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Publisher's Summary

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 otherworldy 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, writing "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times), has created a hero for the century.

©2000 Michael Chabon (P)2000 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Virtuoso Chabon takes intense delight in the practice of his art, and never has his joy been more palpable than in this funny and profound tale of exile, love, and magic." (Booklist)
"This thoughtful and entertaining work is so well presented by Colacci - even down to the Yiddish accents - that his performance is a truly memorable experience." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    206
  • 4 Stars
    209
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    39

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall

Great book, lousy abridgment

This is the worst abridgment I've ever heard, and an excellent example of why I usually steer clear of them. It's only a slim exaggeration to say that it seems as if the editor who chopped this book down did it without reading the text. In one sequence, we go from our hero standing by himself to "...stepping away from her..." with no indication of when the "her" walked onto the scene. These sorts of jarring omissions occur every 15 minutes.
Equally frustrating are the times when the book refers back to events that were chopped out. Chabon's writing is so good that you feel genuinely ripped off by the omissions.
From now on I won't buy abridged titles unless they are approved by the author.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Abridgment didn't work

Michael Chabon's writing has an elegant flow that grabs you and carries you into whatever universe he has created. This abridgment interfered with that flow and simply threw out much of what makes Chabon's writing so distinctive. It's a shame, really, because the book was a very good read a few years ago, while I could still see well enough to read. Wish I could say the same about this abridged audiobook version.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I was hoping for much more!

The subject matter of this book intrigued me, so I bought it. This abridged version was awful. It totally lacked flow. The random jumping around from situation to situation and from one time period to another and from one location to another without any bridging narrative left me totally bewildered and disappointed.
The author does have artistic talent and paints wonderful word descriptions of just about everything.
I think that if I had the opportunity to listen to an unabridged version, my rating would be considerably higher.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MARCIA
  • Lake Forest, CA, United States
  • 01-30-09

Wonderful story, unfortunate abridgement

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and became very fond of the characters, but as others have written, the abridged version is not well done and several times I was startled by the sudden jump in the story. Because I knew this was an abridged version, I understood my need to fill in the gaps, but why offer an abridged version in the first place? I would have preferred the entire book. Having said all that, I would recommend it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sheldon
  • Encinitas, CA, United States
  • 02-19-12

Please give us an Unabridged version

Why abridged? Left gaps and joyful passages out of the experience. Minimum words in review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Please give us an Unabridged version

Why abridged? Left gaps and joyful passages out of the experience. Minimum words in review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Noah
  • Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 06-28-11

Abridged, do not buy.

It was my fault. I didn't read that it was abridged. You don't buy a book like this for an abridged version, you save that stuff for books like the DaVinci code.

I'm one of those people who won't even listen to an abridged version. I wish I never would have purchased this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Pimlico, QLD, Australia
  • 03-27-09

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I would recommend you buy the book and read it rather than the abridged audiobook version. David Colacci however does a fantastic job - one can only hope that an unabridged version appears.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Witty, fun and thought provoking.

I loved this audiobook. The book is witty, insightful and touching and the reading is really well done.

I found it very entertaining and humourous while at the same time it kept me really thinking about the ideas about hope and escapism it brought up.

The storyline teeters on the brink of fantasy, but is set firmly in the "real world" - and I love that combination of suspension of disbelief with well developed, believable and touching characters. At the end you suddenly realise that you may have thought you were listening to an effortless, entertaining story of humourous adventures and events, but it turns out it was also a beautiful serious portrayal of friendship, love, and the hope offered by escapism.

I'm definitely looking for another Michael Chabon to listen to or read, but meanwhile I'm going to listen to this one again.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't realize it was edited version of the whole book

The story got 3 stars instead of five, only because the narration skips over the actual book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rebecca Rubens
  • 05-28-13

Remains unfinished

This wasn't my cup of tea. I had the book given to me, recommended by a friend. I found it incredibly difficult to persevere with. This has happened before with 'The Picture of Dorian Grey' and I resolved it with buying audio book (I hate to not finish a book) but even that didn't work for me. As such the book remains incomplete and I have no immediate desire to either. The ONLY book ever that I failed to finish. Perhaps I might, one day....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maria Waldron
  • 04-07-13

Worlds Apart

This was a book that I had read before, but I was enchanted by David Colacci's interpretation of this wonderful tale. With his voice only, he is able to paint the most vivid pictures of a world that I previously knew little about. Chabon has created unusal and fascinating characters and Colacci communicated what is a complex narrative with ease and familiarity. I also loved the way there were some historical events that were paralleled in the story, but given a new perspective. It is a wonderfully warm tale that stays with you long after its completion. The five stars I have given this audio clearly indicates that this is a book and a reading that I would highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful