Monday, October 16, 2006

amazing indeed

Over the week-end I finished reading Michael Chabon's Pulitzer prize-winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Wow. Wow. Wow. If you're looking for a feast, this is your book. It's taken me a couple of weeks to finish, not because it was slow or uninteresting but rather because the story, the language, is so delightfully dense. It's like my Mom's British Christmas cake -- so rich and full of flavour that it would be a sin to rush through it.

This is a book that begs you take your time and well rewards those willing to linger. I found myself reading sentences over again. I caught myself reading aloud in places because the music of the text was too good to waste in silence. I savoured this book over breakfast and at the beach and in bed and in stolen moments waiting for the office microwave to warm-up my lunch. It was so worth the savoring.

Chabon made me reach for a dictionary more than once, so he'd have my gratitude if had he written a story only half as satisfying. This is a truly epic tale. On the surface it's about a pair of cousins who stumble into the comic book business in New York just as the jaws of the second world war are opening to devour Europe. But just past the cover of what they are supposed to be doing lies a world of real heroes: a boy trying to save the family he left behind, a girl reaching out to an unreachable boy, a man stepping into another's responsibilities, a child speaking the words the grown-ups have forgotten how to say. It is a story of family, of struggle, of loss, of the great surprise of coming home and the paradox that sometimes the only way to truly get home is walk out of your own front door.

I had to delay the book that was next on my list and sub-in something lighter. My brain isn't ready for another serving of solid food quite yet. I'm still digesting this one. I picked up a short novel, something to cleanse the pallet. It would be disrespectful to go back to the table so soon after being so well satisfied.

1 comment:

hooliganking said...

i am amazed(and secretly relieved..psst..) to finally find someone ho has read this book and loved it as much i have. what fantastic work of art!
gr8 going1