost lyrical, and it's so detailed that it makes me feel like I'm reading a sort of comic book -- I can visualize the panels going into this book.
Besides the prose, the story itself was sure to be a winner with me: comic books, New York, World War II and nerdy Jewish boys. It's like a dream come true. Chabon handles the tale of these two boys as they grow up and deal with the mistakes of their business ventures, falling in love, dealing with their sexualities, and coming to terms with the tragedy that is happening in Europe and the USA's adamant refusal to help (until Pearl Harbour, of course). We have one boy who just wants to live out his dreams of having money and the other who harbours a revenge plan against the Germans.
The novel itself chronicles the boys from the beginning of Josef Kavalier (the Czech) coming to New York to live with his aunt and cousin (Sam Clay), which is around 19/20, until they reach their mid-thirties after the war. It tells the story of them entering the comic books industry and then leaving it, going through the war (once America joins in) and dealing with its aftermath.
Chabon has written a wonderful tale that is a love letter to the Golden Age of comics and to the people who still enjoy them today.