I recently finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by the amazing and illustrious Michael Chabon. I don’t even know if I should bother reviewing this book because everything I could possibly say would just pale in comparison to the magnificent scope and breadth of this novel.
It’s a novel about many things, but predominantly it covers the rise and golden age of comic books, magic, illusion, and escapism, and World War II and the plight of the Jewish people. The story takes place in WWII era New York, focusing on the relationship and partnership between two cousins: Joseph Kavalier and Sam “Sammy” Clay (Klayman). Kavalier is a refugee, having escaped from Prague via Japan, leaving his family trapped in the gradual decay induced by Nazi occupation. Clay is a New Yorker with big dreams, chief among them making it big with his drawing schemes. Both of them are artists, but Joe is the more talented of the two with years of study under his belt (among other skills, i.e., picking locks and escaping from bonds: talents learned under the tutelage of the magician Bernard Kornblum). Sam is the story guy. Between the two of them they come up with the idea for a comic book character called the Escapist and manage to get Sam’s employer to invest.
I just finished the third season of Veronica Mars. What follows will be somewhat of a review, but mostly a dumping of my feelings. There may be spoilers. Peruse at your own risk.
I like watching the entirety of a show in what feels like one sitting. Say what you will about binge watching, but I believe there is no greater way to get an intense and slightly obsessive attachment to a collection of fictional characters. It also helps when the show in question has amazing actors with delicious on screen chemistry, sharp, clever writing, and inventive, intriguing plot points.
It is infrequent that I find a book that so readily captures my mind, spirit, and heart. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is not so much a book you read, as a book that basically reads itself. I found myself racing through it, anxious to find out what happens next and giddy in a way I have not been in a long while. I would describe my passion in reading this book akin to how I feel when reading Harry Potter. This is the highest praise I can award any work of fiction.
The world of Ready Player One takes place in a not-so-distant dystopian future in which the world’s fossil fuels have been seriously depleted. Poverty is everywhere and the quality of life for many Americans and people the world over is pretty bad. But at least there is the OASIS. Created by video game genius and notorious recluse James Halliday, the OASIS is a completely immersive, interactive digital environment that has in many ways superceded reality not only in the United States, but also the world over. Upon his death, Halliday announced a contest, an Easter egg of sorts hidden inside the OASIS. The first person to complete the entirety of the challenge would inherit his entire fortune (a massive multibillion dollar fortune) and control of the most powerful technology in the world.