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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
     

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

4.6 182
by Michael Chabon, David Colacci (Read by)
 

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It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat - smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's 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 partner in creating the heroes,

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 182 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to indulge yourself in Escapism at its fullest, definitely read "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay". This book is so spell-binding, you will sometimes forget you are reading a work of fiction. The characters come to life on the pages of the book, as well as in the comic books Joe and Sammy write. At times you will sympathize with Joe, then yell at Anapol, be mystified by Rosa, and hope for Tommy. All in all, this is an utterly fascinating book! Be prepared to have a dictionary near you at all times!
Lisa_RR_H More than 1 year ago
I suppose given this is my first book by Chabon, I shouldn't yet say I have a new favorite writer, but I can say after this one I want to go out and read all this others. First, the author is wonderful at conjuring up WWII era New York City--especially as a native New Yorker I loved how he took me to that time. The novel also somehow in its characters and events gives me a new understanding of what went into the imagining of comic books from the feats of Houdini to the yearning to punch Hitler in the face. It makes me care and feel for the characters, particularly Joe--you feel his desperation trying to get his family--his Jewish family--out of Nazi Europe. As many takes on the Holocaust as I've seen, I can't recall a work that shows you this aspect of it--not of those trying to get out but those trying to get them in and those attempts lend a great deal of suspense and later poignancy. Then there's the style--I can't say enough about the style. Reading I'm reminded of some virtuoso on the piano or violin miraculously playing some work by Liszt. The work is in done in omniscient voice--rarely seen in the last century and so rarely done well, but here it's a great deal of the pleasure in reading this story--beautifully, sometimes sensuously written, insightful with flashes of humor, a wonderful imagination and the sort of story you're sorry to come to an end. I left it feeling this was a story for the ages--but it was something else I've rarely read in so-called "literary fiction"--great fun to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been an enormous fan of comic books, yet when a friend of mine recommended this novel to me, I took him up on it. I found it to be an amazing, incredibly human story. The description was vivid and realistic, easily understood, yet the author used words in ways I had never seen before. The characters, I found, were as real to me as my friends, and I found the well-placed comic relief a welcome break from the depth of the story-who would have thought, in a book about comics? As much as I would love to keep this book to myself, I feel it deserves every ounce of praise it receives, and I think that every award it was given could not do it justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book blew my mind. From page one, Chabon had me hooked with his skillful writing and witty plot. The book was a joy ride: it had its high points, its low points, is calm points, but never was it a boring read. Sitting down to read for ten minutes led to an hour long reading extravaganza; I couldn't put the book down. Now, while the book does specifically revolve around Joe Kavalier, the title is still completely valid. Sam Klayman (Clay) fills a unique and important role from page one, and especially so going into the end of the book (don't worry, I wont ruin it for you). The thing that sealed the deal for me in this book is Chabon's amazing use of his knowledge of the Jewish culture, New York, and the time period. It's a perfectly crafted novel with detail after detail leaving no holes in the plot. Never once did I have to scratch my head and say, "This makes no sense." Everything was masterfully pieced together to create a phenomenal quilt of literature.
mchugh2001 More than 1 year ago
An amazing tale that grips you, pulls you in, and makes you care about the times, the characters, their history, and their future. This is the best book I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I confess. I have never ventured too far into the pool of comic books, save for a trip to the theatre to catch the latest summer blockbuster. I randomly picked this book off the shelf while roaming through the local library, and I have been congratulating myself on having such fine-tuned intuition ever since. This books is one of the best--the closest thing to the 'Great American novel' that I have ever read. The prose flows with almost poetic quality, and the narrative is so beyond engaging that it is haunting. Despite being over 600 pages long, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay never loses its footing. It's a sharp, witty, and heartbreaking book worthy of an active, thoughtful reader with an addiction to erudition. Michael Chabon is a master storyteller, and this may very well be his magnum opus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great storytelling. I was completely drawn in to the world created in this book, and it has stayed with me in the years since I first read it.
Dianne13 More than 1 year ago
Kavalier and Clay is an "Amazing" read! Loved it from the first page, carried it around the house with me, laughed out loud, shook my head and cried. Most of all did not want it to end. I savored the last pages. Do yourself a favor and read it soon.
Wilson54 More than 1 year ago
I love historical fiction. This book was a fun read, fast paced story yet also gave perspective to the far reaching sadness caused by the Third Reich. The characters were simultanously funny and sad.
ArchieGoodwin More than 1 year ago
An epic tale of a partnership across the span of history, rich with details of the birth and evolution of the comic book. Unforgettable characters along with suspense and magical wonder.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing Adventures is a big, sprawling story about two Jewish comic book artists living in 1940s New York City, cousins Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay. Joe is an apprentice magician and Houdini aficionado who uses his skills to escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and arrive in America. His cousin Sammy, a native Brooklynite, is a small kid with a gimpy leg and vast imagination. Sammy quickly befriends Joe and shares with him his enthusiasm for comic books. With Sammy's ideas and Joe's natural artistic talent, they begin creating their own successful comics, including The Escapist, a superhero who 'comes to the rescue of those who toil in the chains of tyranny and injustice' and represents Sammy's desire to be strong and Joe's hatred of Nazism. Escapism is one of the main themes, and probably the only theme that holds together well in this book. Joe escapes from the Nazis and later tries to escape from his grief and responsibilities. Sammy escapes into marriage to hide his true desires, and his wife Rosa escapes into her work (inking romance comics) to forget the man she really loves and believes is lost (Joe). And comic books themselves represent an escape. But the other themes disparately never link up. The plot twists, without any reason or closure, so it feels like nothing is happening. The book plugs along solidly in the first half, but then quickly falls apart before the reader feels any satisfaction. The teenage boys (to whom the book devotes 400 pages to) suddenly age by years every chapter. Suddenly, inexplicably, Joe is a WWII stationed in Antarctica; a story that begins out of nowhere and ends just as it gets interesting. We learn the fate of Sammy's lover (the development of their relationship of which took 100 pages) in one sentence. 12 years suddenly passes and we are introduced to Rosa and Sammy's (nay Joe's) 12-year old son. It seems Chabon has a lot of ideas, and rushes to start one before finishing another. Interesting events do take place, but because they aren't fully fleshed out they seem disconnected and pointless. Another problem is Chabon's own superfluous style. Everything has to be described with long metaphors; sometimes the simplest declaration is drawn out to a page or two, making Amazing Adventures a very long and arduous read. That, coupled with his chunky, clunky storyline, makes this book, weighing in at 656 pages, extremely frustrating. I can see how this book could become popular. In contains a well-researched, nostalgic look at old-school New York life, historical references, and a lot of emotion and romance. The main narrative - two boys creating a superhero to compensate for their physical and political desires - is very appealing. But after finally putting this book down, all I could think of was: 'So?'
Anonymous 7 months ago
You should read thris book because it is intresting and amazing. This book has some things that i did not like but otherwise you should either read the sample or purchase it. I did not get to read it all but the free sample was good plus you will like the book so plz read it or biy it plz you should do it for yourself and me i think you might like it so get it. If you are 10 or younger this is not a good book for you plus i am a 10 grader and if you like this book then follow your dreams and get it plus i can talk to the writer of this book and tell he of she that you are talking crap and that you hate this bok. So i thin you should buy it you might like it and is you like it send a rateing and thank me for giving you this advise. TOODLES, ANGIE
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
Don Maclean's “American Pie” told the story of rock, from its roots in the mid-50s until the end of the 1960s. A lot happened in that 15 years, it took longer than the usual pop song to describe it all. Michael Chabon's “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” tells the story of the early days of the comic books, from the early days of World War II (before the US got directly involved) until the mid 1950s. A lot happened in that 15 years, it took longer than the usual novel to describe it all. (Over 600 pages of text – 26 hours when performed on audio book). Except – it's not JUST about comic books. It's about an artist who dabbled in parlor magic and escapes – and was able to use that training to escape Czechoslovakia during the Nazi's reign. It's about a would-be artist who finds his true calling in writing. AND … it's about the legendary Golem, even if the beast's appearance is brief – never lose sight of the fact his shadow falls on much of the action in this book. I definitely enjoyed the aspects of the book that involved comic book history, (enjoying the cameos by some of the field's greats of those days) and the lives of the creators. I thought that time tale of the two's lives during the US involvement in World War II was a bit, um, out there. It just didn't seem to add to the story, and served as a lengthy diversion. (Yes, it affected the two – but it just felt awkward to me.) Overall, this was an incredible investment of my time – but one which I found to be an investment, rather than a waste. Good job, Mr. Chabon. RATING: 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pleasure to read such beautifully woven tapestry of words. Worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written with compassion and is well researched
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi Grace wanna chat? *by you-know-who;) *
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting subject, but this book did not hold my interest. It could have been a lot shorter.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking, nostalgic and engaging, this book takes you on a journey through comics history from the perspective of those who were there. The characters are beautifully written and the story sticks with you. One of my favourite novels ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago