Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & ClayThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really had no idea what The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was about when I started reading. It had been on my “to-read” list for quite awhile and I randomly decided to grab it from Audible.

I can’t help but think that a three star review seem awfully negative, but, really, I liked the novel; I just didn’t love it.

Michael Chabon’s work is undeniably well written, the characters are incredibly realistic, as is the setting. If I didn’t know any better, I would believe that Chabon grew up in New York City in the 1940s. He must have done an incredible amount of research to pull off the setting so convincingly.

Perhaps because the audiobook was split up into three files, the novel felt to me like it had three acts. The first act was really an introduction to the characters and their business endeavors, the second act was largely a love story, and the third was the war and beyond. I could elaborate, but I’ll refrain to avoid spoilers.

I really liked the first act. It was really interesting to see how Sammy and Joe take part in the birth of superhero comics, and The Escapist was frankly awesome. I also largely enjoyed the second act. I found Rosa to be interesting, quirky, and a wonderful compliment to the existing cast of characters.

My biggest issue was the third act. I just didn’t enjoy it very much. I understand why Chabon chose for the story to go the way it did, but it started to wear on me and finishing the story became a bit of a slog, especially because the conclusion was both expected and inevitable, but not particularly satisfying.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel, especially the parts about The Escapist, but it wasn’t my favorite and I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. I think this one takes more of a patient reader than some of the novels that I tend to like.

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