The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

A Novel

Book - 2000
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One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his arduous and nerve-wracking escape from Prague finally achieved - with the help of his mentor, the master illusionist Kornblum. But little does he realise that this uneasy first meeting is the start of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. For Sam, Joe's formidable artistic skills are a chance to liberate them both from lives as inventory clerks at the Empire Novelties Incorporated Company. Together, they create a comic strip called The Escapist, its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed around the world with his Golden Key. The Escapist makes them their fortune and their name, but, as the situation worsens in Europe, Joe can only think of one thing. How can he effect a real-life escape, and free his family from the tyranny of Hitler? Michael Chabon's exceptional new novel is a thrilling tight-rope walk between high comedy and bitter tragedy, and confirms his position as one of the most inventive and daring of contemporary American writers. In Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, he has created two unforgettable characters bound together by love, family and cartoons. Their story, which ranges from the heady heights of the American Dream to the desperation and grief of the Second World War, and which journeys from New York and Czechoslovakia to the Arctic Circle, will live on in the mind of every reader long after the final page is turned.
Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, 2000.
ISBN: 9781841154923
184115492X
9781841154930
1841154938
9780312282998
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 639 p. ;,24 cm.

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OneBookOneChicago Jun 09, 2017

Looking for a great read for Pride Month? Sam Clay is one of our favorite characters in this book!

j
jsinaz
Dec 16, 2016

I tried it. It won the Pulitzer Prize. It just didn't do it for me, the subject matter. It goes to show that winning the PP doesn't translate into a readable book. Well-written, beautifully, as a matter of fact, but after 63 pages, I just plain lost interest in these two guys. Very disappointed. Maybe it will be different for you, like A Confederacy of Dunces, that is so great but that is so bad--for me.

brianreynolds Aug 23, 2015

Bif! Zap! BAM! Chabon has a lot to say in <i>The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay</i> beyond the rather classic comic romance and the in depth examination of the birth of superheroes in comic books. The elaborate backdrops and flashbacks are worth it in the end; the reader who slogs through it all can't help but feel he has a stake in the fates of Josef, Sammy and Rosa. Still, in the end, the issues that might have been examined more closely—homophobia, revenge, loyalty, responsibility, to name a few—were overshadowed by the excitement of venture capitalism and amazing feats of daring do. I was at once happy to accept the comic book ending and disappointed it all appeared so simple there might have been some misdirection involved. How apropos.

u
urban_landlady
Jul 02, 2015

This title has led to an intriguing discovery for me. I've been devouring books on audio in recent years because I don't make time to sit still and read them. I started reading Kavalier & Clay in installments online during Chicago Public Library's "One Book, One Chicago" event. The writing was amazingly engaging! I tried to finish the book by listening to the audiobook but it was not nearly as enjoyable. I guess that means I should make more time to read words on a page. Ha. I will.

r
rusty_13
May 20, 2015

Though probably not my usual genre choice, this Pulitzer prize-winning novel proved to be hard to put down. Like the comic books created by the protagonists, its abundance of action and adventure held my interest and kept me reading.

AbigailCurious May 20, 2015

The first three hundred pages were amazing then it got dull.

GeoffAbel May 07, 2015

Merely good - in no way deserving the heaped praise and superlatives on the back cover. Certainly not worthy of a Pulitzer. The writing is somewhat dull and mechanical ; the metaphors fall pretty flat. But a decent and readable story nonetheless.

l
Lgugen
Mar 03, 2015

Interesting characters and plot, but Chabon uses 3 words where one well-chosen one will do. Because of that, I could only plow through about 40 pages at a time. Fans of Thomas Hardy will enjoy. Others may not.

w
wauumdob
Sep 17, 2014

I read this book years ago and really liked it. It was a look into another world and very interesting.

w
wilcar49
Sep 13, 2014

I did not like this book, it's a heavy brick of a read. The plot and characters did not interest me. I only got half way through and gave up.

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Samifer
Jul 17, 2015

“The magician seemed to promise that something torn to bits might be mended without a seam, that what had vanished might reappear, that a scattered handful of doves or dust might be reunited by a word, that a paper rose consumed by fire could be made to bloom from a pile of ash. But everyone knew that it was only an illusion. The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place."

mawls Oct 13, 2014

Hope had been his enemy, a frailty that he must at all costs master, for so long now that it was a moment before he was willing to concede that he had let it back into his heart.

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EPLPicks_Teen Mar 30, 2010

An epic novel about two cousins who find themselves at the epicenter of the golden age of American comic books when they create the prewar superhero, The Escapist.

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