The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
This book won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with good reason. Chabon tells the story of Josef Kavalier, a Jew who escapes from Prague at the onset of the Nazi occupation, and immigrates to New York City to live with his cousin Sammy Clay. Together, they create a wildly popular comic book superhero named The Escapist. In chronicling the lives of these cousins and their meta-human creations, Chabon weaves a subtle yet complex story that tackles broad themes like love, loss, hope and acceptance, all set against the backdrop of the golden age of comic books.
Despite being only marginally genre-related, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay stands out for being that rarest of rarities: a mainstream novel that’s actually exceptionally good. I’d recommend it to anyone, SF fan or not. And if you’re a comic book buff, you’ll be able to appreciate it on a deeper level.