The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Michael Chabon

Book cover

A very enjoyable book. Michael Chabon’s writing style sits well with me, rich with vocabulary and metaphor without ever feeling overwritten, with literary devices often turned in on themselves as Bolano also does. For instance:

“[The moth:] rested, papillating its wings with a certain languor like a lady fanning herself, iridescent green with a yellowish undershimmer, as big as that languid lady’s silk clutch.”

One of the reasons I decided to read the book was that my friend Seth not only enjoyed it, but mentioned to me that he thought parts of it were evocative of our friendship. I definitely found this to be the case, beyond just the surface similarities. I’m not Joe Kavalier and he’s not Sammy Clay, but speaking for myself at least, I see a lot of relevant character traits in Kavalier.

Fred Wilson said this was one of the best books to read if you’re interested in being an entrepreneur, by which, he clarified, it was one of the best books to read to learn about human nature, and the best way to become a good entrepreneur or a good anything is to learn a lot about human nature. I definitely see where he was coming from, though K&C is probably not one of the very top books I’ve ever read in this regard. It does deal quite a bit with friendship, which is one of my favorite topics and one that is rarely treated well in serious literature. Also an interesting companion to “Watchmen” as a commentary on the role of heroes in the popular and individual mind.

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars