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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

This is one of those books that is written very well, but just isn't mine to love. You know what I mean, right? The plot is expertly orchestrated, the characters are interesting, the language is vivid, and the pacing is not bad, but overall I was frankly bored with the story. My lack of excitement was particularly evident in the first hundred pages or so and the last couple hundred. You can probably attribute it to my indifference to comic books and my misgivings about WWII-based lit. Where the book shined, I thought, was in those pages where Sammy and Joe are navigating the business, learning about each other and themselves, when they're discovered love and testing their convictions. I would've been just as pleased—though slightly taken aback—had the book ended with Part Four.


All that being said, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was great for a good three-hundred pages in the middle. Outside of that, I cannot in good conscience say it wasn't well written. Therefore, think of my four-star rating not so much as “I rather enjoyed this book,” but more as an acknowledgment of the skill involved. It may be slightly misleading, but I do hate to give low ratings to books that in no way deserve it.