Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder Boys'. One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking ...
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder Boys'. One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. Together, they create a comic strip called 'The Escapist', its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed around the world. 'The Escapist' makes their fortune, but Joe can think of only one thing: how can he effect a real-life escape, and free his family from the tyranny of Hitler? Michael Chabon's exceptional 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.
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Chabon is an excellent writer - able to keep you attention at all times.
Sep 6, 2012
The fictional trials of the beginning of comic books. Well written and interesting. There is an admixture of World War II. The fact that the central characters are Jewish is important but does not drive the plot.
Apr 15, 2010
Deserving of the Pulitzer Prize it won.
A major epic, full of surprises. Combines history with fiction better than most books of that category.
Aug 14, 2008
Growing up and living in Cleveland (home of Superman's creators), I thought this was a great tribute to the times and the characters of the book. It is well-written and intelligent and draws the reader into the story.
Nov 5, 2007
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is definitely a worthwhile read. It's the story of two boys that, for different reasons, attempt to get out of their milieu: friendship hope and freedom are the outcome, and also disappointment. The book is written in a beautiful and rich english. The plot is interesting and original and never falls onto sentimentalism. The only drawback is that it is very long: just a 100 pages less and it would have been better.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-08-18 This epic novel about the glory years of the American comic book (1939-1954) fulfills all the promise of Chabon's two earlier novels (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Wonder Boys) and two collections of short stories (A Model World; Werewolves in Their Youth), and nearly equals them all together in number of pages. Chabon's prodigious gifts for language, humor and wonderment come to full maturity in this fictional history of the legendary partnership between Sammy Klayman and Josef Kavalier, cousins and creators of the prewar masked comic book hero, the Escapist. Sammy is a gifted inventor of characters and situations who dreams "the usual Brooklyn dreams of flight and transformation and escape." His contribution to the superhero's alter ego, Tom Mayflower, is his own stick legs, a legacy of childhood polio. Joe Kavalier, a former Prague art student, arrives in Brooklyn by way of Siberia, Japan and San Francisco. This improbable route marks only the first in a lifetime of timely escapes. Denied exit from Nazi Czechoslovakia with the visa his family sold its fortune to buy him, Joe, a disciple of Houdini, enlists the aid of his former teacher, the celebrated stage illusionist Bernard Kornblum, in a more desperate escape: crouched inside the coffin transporting Prague's famous golem, Rabbi Loew's miraculous automaton, to the safety of exile in Lithuania. This melodramatic getawayDalmost foiled when the Nazi officer inspecting the corpse decides the suit it's wearing is too fine to buryDis presented with the careful attention to detail of a true-life adventure. Chabon heightens realism through a series of inspired matches: the Escapist, who roams the globe "coming to the aid of those who languish in tyranny's chains," with Joe's powerlessness to rescue his family from Prague; Kavalier & Clay's Empire City with New York City in the early 1940s; and the comic industry's "avidity of unburdening America's youth of the oppressive national mantle of tedium, ten cents at a time," with this fledgling art form's ability to gratify "the lust for power and the gaudy sartorial taste of a race of powerless people with no leave to dress themselves." Well researched and deeply felt, this rich, expansive and hugely satisfying novel will delight a wide range of readers. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2012-09-24 Narrator David Colacci delivers a lively and entertaining reading of Chabon's tale of loyalty, love, and comic books. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the novel charts the lives of Sammy "Clay" Klayman and Josef Kavalier, two distant cousins brought together by the horrors of WWII. Clay is a New Yorker who has never ventured beyond the boundaries of his borough, while Kavalier is an amateur magician fleeing Nazi-occupied Prague. United by their shared passion for the burgeoning art of comic books, they create the Escapist, an action hero intended to strike back at the forces of fascism. Launching the successful franchise sends the pair on real-life adventures of their own, wherein they confront the underground Nazi movement, the complications of family and sexual identity, and hidden sides of themselves. Colacci moves fluidly between the many characters who populate Chabon's novel, creating voices that rely on everything from a host of foreign accents to the vernacular of New York in the 1940s. This audio edition is a great introduction to Kavalier and Clay and well worth a listen for those already familiar with the novel. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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