The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Group Read (May)

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Group Read (May)

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Edited: May 1, 2013, 10:24pm

Edited: May 1, 2013, 10:30pm

It's May!
Feel free to join this small (but growing) group of folks going back and reading this 156th most popular work in Library Thing. Published in 2000, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001.

May 1, 2013, 11:05pm

My cover is the top left one! I'm going to start in about a week--I've a few other books in front of it.

May 1, 2013, 11:10pm

I have that cover, too, Roni. And I will also be starting a little further into the month. I'm just getting started in Flight Behavior, so the amazing adventures will have to wait a few days. :-)

May 1, 2013, 11:12pm

I'll pick up my copy from the library this Saturday and get started. I think the cover is the bottom one. I'll post the cover on my thread this weekend.

May 1, 2013, 11:14pm

It'll probably be mid-month before I get started - but I'm looking forward to it!

May 1, 2013, 11:15pm

Yay! Roberta and Dejah, so glad you're joining in!

May 2, 2013, 6:59am

For what it's worth, one of my colleagues, who loves this book, has warned me that the first 100 pages are slow going.

May 2, 2013, 10:25am

8: I actually had more problems in the middle. The book continuously shifts between magic realism and ordinary realism. Depending on which style you're more comfortable with, I think different parts of the books give more or less trouble.

Looking forward to seeing folks comments on the book. I think it's an extremely worthwhile read.

May 2, 2013, 11:47am

I'll be following along on the thread - this is one of my all-time favorite books. I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did!

May 2, 2013, 12:02pm

I'm in too and will start it as soon as I finish the book I'm now reading UNLESS a book I'm on the waiting list at the library shows up. Either way, I'll start next week sometime.

May 2, 2013, 3:39pm

I am so excited to finally be getting to this one - I have had it on my shelves forever. My cover looks like the one second from the left, and it has deckled edge pages! You know how I love those!

May 3, 2013, 3:54pm

We've got a good group going. I look froward to our conversations!

May 4, 2013, 2:20pm

Really, I have such a stack of books I need to be reading, that I tried very hard to ignore this group read. But the book kept glaring at me from the shelf, and when I picked it up to hide it, it leapt onto the pile.

I'll try to keep up.....

May 4, 2013, 2:21pm

650 pages??? Y'all are killing me...

Edited: May 4, 2013, 6:06pm

I just picked up my copy from the library. I doesn't look that long but it is! I'm glad I didn't know before I signed up for this. LOL

ETA: I'm examining the typeset. It really is easy on the eye and has lots of space between lines and in the margins. If it had been a different typeset it may have been a shorter book. I think it is going to read a lot faster than I initially thought.

May 4, 2013, 10:38pm

I'll peek in on this one. I liked it a lot when I read it.

May 4, 2013, 11:15pm

I just bought a copy of this one today at a book sale so I will try to join the group read!

May 5, 2013, 10:02am

I've got it from the library. I have a couple books to finish for my book club and such then I'll get started.

May 7, 2013, 10:41am

I started with the first two chapters last evening. I need to pace myself as I have several books going right now.

May 7, 2013, 11:06pm

I'm a few chapters in. I've got a couple other books on the fire too, but am enjoying it so far. Love the golem.

May 8, 2013, 12:16am

I have finished Part I. Not what I was expecting - but in a good way! - this story has managed to suck me in. I have to say that I was a bit confused about the golem, but that was more fully explained as I read further on, so no more confusion. I love Chabon's writing, although I do admit I need a dictionary nearby for the odd word that escapes my vocabulary. Looking forward to diving into Part II tomorrow night!

May 8, 2013, 12:56am

I've got a couple to get out of the way first--I think mid-week will see me start it.

May 8, 2013, 10:21am

>15 tloeffler: Yep, I guess it means time for us to get a move on, eh? :-)

May 8, 2013, 10:27am

Okay, I started. I have read the first two chapters, so far, and I love the writing style.

May 8, 2013, 10:20pm

I'll start it tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it:)

May 10, 2013, 9:58am

I started reading last night and so far it's quite enjoyable. The tone is reminding me of The Brothers K which I read eons ago and loved.

May 10, 2013, 2:56pm

I am about a hundred pages in and enjoying it more than I thought I would. I also have Brothers K on the shelf so I might need to move that one up a bit.

May 11, 2013, 10:50am

I have made it through the first 200 pages of this one and need to take a break from the book.... I am starting to lose interest in it. The writing is still well done and the detail is superb but I need a change of pace for the weekend.

May 12, 2013, 12:33am

29 I've been struggling with it too. I almost pearl ruled it on page 47 when I hit the prostitutes. He has an odd style - for example, the stops to give us historical information about comic books that post-dates the time period the book takes place in. That's deliberately breaking the pace and taking the reader out of the story. I think that sort of thing is peculiar to Chabon's writing style, and some people will love it and some people will hate it.

May 12, 2013, 7:17pm

I took a mini break to read Sandman Volume 5. I had a shift today so I will pick this up again tomorrow.

May 12, 2013, 7:46pm

I am having a similar experience. How can I both love and be bored with a book at the same time? I keep wanting to take a little break and read something else. And I'm only on page 120.....

May 13, 2013, 6:46am

I picked it up, I read 70+ pages, I put it down, I wandered off, I read sandman 9&10, I bought a shiny book (literally - the shining girls) I may not finish this...

May 13, 2013, 7:01am

This book certainly does not have a nice, linear plot. It jumps around, not only among characters and times but between action adventure and mainstream suburban angst fiction. So if you're not finding the characters compelling enough to want to know what happens to them next, even if it's not very interesting at the moment, there's no reason to continue. I personally found the two cousins super interesting and really wanted to know what happened to them.

May 13, 2013, 7:32pm

^ well put. I do want to find out what happens to them so I'll hang in there. The nonlinear plot doesn't bother me; I just think I'm distractable these days.

May 13, 2013, 10:08pm

I'm actually a little more than halfway through now and am finding the story to be quite compelling.

May 13, 2013, 11:12pm

Non linear usually works well for my monkey brain. I still haven't got past the first two chapters. Lots of other books to wrap up (monkey brain again) and RL is interfering.

I'll be back...

May 15, 2013, 12:15am

I've been reading a couple of chapters a day and am currently finishing up Chapter 10 of Part II, where they are in the middle of putting together their first comic book. I'm enjoying it, although I haven't seen yet where this book ends up being considered speculative fiction.

May 15, 2013, 9:02am

38: Er, there was the golem in the first section. There's more stuff coming up.

May 16, 2013, 1:30am

Ooh, Interesting.
I just got a library book against my own reading schedule which I am bookhorning in, but I might start this as well, as Id hate to miss out on the party here. It sounds like it is out of my comfort zone re: magical realism etc, but I want to knock it off.

May 16, 2013, 8:56pm

I finished and REVIEWED the book and have to say I pretty much loved it. It took a while to get into (OK, a couple hundred pages) but still, it was a compelling read.

May 20, 2013, 2:04pm

One of my colleagues loves this book and has encouraged me to read it for years. He told me it had a slow start, but I was engrossed right away. I love Chabon's style and sense of humor. And I love his description. For example, Joe has "wide-set blue eyes half a candle too animated by sarcasm to pass for dreamy." How great is that?

I'm about 200 pages in and love it so far. I actually like the nonlinear plot.

May 25, 2013, 12:07am

Okay, I'm back into the novel and giving it my all. It's actually quite good....

May 26, 2013, 3:08pm

I did some good reading yesterday while waiting in line at the Mariners game. I'm about halfway through and the plot is thickening in an interesting way. I'm glad I didn't Pearl Rule it.

May 26, 2013, 4:19pm

Glad to see you have hit the halfway mark and it is getting interesting! I need to get back to it....

May 26, 2013, 7:43pm

I love the portrayal of the friendship between Joe and Sammy.

And Chabon's descriptions are great:
"Three quarters of an hour later, with a trembling, all but invisible hint of blue light in the air, there was the sounds of a car horn from the street below. He washed out his coffee cup, laid in in the drying rack, wiped his hands on the towel, and kissed his aunt goodbye... she sat down in a chair, with its festive pattern of pineapples and bananas, and covered her face with her hands."

Sometimes the comic book world descriptions get a bit too detailed, but overall, I find that pretty interesting.

May 28, 2013, 12:24am

The second half of this novel is spectacular! I'm on page 450 and I can hardly put it down to go to bed. I agree that the portrayal of the friendship between the cousins is satisfying, and each of the characters is developing in an interesting way. Beth, I read that scene that you quoted in #46 earlier this evening and I agree that Chabon's writing is quite captivating.

*Slight Spoiler Alert*: The series of scenes in Antarctica are gripping and funny and poignant.

May 28, 2013, 7:57am

Yes, Antarctica stands out -- another great description: "They ... spent the winter being chewed by the molars of the Weddell Sea..."

Tommy is another great character.

May 28, 2013, 7:32pm

I loved the book and thought the Antarctica part was gripping but I also thought it could easily have been left out. It just seems totally unconnected from the rest of the book.

May 29, 2013, 12:10pm

I still haven't been able to get to this book. I do like what I have read so far. I need to return it to the library but I will get back to it and report my thoughts when I finish it.

May 29, 2013, 12:57pm

I finished it last night. It's a book I will think about for a long time. The writing was beautiful, the characters well written, and the comics info fascinating.

May 29, 2013, 9:06pm

I haven't found time to return to this one - I have been stalled at the 200 page mark since the first part of May - but I do intend to get back to it, and will report back with my further thoughts.

Jul 22, 2013, 12:21pm

There are some features of this book that I'd love to discuss but they would be spoilers. Is anyone who finished it still interested in discussing it? Should we start a Spoilers thread?

Jul 22, 2013, 11:01pm

I would think that since this thread is a few months old, we might be okay to discuss it here and mark it as 'spoiler'. Most people are finished or gave up judging by the comments.

Jul 23, 2013, 9:18am


The oddest part of the book for me was the sequence in Antarctica. I wasn't sure why Antarctica? Does this have something to do with comic books (I wasn't allowed to read comic books as a child so I'm not really familiar with a lot of comic book tropes)?