Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Kavalier & Clay, posted August 29, 2006 at 11:11 AM

I'm just finishing Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It's my second time through it--I read it when it first came out (in 2000), and I'm loving it just as much this time as last time. It's about comic strip writers during the 1940s, something I have no particular interest in (though classic modernist 20th-century New York is itself a major character in the book and that I do have a particular interest in). I decided to re-read it because I read recently that a movie's being made and I wanted to solidify my own imaginings of these great characters before having someone else's imaginings of them distort my memory of the book. (In my mind's eye, the character of Joe is embodied by an old flame--Francesco, though he was from Ravenna, not Prague, but he was, like the character of Joe, mysterious and dark and moody and a stranger in New York). The movie's being directed by Stephen Daldry, who made Billy Elliot and The Hours, so it should probably be done well, at least. If you like a story that sucks you in and brings a whole other world to life, this book is for you.

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