Back when I was 16 and Barnes and Noble was still a thing, I enjoyed strolling down the aisles and picking out a book at random. Of course it wasn’t really random as I’d always pick the book whose cover intrigued me the most. On this one day strolling down the book stores shelves, I picked up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay due to the cover resembling a comic book, and as soon as I read the first page my teenage mind was blown.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a novel written by Michael Chabon set in New York City. It’s an incredible book about two cousins that create a comic book character during the Golden Age of Comic Books. Although their comic book character, The Escapist, becomes extremely popular, Josef “Joe” Kavalier and Sammy Klayman make minimal profits as most of their earnings go to the publisher. This particular narrative of the novel is based on Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – the two creators of Superman – who got completely screwed by their publisher. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay isn’t just about comic books, it’s a great character study on two intriguing young entrepreneurs as they deal with fame, family, love, and 1930’s New York City.
You don’t have to enjoy comic books to enjoy The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. It truly is a masterpiece, The New York Review of Books even called it Chabon’s magnum opus. Give this book a read, it comes highly recommended.