“Take care-there is no force more powerful than that of an unbridled imagination.”
This a long book with a dense, rich story that I simply could not put down. Chabon begins in the 1930s with the escape of a Jewish boy named Josef Kavalier from Prague, and takes us through Joe’s long journey with his cousin Sam to post-World War II New York.
When Joe comes to New York in 1939, his cousin Sammy quickly learns of Joe’s artistic ability and pitches the idea of the two of them writing comic books together. Chabon paints the picture of the Golden Age of comics beautifully — I’ve never been a comic book fan, but I loved his retelling of their beginnings. Joe, who was studying to be a magician in Prague, creates a character called the Escapist. The Escapist lives out Joe’s fantasies of destroying Nazis, at a time when most of America was turning a blind eye to the atrocities in Europe.
Chabon is an excellent writer, and I really loved these two characters. They have quite a few adventures — some good, some that left me trying not to cry. Among it all, Chabon’s descriptions of New York in the 30s and 40s make a wonderful background. Really a great book — I would highly recommend it!