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Darrel Manson

For fans of Kavalier and Clay

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In May the first issue of The Escapist will come out. It's going to have stories based on the comic book character created by K & C in the novel, written by various writers in a graphic novel form.

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Guest Russell Lucas

Yeah, it was delayed from December. Can't wait.

Derrel, did you read his youth baseball book? Enjoy it?

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Speaking of Kavalier and Clay - I just picked up this book. I've only read the first 20 pages or so, but I'm already engrossed by the style of Chabon's writing.

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I'm reading Kavalier and Clay right now and am loving it (I'm around pg. 100). As a big comic book reader, I'll definitely be picking that up.

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ooh! i adored "kavalier and clay," which i read this past winter. i have mixed feelings about an actual escapist comic, though--can it possibly live up to the one i've imagined in my mind?!

are chabon fans aware that he has a new book on the way out? here's the summary from the amazing website of kavalier & clay (which has lots of other helpful news bites, too):

THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION

Formerly known as Hotzeplotz. ... Imagine if FDR had given the Jews Alaska rather than Israel. Laugh if you want, but it was a real plan at one point, and had the citizens of Alaska (then a territory) not rejected the idea, we might be living in an entirely different world today. In a New York Metro interview, Chabon revealed that "It's a thriller set in an alternate reality where, instead of a Hebrew-speaking Jewish state in the Middle East, there's a Yiddish-speaking Jewish state in lower Alaska." The protagonist is a Jewish detective, married to an Eskimo, who tries to solve a murder in the community.

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My wife and I are reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union during our after dinner reading. We're both really enjoying it. Every so often whoever is reading will just stop to mention a sentence that we just love how well written it is, or what a great simile he's used.

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Anyone read Wonder Boys? The ebook is cheap right now at Barnes & Noble and I'm thinking of adding it to my library. I've never seen the film version, for whatever that's worth.

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Christian,

 

It's been a while since I've read it, so my memory is hazy, but Wonder Boys isn't an essential Chabon. It's fun to read as a fan of his, just to trace his beginnings as a novelist, but it's not great. It has his signature prose, interesting (if intensely unlikable) characters, but is a bit too self absorbed in constantly calling attention to its own brand of zany, serendipitous black comedy/meta commentary on writing. I certainly don't think you'd regret buying/reading it, but I don't think you'd regret not buying/reading it. If the price is great, like under $5 or so, I'd say Chabon's prose would be worth it.

 

FWIW, the film version isn't very comparable; much more muted and loses a lot of the book's charm (which wasn't in high supply to begin with), in exchange for more comedy and less introspection. 

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