My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am far from the first person to have loved this book, and I certainly won't be the last. If you haven't read it yet, stop reading this review and go check it out from your public library. It's been around for awhile, so it should be relatively easy to find.
The concept itself is pretty simple: an American boy and his Czech cousin, an escapee from Nazi annexation, develop a comic-book superhero in the 1940s. But this story has some of the most wide-ranging and well-developed side plots I've ever seen in a novel. We get to witness Josef's extensive training in magic, à la Houdini, and his eventual escape inside a coffin holding a giant corpse rumored to have been a golem. We attend a cocktail party featuring Salvador Dali in a scuba-diving suit. We experience a period of wartime service -- in Antarctica of all places -- complete with frozen corpses and trusty sled dogs, that could probably have stood alone as a separate book.
|Wait, am I reading about comic-book heroes or sled dogs?|
|If it's all the same to you, though, I'd prefer an Aviation to a glass of bourbon and ice, thanks.|
Poor Judy Dark! Poor little librarians of the world, those girls, secretly lovely, their looks marred forever by the cruelty of a pair of big black eyeglasses.Clearly, Michael Chabon did not anticipate hipsters.
|My favorite hipster. Also, meme + font joke = win.|
Photo from fuckyeahhipsterariel.tumblr.com
Although the man's parachute was far beyond his reach, the man was smiling, and pouring a cup of tea from an elaborate plummeting tea service, as if oblivious of his predicament, or as if he thought he had all the time in the world before he would hit the ground.I want to name something Elaborate Plummeting Tea Service. I really do. It's probably too unwieldy for my entirely fictitious punk rock band, though.