A few weeks ago I finished reading the best book I've read since I put down my last Guy Gavriel Kay novel: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I happened to pick this book up at Half-Price Books for a dollar and think it was worth a million.
Picture, if you will, the Golden Age of comic books circa WWII (though the story technically spans the 1930's to the 1950's) in New York city. The story actually begins in Prague where one of our protagonists, Joe Kavalier, lives until his family gets enough money to send him to extended family in New York. I wouldn't spoil his passage for you, but suffice to say it was not as planned. He eventually finds himself at his aunt's house, where he meets his cousin, Sam Clay. From there the two teens pursue their dream of creating comic books while struggling with their own personal issues and the war.
This brief glimpse at the story does not come close to describing the mastery of Chabon's writing. Tragedy tends to escort you throughout your read, but even within the most devastating moments there is an underlying resilience, humour, and hope. Just pick it up. Buy it. This is one book you'll revisit again and again -- it is pure magic.