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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay | [Michael Chabon]

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

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, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, they create the Escapist.
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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2001

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, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.

Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and the otherworldly Mistress of the Night, Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. The golden age of comic books has begun, even as the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a stunning novel of endless comic invention and unforgettable characters, written in the exhilarating prose that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to Cheever and Nabokov. In Joe Kavalier, Chabon has created a hero for the century.

©2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Michael Chabon can write like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader with their beauty and their style." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (891 )
5 star
 (435)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (802 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (785 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (72)
2 star
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1 star
 (10)
Performance
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  •  
    Aaron New York, NY, United States 08-06-12
    Aaron New York, NY, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible performance of an amazing story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay the most enjoyable?

    The voice actor doing this book is phenomenal, especially his Brooklyn-Jewish accent. Very authentic and conversational, and reads at the perfect pace: fast enough to hold your attention, but slow enough that you can listen to it during a commute and not be thrown off.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sammy Clay: good guy, can't say much more without giving stuff away.


    What does David Colacci bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is phenomenal. Great performance of 1940s Jewish New York accents, and lively well-paced narration. One of the best readers out there.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is probably the most enjoyable book I've ever listened to, and I've listened to quite a few.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ListensAll Day Los Angeles 08-04-12
    ListensAll Day Los Angeles 08-04-12 Member Since 2011

    YesAllDay

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spectacular! Will go on the favorites list."

    Michael Chabon's writing is rich, insightful, nimble. This book had everything: great writing, engaging story and characters, historical interest, romance, and adventure. David Colacci really brought the characters of Sammy and Joe to life wonderfully. I did not want this book to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 08-03-12
    Dan 08-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    10
    6
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    1
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    Story
    "Deeply human story - rich and literary, never dull"

    This is a genuine artistic accomplishment. First and most important, the author captures and brings to life many different characters that are interesting, multidimensional and above all, human.

    Second, his langauge is highly constructed and yet you will rarely notice it, and when you do it will still punch you. Its precise, and acutely illuminates the humorous flaws in our natures; those that linger in the shadows of our perception, and can only be fully illustrated by master authors.

    This book deserves the highest praise from those who appreciate art that interprets reality, without making it ragged and grotesque, like a battered corpse. You're allowed to taste, smell, and feel, but not forced to choke on it.

    Its a story that will help you find a part of your soul that is at once young and old, happy and profoundly sad, bound and free, and once introduced, will leave you to enjoy more of yourself. In short, it evokes a broad emotional range.


    I find the narration to be enjoyable and undistracting, the voices well matched to the characters, and the reader's rhythm helps to bring out many of the deminsions of the language that I might miss if I experienced the story in print.

    Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 07-15-12
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 07-15-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    25
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Story
    "Pow, Bam, Thwap! Read the Amazing Adventures!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay to be better than the print version?

    Equally good. The narrator does a fine job and the book takes to its audio form very nicely.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay?

    The weekend of development. An idea, a group of young men and an amalgam of dreams come to life.


    Which character ??? as performed by David Colacci ??? was your favorite?

    Joseph Kavalier


    If you could rename The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, what would you call it?

    Can't see a change for this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Well done story, excellent characters and very well researched. It felt very real, very lifelike and was very well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Louisville, KY, United States 07-13-12
    John Louisville, KY, United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    21
    3
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    "Outstanding Book!! But not for me."

    This book about two men who create a well read comic book hero is really about too men who go through unusual and challenging lives. For example, Joe is trained as an escape artist and is able to escape from the persecution of the Jews in a casket holding a statue disguised as a person. These childhood events shape the rest of these men's lives.

    While this book is engaging and actually quite moving, it was too heavy for me. This was not the kind of escapism for me as it has too much pain and not enough fun or mystery. Not that this book was full of sorrow, there were some fun moments, like the excitement in creating their first comic book.

    I am better off sticking with mystery, thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy. But I recommend this to anyone who likes books that build fascinating if slightly tortured characters. Too much like real life for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Fortune Louisville, KY United States 07-13-12
    John Fortune Louisville, KY United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2001

    Louisville John

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Book!! But not for me."

    This book about two men who create a well read comic book hero is really about too men who go through unusual and challenging lives. For example, Joe is trained as an escape artist and is able to escape from the persecution of the Jews in a casket holding a statue disguised as a person. These childhood events shape the rest of these men's lives.

    While this book is engaging and actually quite moving, it was too heavy for me. This was not the kind of escapism for me as it has too much pain and not enough fun or mystery. Not that this book was full of sorrow, there were some fun moments, like the excitement in creating their first comic book.

    I am better off sticking with mystery, thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy. But I recommend this to anyone who likes books that build fascinating if slightly tortured characters. Too much like real life for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrik Pettersen Florida, United States 07-08-12
    Fredrik Pettersen Florida, United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Wow, I can't believe I missed this!"

    I had heard of Chabon, but I have a weird antipathy toeards "real" literature, ie. the stuff that gets the prizes; too often it's so far its own behind it's a complete waste of time. It's usually written extremely well, true, and this means it has some pleasures; but literary juries tend to abhor anything resembling a plot or a pay-off, and I ENJOY those!

    That said, I have recently come to the conclusion that the Pulitzers may be the exception to the rule, as this novel is a prime example of. Wonderfully written and just a joy to read/listen to, I can't recommend it enough.

    Interestingly, I looked into Chabon after listening to this book, and found out that he's fallen out of favor with the literati, since he accuses them of being stuck-up prigs. Thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 06-29-12
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 06-29-12 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    813
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    4
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    "MASTERPIECE. Art without wonder is merely craft!"

    This is "The Great American Novel"! Or at least one written after 1960, where like the "Great American Songbook" we seemed to stop adding to the canon. There's everything to like in this setting at a time where nostalgia's just beginning to tumble into history. It's simultaneously sweet, muscular, and poetic. I'm as pleased to know these characters as I was to meet the folks introduced to me by Faulkner, Penn Warren, and Harper Lee... and yet, while Chabon can evoke the power of the Southern masters, he's cast us into Yankee-land of the 30's& 40's. This is a very grown up book that speaks to your inner child.

    Simulataneously profound and frivolous... These are Amazing Adventures which I hope Mr. Chabon will someday revisit... Or let me revisit. And David Colacci is an immense talent. This is a wonder-filled tale... And art without wonder is merely craft!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    luke 10-18-12
    luke 10-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    55
    22
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    1
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    "Greater Writer but could not care about it"
    Would you try another book from Michael Chabon and/or David Colacci?

    no..


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    ??


    What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

    Excellent


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Very well written.
    Beautiful prose.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like books that are beautifully written, with great stories and don't mind not loving the characters this may be for you...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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