Don Maclean's "American Pie" told the story of rock, from its roots in the mid-50s until the end of the 1960s. A lot happened in that 15 years, it took longer than the usual pop song to describe it all.
Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" tells the story of the early days of the comic books, from the early days of World War II (before the US got directly involved) until the mid 1950s. A lot happened in that 15 years, it took longer than the usual novel to describe it all. (Over 600 pages of text 26 hours when performed on audio book). Except it's not JUST about comic books. It's about an artist who dabbled in parlor magic and escapes and was able to use that training to escape Czechoslovakia during the Nazi's reign. It's about a would-be artist who finds his true calling in writing. AND ... it's about the legendary Golem, even if the beast's appearance is brief never lose sight of the fact his shadow falls on much of the action in this book.
I definitely enjoyed the aspects of the book that involved comic book history, (enjoying the cameos by some of the field's greats of those days) and the lives of the creators. I thought that time tale of the two's lives during the US involvement in World War II was a bit, um, out there. It just didn't seem to add to the story, and served as a lengthy diversion. (Yes, it affected the two but it just felt awkward to me.)
Overall, this was an incredible investment of my time but one which I found to be an investment, rather than a waste. Good job, Mr. Chabon.
RATING: 5 stars.