I don’t read much fiction. I’m currently listening to the final book of the Dark Tower series by Steven King, but the current book queue is all non-fiction. I picked up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon on the strength of Wonder Boys (the movie, but I hoped it indicated good things about Chabon in general) and the fact that it won the Pulitzer. I bought it in an airport book store, so I may have jet lag to thank as well.
It’s a fantastic book, full of high adventure, nostalgia and clever homages. I’ve tried to read Underworld by Don DeLillo three times, and abandoned it after 100 pages or so. I feel like Kavalier & Clay is Underworld-lite. The book also seems to be that increasingly-rare commodity–a popular novel written for men.
I’m a shite book reviewer. Here’s a review from Salon:
Many contemporary issues — homosexuality, the role of women in the arts, censorship, anti-Semitism — are addressed, though never with the cloying revisionism that can bog down books that try to use history as a Parable for Our Time. This is definitely New York, the old-school version. In the fusion of dashing young men in fresh new $12 suits, the smell of newsprint and burned coffee and laundry, and the courage to face unrelenting evil with pluck and humor, Chabon has created an important work, a version of the 20th century both thrillingly recognizable and all his own.
And here’s one from the Guardian for the paperback edition. Coincidentally, it connects the book to Don DeLillo as well. Read the reviews, and if you haven’t, read the book. You won’t be disappointed.
Incidentally, there’s apparently a film adaptation in production.