To be honest I can’t really think of a lot to say this week. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a very good book. It’s a story of two Jewish boys in World War 2-era New York, cousins, who decide to make it big making comic books. It’s a story of Czech immigrant Joe Kavalier, and his conflicting desires between his new life in America, his desperate need to bring his family there from Prague, and his wishes for revenge on the Germans, lived out vicariously in his art. It’s a story of Sammy Clay, with big dreams of success, skilled at storytelling but unable to bring himself to acknowledge the value of his work or that of the medium he works in; and of his discovery of his homosexuality and difficulty living with it. It’s also an exploration of the earliest days of comic book superheroes, of their connection to the time of the war, of the struggle between the idea of comics as art and as trash.
It is an excellent, tragic – but still hopeful – book.