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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel by [Michael Chabon]
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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,346 ratings

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Length: 658 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the novels of Michael Chabon

Wonder Boys

“Mr. Chabon is that rare thing, an intelligent lyrical writer.”The New York Times Book Review

“The young star of American letters . . . a writer not only of rare skill and wit but of self-evident and immensely appealing generosity.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

Wonder Boys caught me up and carried me along like some kind of flying carpet. . . . Michael Chabon keeps us wide awake and reading.”—Alan Cheuse,
All Things Considered, NPR


“[A] beguiling and wickedly smart novel.”—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Werewolves in Their Youth

“A loving craftsman and the author of superb, seemingly alchemically rendered sentences, Chabon has been producing pitch-perfect, at times even dazzling, fiction.”—Michael Carroll, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Amazon.com Review

Like the comic books that animate and inspire it, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is both larger than life and of it too. Complete with golems and magic and miraculous escapes and evil nemeses and even hand-to-hand Antarctic battle, it pursues the most important questions of love and war, dreams and art, across pages brimming with longing and hope. Samuel Klayman--self-described little man, city boy, and Jew--first meets Josef Kavalier when his mother shoves him aside in his own bed, telling him to make room for their cousin, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Prague. It's the beginning, however unlikely, of a beautiful friendship. In short order, Sam's talent for pulp plotting meets Joe's faultless, academy-trained line, and a comic-book superhero is born. A sort of lantern-jawed equalizer clad in dark blue long underwear, the Escapist "roams the globe, performing amazing feats and coming to the aid of those who languish in tyranny's chains!" Before they know it, Kavalier and Clay (as Sam Klayman has come to be known) find themselves at the epicenter of comics' golden age.

But Joe Kavalier is driven by motives far more complex than your average hack. In fact, his first act as a comic-book artist is to deal Hitler a very literal blow. (The cover of the first issue shows the Escapist delivering "an immortal haymaker" onto the Führer's realistically bloody jaw.) In subsequent years, the Escapist and his superhero allies take on the evil Iron Chain and their leader Attila Haxoff--their battles drawn with an intensity that grows more disturbing as Joe's efforts to rescue his family fail. He's fighting their war with brush and ink, Joe thinks, and the idea sustains him long enough to meet the beautiful Rosa Saks, a surrealist artist and surprisingly retrograde muse. But when even that fiction fails him, Joe performs an escape of his own, leaving Rosa and Sammy to pick up the pieces in some increasingly wrong-headed ways.

More amazing adventures follow--but reader, why spoil the fun? Suffice to say, Michael Chabon writes novels like the Escapist busts locks. Previous books such as The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys have prose of equal shimmer and wit, and yet here he seems to have finally found a canvas big enough for his gifts. The whole enterprise seems animated by love: for his alternately deluded, damaged, and painfully sincere characters; for the quirks and curious innocence of tough-talking wartime New York; and, above all, for comics themselves, "the inspirations and lucubrations of five hundred aging boys dreaming as hard as they could." Far from negating such pleasures, the Holocaust's presence in the novel only makes them more pressing. Art, if not capable of actually fighting evil, can at least offer a gesture of defiance and hope--a way out, in other words, of a world gone completely mad. Comic-book critics, Joe notices, dwell on "the pernicious effect, on young minds, of satisfying the desire to escape. As if there could be any more noble or necessary service in life." Indeed. --Mary Park --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
1,346 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2014
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Top international reviews

Saxum
2.0 out of 5 stars Story spoilt by graphic sexual vulgarity
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2019
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KymH
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2017
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William Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars Long, episodic and inventive - but not ultimately that engaging
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 25, 2015
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6 people found this helpful
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moonmoth
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2017
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4 people found this helpful
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Mig Bardsley
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this without reservation. Brilliant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2017
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Orla Billen
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2019
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The Outsider
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2015
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EB
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and fun historical fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2019
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Helena Halme Author
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful language but meandering plot
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2013
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Eileen Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars You know damn-well, the escapist doesn't fly!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2011
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Stodds
5.0 out of 5 stars Can the struggling artists escape their fate?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2017
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Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb example of intelligent, imaginative storytelling. Buy it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2017
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Mr. James Haythornthwaite
5.0 out of 5 stars Alive with detail and emotion - totally captivated
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2013
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EEM
3.0 out of 5 stars Over long
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2016
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Peter De Ridder
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing indeed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2014
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