Truth! Justice! and the American Way!
One question immediately comes to mind when people see a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: is a book almost 700 pages long worth the time? And I can think of only one reply: definitely.
There are some writers who try so hard to use highfaluting verbiage to the point that the prose only ends up sounding crude or contrived. Michael Chabon is not one of them. On the other hand, his labyrinthine sentences shine with such clarity and skill that upon reading the first paragraph, I instantly thought, ‘who is this writer?’ He is able to produce cadence with complex sentences and bring together random words into impressive similes and metaphors. His imagery is vivid, his description, detailed. One example of such excellent skill is the line “[g]ray light was smeared across the sky like ointment on a bandage.???
The plot is nonetheless a joyride of Sammy’s and Joe’s exciting travails on the ups and downs of their lives –from starting out small to making it big to confronting their own personal demons – theirs is a story replete with adventures and life lessons. Another lasting impression was Joe’s talent in liberation, which becomes intricately woven into the man’s life as he tries to overcome the pain that fate has in store for him. This very act of liberation fascinated me, because it went beyond the physical level of being able to escape from bonds and chains.
Don’t let the book’s thickness prevent you from reading it. Believe me, if you haven’t read this yet, you’re missing 700 pages of your life. This masterpiece talks about almost all aspects of life –success, fear, sexuality, guilt, joy– and therefore, of life itself. The thickness of the book actually produced a more profound impact on me, like a friend you have gotten to know so well. Suffice it to say that when I closed the book for the final time, I felt a bittersweet sadness welling inside me, an amalgamation of joy upon going through such a marvel and sadness upon reaching its end.