Saturday, November 29, 2008

Influence

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is already in Heidi's top 3 favorite books of all time, and she even said that it might eke ahead of American Gods (*gasp!*) for her. Based on this, I am reading it now, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this book DESERVED its Pulitzer Prize. This is apparent 50 pages in.

It will probably not overtake Bright Lights, Big City for me (that would be a tall order indeed), but I can see this surpassing A Prayer for Owen Meany, which is my favorite John Irving book.

Speaking of Irving, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read him again - not even to reread. Don't get me wrong, I loved his books when I was in college, but nothing since Owen Meany has really spoken to me (although A Widow for One Year came very close.) I don't know if it was a function of where I was in life when I was reading his work (early 20s) but I just devoured his novels ferociously from about 1991-1993. Everyone has experiences they wish they could do over again, and one of them for me is feeling the thrill of my first time through The World According to Garp once again. But you can't go back, so you just try to remember it. I have tried rereading Garp on several occasions, and have not been able to get past the part where Garp is stuck on the roof of the infirmary. I was so profoundly moved by that book, that every attempt at a reread just feels empty.

Anyway, I'm glad to have discovered The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Fiction is always such a tough sell with me - most times I'd rather read non-fiction. But the story has grabbed me and is not letting go this time.

1 comment:

xolondon said...

One of my faves is Object Of My Affection. A bit sweet, I know.