5/28/12

The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

First of all, I have a confession to make.  When I pick up a book and see that "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" sticker, it almost immediately makes me dislike the book.  That's not to say that I dislike all award winners (I'm slowly working my way through the Printz award winners), but sometimes Pulitzer prize stickers just remind me of some of the terrible books that I had to read in university.  Although, there is an exception: I LOVED Middlesex, and it's a Pulitzer prize winner as well.

I won't say that I loved Kavalier & Clay as much as I loved Middlesex, but I was pleasantly surprised by the book.  It had its moments where I was mesmerized by the storyline, such as when Kavalier came up with an elaborate plot to escape Czechoslovakia.  Then there were other moments that I felt I was forcing myself to continue reading, anxious for the next part of the story that would draw me in and keep the pages turning.  In the book's defense, I started reading this book on a bus trip home at the beginning of May, then put the book aside in favour of finishing a pile of library books that had short loan periods.  When I returned back to the book, I had six days to finish the remaining five hundred pages.  This is probably a better book for savouring because of the pace of the story, rather than rushing to finish it, as I did.  Unfortunately, I was the only book club member to actually finish the book, so we didn't get the chance to talk much about it.

The book ebbed and flowed, like the tide, and held me captive in certain moments.  It was definitely a change of pace for me to read a "grown-up" book for a chance, after a diet of only YA over the last little while.  It was refreshing to reach for the dictionary now and then to look up the occasional word, but I think I have grown accustomed to the pacing of YA literature and I am now finding that books without that pacing are a more difficult read.   Regardless, Kavalier & Clay is a really great story of what is means to realize "The Great American Dream" and Chabon is a very talented writer. 

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