The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

A Novel

Book - 2000
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With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.
It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.
The brilliant writing that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to John Cheever and Vladimir Nabokov is everywhere apparent in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon writes "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader," wrote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times about Wonder Boys--and here he has created, in Joe Kavalier, a hero for the century.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679450047
0679450041
Branch Call Number: CHAB
Characteristics: 639p. 24cm.

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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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