the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay-michael chabon

“Consequently, the comic book, almost immediately upon its invention, or soon thereafter, began to languish, lacking purpose or distinction. There was nothing here one could not find done better, or cheaper, somewhere else (and on the radio one could have it for free).” (77)

“To Joe, at the moment, it was the smell of victory. New York never looks more beautiful than to a young man who has just pulled off something he knows is going to knock them dead.” (165)

“Those who make their living flirting with catastrophe develop a faculty of pessimistic imagination, of anticipating the worst, that is often all but indistinguishable from clairvoyance.” (16)

“As with all great salesmen, Anapol’s past comprehended tragedy and disappointment.” (80)

this one was a custo pick, and i appreciated chabon‘s talent a lot while reading it. i had the feeling for most of the book that i didn’t really know what was going on. but it flowed well, so i will take that as a sign of his talent. it wasn’t so much that i didn’t know what was going on, it was that i felt like i was waiting for the other shoe to drop, that there was a subtext that i wasn’t quite seeing. the topic and themes were riveting though, as i couldn’t really bring myself through telegraph avenue, but that was probably because i should’ve taken a break in between. damn completist tendencies. i should really make better use of the library’s hold system. speaking of libraries, the chicago public library has chosen this one as their “one book”, i’m kind of jealous that they get such good picks (two years ago was isabel wilkerson‘s)

the ladies:

“The natural fragrance of her body was a spicy, angry smell like that of fresh pencil shavings.” (5)

“The speaker was a woman of about fifty, dressed in a green sateen housecoat and matching green mules. Two younger women stood behind her, wearing hard expressions and ornate kimonos, but the woman in green was the one holding the gun.” (46)

and the love/longing:

“This love, thawing, gave off a rich mastodon odor of the past.” (570)

“Sammy felt, that morning, with his ribs bruised and a wan flavor of chlorine at the back of his mouth, that he would rather not love at all than be punished for loving. He had no idea of how long his life would one day seem to have gone on; how daily present the absence of love would come to feel.” (420)

“Only his relationship with Tommy, in spite of the recent light frost of irony and distance, remained unpredictable, alive. It was thick with regret and pleasure.” (474)

“As with many lonely children, his problem was not solitude itself but that he was never left free to enjoy it.” (516)

movie pairing: god bless america

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