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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

A Novel

Chabon, Michael

(Book - 2001)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Print
Baker & Taylor
In 1939 New York City, Joe Kavalier, a refugee from Hitler's Prague, joins forces with his Brooklyn-born cousin, Sammy Clay, to create comic-book superheroes inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams.

McMillan Palgrave
This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America the comic book. Inspired by their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapists, The Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


Holtzbrinck
This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America the comic book. Inspired by their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapists, The Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men.


Baker
& Taylor

In 1939 New York City, Joe Kavalier, a refugee from Hitler's Prague, joins forces with his Brooklyn-born cousin, Sammy Clay, to create comic-book superheroes inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams. By the author of Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Picador USA, 2001, c2000
Edition: 1st Picador USA ed
ISBN: 0312282990
9780312282998
Branch Call Number: FIC C
Characteristics: 639 p. ; 22 cm.
Alternate Title: Kavalier & Clay

Opinion

From Library Staff

Diane's pick.

Author: Michael Chabon
Areas Featured: Midtown, Flatiron

While the climactic moment atop the Empire State Building offers the most iconic image from Michael Chabon's masterpiece, its the early moments in the lives of the young artists that will resonate with anyone who's ever moved somewhere ... Read More »

Joe Kavalier escapes from Prague in 1939 and creates comic superheros with his Brooklyn born cousin, Sammy Clay. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

How two cousins create a comic strip empire.


From the critics


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Sep 17, 2014
  • wauumdob rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

Sep 13, 2014
  • wilcar49 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

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.

Sep 13, 2014
  • jescar82 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

This is 2014/15 selection for "One Book, One Chicago" The characters, plot, and themes lack any sort of interesting, analytical depth that makes a book worth reading. I was extremely disappointed with this novel. I only read about ten chapters and returned the book back to the library.

I have a new back today. For real

Beautifully written, prolix ramble through pre WWII America...very readable, very enjoyable, and just a tad self-indulgent IMHO. Still, it's worth a go if you have the time and patience.

Sep 03, 2014
  • gretchh rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was not just a great story with a complex plot and characters, but written with a knowing touch. Highly recommended!

Aug 31, 2013
  • nsteeves rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The many kinds of love (romantic, brotherly, love of art) and love stories in K & C make it one of my very favorites.

May 30, 2013
  • zackhaslam rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A wholy remarkable book, presenting only a few qualms.

As a history of the comic book, including the real world contextualization against the backdrop of the Jewish-American experience and the 20th century's myriad new mediums... I don't think you'd find a parallel. Chabon captures all the fascinating psychological bearings of the comic book superhero.

The plot develops in a straightforward fashion, the protagonists are easily sympathized with, and there's nothing ugly about the writing or structure to get worried about.

It fits the subject matter, and it fits the 'history-bio' style but I did pause a few times to tell myself to ignore the pomp of the 'momentous occasions' that make up a few anecdotes. It's a big book. It's an epic book. It's an important book. But its best moments are smaller, and quieter.

(And the best bit is the Antarctica bit.)

Mar 26, 2013
  • bsevertsen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Michael Chabon does not suffer from "air word" syndrome. This book, like many of his novels is beautifully written.

Aug 02, 2012
  • rab1953 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book. It's a great story with complex, interesting characters in a fascinating setting. The creation of the comic book history is not only fascinating, but the fictional elements are so well integrated that without looking it up, I couldn't separate the fantasy from the reality. (Usually I object to messing around with history, but it's so well done here that I didn't stop to object.) Joe's reactions to the historical and personal events that take place around him - the holocaust, the loss of family, WW2, homosexuality - is moving, and puts a convincing emotional context over the middle decades of the twentieth century. An epic, and it's fun to read!

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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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Oct 13, 2014
  • mawls rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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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