Hey, guys! I am so excited to talk about a book I read for my pop culture course at University. This book is a historical fiction novel that is set mainly in America and covers the timeline of the war prior to the US getting involved, during the war whenever they joined, and the aftermath of the war. I really ended up loving this book, so let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!
Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America – the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.
This book actually surprised me with how much I ended up loving it. I love historical fiction, especially when it is centered around World War II, and this actually went about it a little bit differently. This mostly takes place in America and actually shows the kind of American attitudes that were alive and well prior to us getting involved in the war, which was surprising but something I found super interesting!
This book covers basically the entire lives of cousins Josef Kavalier and Sammy Clay from young adults to old age, which is why this book is so long. It did not seem unnecessarily long because there is a lot to cover within the framework of this story. I loved the relationship between Joe and Sammy. They both ended up becoming really close, especially with their work on comic books. I also really loved the exploration of sexuality within this book because it was pre-Stonewall, so it was really interesting to see the kinds of attitudes towards homosexuality in this time, which I was not expecting at all. It probably was my favorite aspect of the whole book, actually.
Joe is a complicated character for me. It took a lot for me to really warm up to him. He is an escape artist essentially who escaped from Prague and sought Asylum with his cousins in the United States but he did have to leave his family behind. This is what plagues him throughout the whole story. Everything is about his family and him trying to find a way to get them over to the US, which actually gave us a brief glimpse into how hard that actually was to do, especially when we finally joined the war, which was also an interesting little tidbit.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and the characters, and I highly recommend this book! It was just so good.
And there you have it! That was my review of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. What is your favorite time period in history to read about? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!