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Natalie said:
I would reccomend this story to anyone, even if it wasn't as well written as it is, simply to be exposed to its odd choice of venue. On your way through this story, you'll encounter magic and escapsitry, Jewish mysticism, the Golden Age of comic books, the Holocaust in Prague, surrealism, WWII in antarctica, and it goes on.
posted Apr 9, 2004
Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
1939, Brooklyn, New York: Sammy Klayman is a short-legged bull of a boy with grandiose dreams of making it big in the burgeoning field of comic books. 1939, Prague, Czechoslovakia: Sammy’s teenage cousin Josef Kavalier is a talented artist and a student of Harry Houdini-style illusion and escape. When the Nazis rear their ugly heads, Jewish Josef makes a daring and miraculous escape to take refuge with his American relations. Sammy immediately recognizes his cousin’s talent and, by combining his knack for storytelling with Josef’s unmatched illustrative style, the duo reinvents themselves as Sam Clay and Joe Kavalier and sets out to take the comics world by storm. Their offering is Tom Mayflower, “The Escapist,” a masked hero with powers of illusion and a blossoming mythology to match that of Superman’s. The young men revel in their success and Joe has big plans to save money and rescue the rest of his family, particularly his young brother Tommy, but lovely, talented, modern Rosa Saks provides a tempting and lasting distraction. When the war begins to encroach on the romance and adventure of their lives in New York, Joe abandons his cousin and girlfriend for a stint fighting Nazis—only to find himself stationed at the top of the world in not-so-green Greenland. Sam, desperately needing a fresh start as his small comic empire crumbles beneath him, is left to be the shoulder Rosa cries on, and when the trio reunites in 1953, their lives have been irreparably altered. The reader is completely riveted through all this by the sole power of Sam and Joe and Rosa’s characters—few literary characters are more real and true than these. With Kavalier and Clay, author Michael Chabon has created a mid-century New York that is classic and perfect, complete with an entertaining history of early comic book art, a nuanced portrait of the European immigrant experience, and an exploration of the stifling gender and sexual roles of the 1940s and 50s, all wrapped up in high adventure, true love, and virtuoso storytelling. The novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner; it’s near perfect and not to be forgotten.
posted Jan 29, 2010 at 12:08AM
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main characters Joe Kavalier
Age: Young adult
Unconventional; handsome.

Sam Clay
Age: Teenager
Joe's cousin; imaginative; dreamer.

Rosa Saks
Beautiful; free-spirited.

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