What do you get when you throw together four people who absolutely love a book? If the book is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (my all-time favorite), you get episode 27 of the Murmur.com podcast. This week, I Skyped it up with Ali, Paul and Dave to chat about the fifth book in the Murmur book club. And, oh man, did we ever gush.
Here’s a description of the extra-long episode from Murmur.com.
Ten years ago Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer for a novel celebrating the Golden Age of comics and the art of escape. What’s so special about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay? In Murmur’s latest book club discussion, Paul, Ali, Josh Christie and David Accampo discuss this sprawling book, its themes, and all it says about love and comics.
You can listen to the discussion right on the podcast post, or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or by RSS.
If you enjoy our discussion of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, you can check out our previous book club chats in episodes 15, 18, 21 and 24. You can also join in our discussion of our next book, Mary Roach’s Stiff, if you’re so inclined.
Wondering where all the updates have been? Well, I’ve been reading. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. Here’s a look at the books that have been capturing my time and attention.
Kraken by China Miéville
“An everyday doomsayer in sandwich-board abruptly walked away from what over the last several days had been his pitch, by the gates of a museum. The sign on his front was an old-school prophecy of the end: the one bobbing on his back read FORGET IT.”
London is full of cults, religious sects, and magic-users – and they’re all preparing for the end of the world. This is the world readers are thrown into at the beginning of Kraken, the new novel from “weird fiction” auteur China Miéville. Miéville deftly juggles a large cast of characters and multiple points of view, but we see London chiefly through the eyes of Billy Harlow, curator of the Darwin Museum in England. When the star attraction of the museum – the massive nine-meter-long titular squid – goes mysteriously missing, Billy is sucked into London’s Lovecraftian underworld by the squid-worshiping Krakenists, the police’s Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime unit, and a cavalcade of magical and just-slightly-magical oddballs. The book meanders a bit in it’s 500+ pages, but creates a rich world – each mysterious sect provides enough fodder for entire novels. Highly recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami and other purveyors of the fantastic.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
“Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free. Ancient asbestos fibers and mouse grit puffed up around him as the wire tore loose.”
Paolo Bacigalupi’s young adult novel Ship Breaker is my favorite pirate story in recent memory – and I didn’t even realize it was a pirate story until two-thirds of the way through the book. The surprisingly prescient book takes place in a near-future American Gulf Coast, in a world where the polluted ocean has destroyed many coastal cities and fossil fuels are an artifact of the past. Teams of youths scavenge the wrecked ships of the Gulf, pulling copper and other valuable materials for their bosses. The protagonist, Nailer, is a “light crew” member who hopes to one day escape his life of hard labor and his incredibly abusive father, and the book begins with his discovery of a rich girl who might be his golden ticket. Bacigalupi keeps the action-packed book moving at a lightning pace, and is smart enough to weave the backbone of the dystopia into the novel without any clumsy or unnecessary exposition. Head-and-shoulders above the young adult post-apocolyptica that is quickly becoming a bit too crowded. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Reviews, View All Posts
Tagged Books, china miéville, gary shteyngart, kraken, lost states, Michael Chabon, michael trinklein, paolo bacigalupi, Reviews, ship breaker, super sad true love story, the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay, wednesday comics
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“Oh, I don’t read comic books.”
I hear this painfully often working at a bookstore. While comics aren’t a genre like science fiction, fantasy, mystery or romance, they are often ghettoized in the same way as “genre fiction” in the minds of readers. Especially as a fan of the medium (and a fan of genre work, for that matter), it hurts to hear this opinion thrown around.