Received: Bought own copyRelease Date: January 8, 2008 (this edition)
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One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his arduous, nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved.
So begins the friendship and partnership that will create The Escapist, a comic strip about a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed around the world. It makes their fortune and their name but Joe can think of only one thing: how an he effect a real-life escape for his family from the tyranny of Hitler?
This book has been on my TBR list for the longest time, but it's such a large book that it was hard to find the time to actually pick it up, so I was happy when I got some time off work that I set this book aside specifically to read then. There is definitely a lot to this book, but even with the weight and the many descriptions the story itself makes it difficult to stop reading.
The book opens up with Kavalier and Clay meeting for the first time as Josef has just arrived in New York and Sam comes home to find him in his room, from there an unlikely friendship between these two cousins soon grows into a beautiful partnership. I really enjoyed watching these two grow and work together and seeing how close they become that they would be there for each other through everything.
I found myself getting very caught up in the emotions that Chabon brings out in the book. You really get a sense of what Josef is going through and Chabon really tugs at your heart as we watch him doing everything to bring his family to New York. What was really interesting was how the emotions came out through Josef's drawings of The Escapist and all his escapades, readers really see the anger with the Nazi's and what Josef wishes he can do in real life. This is a huge book, but Chabon really brings to life everything that happens and it takes place over such a long amount of time.
What really caught my attention with this book was the way the story is told through the life of comic books as well. You really see how something so small affected a nation in such a large way. I really enjoyed getting the history of how comic books came around and how these two boys changed things with their great idea of a superhero.
I also really enjoyed the character of Rosa, she was a great secondary character that helps Josef through a lot of things, the romance between her and Joe was beautiful and really grows through the book. But she also adds to Sam's story and really it feels like a great threesome when these characters are all together. Chabon really brings about a great story of friendship helping get you through the tough times.
This is a book I definitely recommend, just because of the emotions Chabon brings about. He really does a beautiful job bringing his story to life. Readers need to set aside a good amount of time to get through this hefty book, but it is a story that will stay with you long after you have read it.
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