Wednesday, September 27, 2006

five minute book reviews

as i mentioned a month or so ago, i think wonderboys is one of the finest, unnoticed films of the decade. after lavishing such praise on the movie, joolz encouraged me to start reading michael chabon's (who wrote the book off of which the movie is based) books. that made sense to me, so i used part of the barnes and noble gift certificate leanne and art gave me to purchase kavalier and clay.

fortunately, i was not disappointed.

kavalier and clay is an epic novel that follows josef kavalier's escape from nazi occupied prague and his subsequent life in new york city. upon arrival in the empire city he partners with his cousin sammy clay as together they create a superman-knockoff comic called the escapist. the plot is too sweeping to adequately summarize in five minutes, but, from my perspective anyway, the book is a chronicle of a young man who throughout throughout his personally tragic and professionally successful life wrestles with the advice of his mentor and master magician bernard kornblum to "focus on what you are escaping to, not on what you are escaping from." for joe kavalier, as well as for myself, alluding the entanglements of the past in order to focus on living a creative and beneficial life both in the present and into the future, is an epic struggle. this whimsical, yet weighty novel challenged me to reach towards the future without denying the tragedies and triumphs of the past. this book won the pulitzer prize for a reason. you should read it.

also purchased with the aforementioned gift card:
chuck klosterman IV. this five minute review has turned into a fifteen minute mess, so i'll just say this. klosterman has the unique ability to see and effectively communicate how everything is connected. if you're interested in reading intriguing profiles of bands like radiohead and wilco, wonder how kevin arnold's insecurities are incarnated by common americans and enjoy prose that practically demands to be consumed like crack, you'll dig klosterman.


joolz said...

Man! I'm so glad you liked it. By the way, I'm reading Caputo's Acts of Faith right now. Thank you. It's really terrific.

g13 said...

interesting that you mention caputo. i was just thinking of that book this morning. it was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.