Heart

Kavalier & Clay

I finished reading Kavalier & Clay! Come talk to me about it! :D

I did not expect this book would end up hitting me so hard in the FAMILY FEELS at the end there. omg.

I wanted Sammy to stay, but I think it's also clearer to the reader than it is to Joe & Rosa (because they care about him too much to be objective) why he feels so trapped by his life, and why he has to leave and try making a new life for himself elsewhere. It's abundantly clear, though, that he has a place with them if he wants it, and that all of them (Tommy included) still think of him as family. (Further complicating things, aren't he and Rosa still legally married at this point?)

Besides, given the way changes of fortune/changes of mind in this book tend to go, he could be back TOMORROW.

So I will just think happy thoughts about Sammy having a good, or at least fulfilling, life in LA, NOT running afoul of the McCarthyists too badly, staying in touch with Joe and Rosa and Tommy, and being able to come see them whenever he wants. Meanwhile Joe and Rosa are basically Will Eisner, making groundbreaking comics for grown-ups at Empire Comics, and Sammy collaborates with them sometimes. AND NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO ANY OF THEM EVER. LA LA LA LA.

Those of you who've read it: what did you think of the ending?

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I have not read the book but I could not help noticing certain similarities in this description to White Collar...heh.
haha! I hadn't really thought about that. In a way, though, you're right ... I mean, not to spoil it too badly for you, but the cast ultimately ends up becoming this sweet little OT3 family involving a couple and their friend/family member. It really hit all my family happy spots. <3
I looove, love, love this book! Love it!

I was kind of glad when Sammy got away at the end. Not got away, but you know. I think Joe and Rosa had a chance at a good life and they should take it. And I think Sammy could have a chance at something being real out west.
This book was so much fun! I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did. I can tell it's going to stick with me for a long time.

And yeah, I agree about Sammy. Like I said in a comment below, as much as I wanted to see him being part of Joe and Rosa's family, he really would've always felt like a third wheel, and he needed to go out and find a future and a love of his own. I feel confident that he will. :)
Did you get an edition with the few extra stories? A couple are set later. It's not quite "nothing bad happens to any of them ever," but overall, they have good lives. I think Sam gets that fulfilling life, and it's what he needs. I knew he was going to leave. I kind of wanted him to stay, but I simultaneously wanted him to go, because I think he'd only ever feel an extra wheel with Joe and Rosa, and he needs to make his own relationships. HE gets that in the end.

I was not only satisfied with the ending, I was relieved! So many bad things had happened at that point that I kept fearing that it would end badly. I knew from the start that Joe would never get his family there. I knew Thomas's ship wouldn't make it, I knew his parents wouldn't make it—I didn't know how, but I knew that he was just never going to see them again. That's why it was so hard for me to read, especially the part where he finds out his dad has died.

If I'd read it a year earlier, I think I'd have enjoyed it a lot more. I could appreciate it at multiple levels, but I just couldn't enjoy it as much as I'd have liked.

I'm glad you could.
omg, I had NO IDEA there were extra stories! My book doesn't have them. I'll have to get my hands on those; maybe the library has a copy that has them. :D Thank you for letting me know!

... and yeah, I agree about Sam. As much as I wanted to see him be part of their family, he always would have felt like a third wheel, and I'm really glad that he went out and found his own.

I can also see why it would've brought up bad memories. *hugs*
We got a 2012 Random House trade paperback edition of the book; here's the info on the extra stories as copied from the title page verso:
"Breakfast in the Wreck" was originally published as "An Untold Tale of Kavalier & Clay: Breakfast in the Wreck" in The Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 2004)
"The Return of the Amazing Cavalieri" was first published in McSweeney's no. 7.
"The Crossover" was originally published as "Introduction" in The Escapists (Dark Horse Books, 2007)
"Fifty Dollars Takes it Home" was originally published as "A Postscript" in Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950 (The William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum, 2004).

The first two are deleted scenes from the novel. He wrote he regretted taking one of them out, but not the other, and he left guessing which is which as an exercise for the reader. (I have my guesses but will wait until you've read them to compare notes with you.)

The Escapists was a spin-off comic book series that imagined three young fans reviving The Escapist as a comic book. I haven't read it.

It looks like Chabon can't quite let go of these characters; he says in "Odds and Ends," the section with the extra stories in our copy, that he has been asked repeatedly for a sequel, and he means to do it—but maybe after writing all the other books that he's going to write.

I think I haven't said that one of my favorite things about the novel was the interplay between what was happening in the characters' lives and what happened in their characters' lives.
Oh, thank you so much! :D Definitely looking forward to tracking these down.

It really delights me that he can't seem to leave the world alone, and a sequel would be wonderful. (One of the things I liked about the book was all the hints that he'd thought out the entire thing right up to the present day -- the glimpses of, say, future!Sam being a guest at comics conventions and so forth.)