The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

4.16 (152,600 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 656 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 44mm | 458.13g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperPerennial
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1841154938
  • 9781841154930
  • 8,962

Review quote

'Dazzling. Chabon has not so much attempted the great American novel as brought to life the idea that it had already been written - week by week, in the humble heroism of the comic book.' Independent 'An adventure story that keeps you up until 4am with the bedside lamp on, eager to learn if the Escapist, and Chabon himself, can free the enslaved and lead them home.' Observer 'This is one of those books that makes the reader want to race through to the find out what happens, while at the same time wishing it will never end.' Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday 'Proof of the abiding power of complex, serious, engaged, but above all entertaining story-telling.' Times Literary Supplement 'A page-turning epic, sketching World War II as seen through the eyes of two comic book writers.' Time Out 'A novel of towering achievement.' New York Times 'Absolutely gosh-wow, super-colossal.' Washington Post 'An exciting, emotional, exuberant delight. Read it.' Chicago Tribuneshow more

About Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon is the author of two collections of short stories, 'A Model World' and 'Werewolves in their Youth', the novels 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh', 'Wonder Boys', 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay', 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' and 'Telegraph Avenue', and the non-fiction books 'Maps and Legends and Manhood for Amateurs'. 'Wonder Boys' has been made into a film starring Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. and 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, Esquire and Playboy. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and their four more

Review Text

Josef Kavalier's teenage years in Prague are spent under the guidance of his beloved magic teacher who teaches him the art of escapology. But Hitler's takeover of Czechoslovakia spells doom for Josef, although he escapes to America to stay with his Jewish cousin Sammy Clay. They venture into the world of comic books: Sam the writer, and anglicized Joe the artist. Joe engages in the struggle of Americanizing his roots, transferring himself from Prague to New York, from chains to the American Dream as success opens its doors. But his desire for escape, to liberate his loved ones runs deeper than the physical distance of an ocean between countries. Chabon's novel is nothing but remarkable. A social history of the war, of the golden age of the comic book and America, of the refugee, animated into startling, breath taking exuberance in the lives of Kavalier and Clay. This is a book that illuminates the mind and awakens the heart. Joe's magic, illusions and escapist acts are laden with the poignancy of what he is escaping from, as Chabon shows us that the real magic lies in belonging, as the bonds of history, family, identity and friendship are the ones that there is no escape from, as Sammy and Joe thrillingly, rebelliously, tragically and soulfully take on the bonds metaphorical and physical of oppression and prejudice. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

152,600 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 46% (69,725)
4 34% (51,259)
3 14% (21,678)
2 5% (7,036)
1 2% (2,902)
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