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286 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far exceeded my expectations
"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" works on so many different levels. It has the thrills, action and pacing of a comic book, yet also has the beautiful language, fully developed, memorable characters, and moving, non-manipulative drama of the finest literary novel. It is rare to see excitement, sadness, history, and humor mix so seamlessly together...
Published on December 3, 2000 by The Gooch

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104 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not life-changing, but worth the read.
When I read this book, I didn't even know that it had won the Pulitzer Prize--there's no trace of that information anywhere on the library hardback that I read. So I was blissfully unaware that I was reading what was supposed to be a Literary Masterpiece, and I would have been surprised if I had known.
There's no doubt that Michael Chabon is a master of his craft;...
Published on July 7, 2002 by Ilana Teitelbaum


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, October 24, 2004
A level of complexity and intricacy that you don't see much anymore. Very creative and imaginative, the melding of comic book and literature seems completely unforced and still allows an extremely intimate exploration of the whole range of human experience. Yeah, it's long, but reads faster than you'd think. This was not a labor to read, simply a pleasure.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I've EVER read, February 6, 2014
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Do yourself a favor and read this gem of a novel. Every sentence is a work of art. Not to say that you sit back and admire the book, you're fully engaged. I can't say enough good about this book and I dread the day I'm finished!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book!, June 4, 2013
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This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel (Paperback)
This is a book that you can read. It arrived quickly and in good condition. If you are looking to read something, maybe this book will help you satisfy your craving for words. I like books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You!, March 22, 2013
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I needed this book for my college english class, so this edition and condition was absolutely perfect! Thank you very much !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reading, December 17, 2012
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the book was a required reading for my sons 12th grade class; he didn't seem to have any other input about the story
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comic Book Lovers, August 15, 2012
This is the story of two Jewish boys who get into the comic book business. Joe escapes from Prague in the casket of a Golem, via many countrie and lives with his cousin, Sam. The story takes place in New York during the World War II era. It is very well written, but was hard for me to get into it. It book me 200 pages into the 600+ page book. I would probably give it 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 because of the Pulitzer prize.

The comic book series he starts is called The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist. Chabon has published 7 volumes of this comic book series it you care to follow it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book!, August 11, 2012
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 2000 novel by American author Michael Chabon that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. The novel follows the lives of two Jewish cousins before, during, and after World War II

Plot:

The novel begins in 1939 with the arrival of 19-year-old Josef "Joe" Kavalier as a refugee in New York City, where he comes to live with his 17-year-old cousin Sammy Klayman. Joe escaped from Prague with the help of his teacher Kornblum by hiding in a coffin along with the inanimate Golem of Prague, leaving the rest of his family, including his younger brother Thomas, behind. Besides having a shared interest in drawing, Sammy and Joe share several connections to Jewish stage magician Harry Houdini: Joe (like comics legend Jim Steranko) studied magic and escapology in Prague, which aided him in his departure from Europe, and Sammy is the son of the Mighty Molecule, a strongman on the vaudeville circuit.

When Sammy discovers Joe's artistic talent, Sammy pitches the idea of a comic book based on a hero he and Joe thought of--The Escapist--to Empire Novelties, Inc, owned by Sheldon P. Anatole and Jack Ashkenazy--Sheldon's brother in law. which, due to the recent success of Superman, is attempting to get into the comic-book business. Under the name "Sam Clay", Sammy starts writing adventure stories with Joe illustrating them, and the two recruit several other Brooklyn teenagers to produce Amazing Midget Radio Comics (named to promote one of the company's novelty items). The pair is at once passionate about their creation, optimistic about making money, and always nervous about the opinion of their employers. The magazine features Sammy and Joe's character the Escapist, an anti-fascist superhero who combines traits of (among others) Captain America, Harry Houdini, Batman, the Phantom, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. The Escapist becomes tremendously popular, but like talent behind Superman, the writers and artists of the comic get a minimal share of their publisher's revenue. Sammy and Joe are slow to realize that they are being exploited, as they have private concerns: Joe is trying to help his family escape from Nazi-occupied Prague, and has fallen in love with the bohemian Rosa Saks, who has her own artistic aspirations, while Clay is battling with his sexual identity and the lackluster progress of his literary career.

For many months after coming to New York, Joe is driven almost solely by an intense desire to improve the condition of his family, still living under a regime increasingly hostile to their kind. This drive shows through in his work, which remains for a long time unabashedly anti-Nazi despite his employer's concerns. In the meantime, he is spending more and more time with Rosa, appearing as a magician in the bar mitzvahs of the children of Rosa's father's acquaintances, even though he sometimes feels guilty at indulging in these distractions from the primary task of fighting for his family. After multiple attempts and considerable monetary sacrifice, Joe ultimately fails to get his family to the States, his last attempt having resulted in putting his younger brother aboard a ship that sank into the Atlantic. Distraught and unaware that Rosa is pregnant with his child, Joe enlists in the navy, hoping to fight the Germans. Instead, he is sent to a lonely, cold naval base in Antarctica, from which he emerges the lone survivor after a series of deaths. When he makes it back to New York, ashamed to show his face again to Rosa and Sammy, he lives and sleeps in a hideout in the Empire State Building, known only to a small circle of magician-friends.

Meanwhile, Sam battles with his sexuality, shown mostly through his relationship with the radio voice of The Escapist, Tracy Bacon. Bacon's movie-star good-looks initially intimidate Clay, but they later fall in love. When Tracy is cast as The Escapist in the film version, he invites Clay to move to Hollywood with him, an offer that Clay accepts. But later, when Bacon and Clay go to a friend's beach house with several other gay men and couples, the company's private dinner is broken up by the local police as well as two off-duty FBI agents. All of the men are arrested, except for two who hid under the dinner table, one of whom is Clay. The FBI agents each claim one of the men and grant them their freedom in return for sexual favors. After this episode, Clay decides that he can't live with the constant threat of being arrested, ridiculed, and judged because of his sexuality. He does not go with Bacon to the West Coast. Some time after Joe leaves, Sammy marries Rosa and moves with her to the suburbs--Bloomtown--where they raise her son Tommy in what outwardly appears to be a typical traditional nuclear family.
Sammy and Rosa cannot hide all their secrets from Tommy, however, who manages to take private magic lessons in the Empire State Building from Joe for the better part of year without anyone else's knowledge. Tommy is instrumental in finally reuniting the Kavalier and Clay duo by sending a death threat from The Escapist to the Herald Tribune. Everyone thinks that Joe is going to kill himself and he does manage to jump and live to tell about it.

This reunites the two cousins and Joe moves back with Sam and Rosa. The cousins work with renewed enthusiasm to find a new creative direction for comics. Shortly afterwards, Sammy's homosexuality is revealed on public television, when he's forced to testify in front of The Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of The US Senate. This further complicates the attempts of Rosa, Sammy, and Joe to reconstitute a family.

In the end, Joe decides to leave for Los Angeles in search of hie true his true sexual identity and Joe and Rosa are in Bloomtown together after Joe buys Empire Comics to star a new series based on the Golam of Prague.

Commentary:

An amazing read, filled with wonderful tidbits of the period surrounding WWII. Many events in the novel are based on the lives of actual comic-book creators including Jack Kirby (to whom the book is dedicated in the afterword), Stan Lee, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Joe Simon, Will Eisner, and Jim Steranko. Other historical figures play minor roles, including Salvador Dalí, Al Smith, Orson Welles, and Fredric Wertham. The novel's time span roughly mirrors that of the Golden Age of Comics itself, starting from shortly after the debut of Superman and concluding with the Kefauver Senate hearings, two events often used to demarcate the era.

The book was hard to put down. Chabon use of the English Language is impressive.

I found a paragraph that summarized the book's theme:

On page 575: "Having lost his mother, father, brother, and grandfather, the friends and foes of his youth, his beloved teacher Bernard Kornblum, his city, his history--his home--the usual charged leveled against comic books, that they offered merely an easy escape from reality, seemed to Joe actually to be a powerful argument on their behalf. He had escaped in his life from ropes, chains, boxes, bags, and crates, from handcuffs and shackles, from countries and regimes, from the arms of a woman who loved him, from crashed airplanes and an opiate addiction and from an entire frozen continent intent on causing his death. The escape from reality was, he felt--especially after the war--a worthy challenge."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's awesome, July 31, 2012
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This review is from: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel (Paperback)
This is part of my birthday presents for my fiance this year. He has started reading it and told me this is a very engaging story. He obviously has been loving this book. I would read it too whenever I have a chance.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK read, but a bit overrated..., December 14, 2011
This book was an interesting idea, and was very different from anything I've read before. I think the hype did it in for me though. It's won the Pulitzer and a several people asked me to read it, so I had very high expectations. I grew a little bored with it several places throughout.

I think I stopped caring for the characters when Joe joined the military and things went a little off in left field from the rest of the book.

I enjoyed the interaction between the cousins, however. I thought Chabon did a great job creating believable characters.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story- wonderful read!, April 13, 2003
By A Customer
I bought this to read during a long flight home and nearly fininshed it in a day. Hard to put down, it was so good. Also hard to give up when the book was over!
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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel
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