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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

A Novel
Chabon, Michael (Book - 2000 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
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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. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;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. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;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.
Authors: Chabon, Michael
Title: The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay
a novel
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2000
Characteristics: 639 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 0679450041
0312282990
Branch Call Number: FICTION Cha
Statement of Responsibility: Michael Chabon
Subject Headings: New York (N.Y.) Fiction Comic books, strips, etc. Authorship Fiction Humorous stories Cartoonists Fiction Young men Fiction Czech Americans Fiction Heroes in mass media Fiction
Genre/Form: Bildungsromans
Topical Term: Comic books, strips, etc
Humorous stories
Cartoonists
Young men
Czech Americans
Heroes in mass media
LCCN: 00029063
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Aug 31, 2013
  • nsteeves rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The many kinds of love (romantic, brotherly, love of art) and love stories in K & C make it one of my very favorites.

This book is full of the nostalgia and glamour of comic books and superheroes - I love it!

May 30, 2013
  • zackhaslam rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A wholy remarkable book, presenting only a few qualms.

As a history of the comic book, including the real world contextualization against the backdrop of the Jewish-American experience and the 20th century's myriad new mediums... I don't think you'd find a parallel. Chabon captures all the fascinating psychological bearings of the comic book superhero.

The plot develops in a straightforward fashion, the protagonists are easily sympathized with, and there's nothing ugly about the writing or structure to get worried about.

It fits the subject matter, and it fits the 'history-bio' style but I did pause a few times to tell myself to ignore the pomp of the 'momentous occasions' that make up a few anecdotes. It's a big book. It's an epic book. It's an important book. But its best moments are smaller, and quieter.

(And the best bit is the Antarctica bit.)

Mar 26, 2013
  • bsevertsen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Michael Chabon does not suffer from "air word" syndrome. This book, like many of his novels is beautifully written.

Aug 02, 2012
  • rab1953 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book. It's a great story with complex, interesting characters in a fascinating setting. The creation of the comic book history is not only fascinating, but the fictional elements are so well integrated that without looking it up, I couldn't separate the fantasy from the reality. (Usually I object to messing around with history, but it's so well done here that I didn't stop to object.) Joe's reactions to the historical and personal events that take place around him - the holocaust, the loss of family, WW2, homosexuality - is moving, and puts a convincing emotional context over the middle decades of the twentieth century. An epic, and it's fun to read!

Jun 19, 2012
  • A_Traveler_Like_Jack rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Fantastically well written! Loved this book! Would definitely read it again!

Dec 09, 2010
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Not just for comic book fans! A wonderful read that evokes old New York City as well as the Holocaust (and even Antarctica).

Nov 29, 2010
  • derekwolfgram rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Not sure why it took me so long to get to this... I actually was really intrigued by The Yiddish Policemen's Union when it came out, but I gave up after about 50 pages because I couldn't make myself care about the characters no matter how hard I tried. Kavalier and Clay was a totally different experience. Loved the characters, and the timeless elements of the story of a boy growing up with his best friend. It read to me like Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, but set a few decades earlier. Some of Chabon's digressions and footnotes are quite odd - I thought at times that he could have dropped about 100 pages with the help of a good editor and the story would not have suffered. But all in all, this was an epic, brilliant, engrossing novel full of many of the joys of growing up as a boy: magic, secret codes and identities, comic books, and a true best friend.

Nov 09, 2010
  • Bewlay rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

One of my favorite books, anyone that loves comic books and its history would enjoy this.

Aug 20, 2010
  • carknerdy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An excellent, if convoluted read :)

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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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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/21 13:32