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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
MICHAEL CHABON

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
1024 reviews (2000) (656p)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize for Fiction
TIME Magazine Best Fiction Books
Amazon.com Best Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
Winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award, New York Library Book Award Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Los Angeles Times Book AwardJoe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City.His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America - the comic book.Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men.With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.


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


Other Award Winning Books by Michael Chabon
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
377 reviews (2016) (448p) (Amazon Top10Lit) (NYT100) (MK Top) () (AmzSpotlight) (NBCCA) (PW ANMCT) () () (Amazon) ()
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
423 reviews (2012) (480p) (Amazon Top100) (B&N Fiction) (NYT100) (Kirkus Top25) (MK Top) (LJ More Best) (LATimes)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon
56 reviews (2009) (320p) (TIME Non)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
408 reviews (2007) (432p) (ALA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Michael Chabon Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 6  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 3  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 1 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay ·  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 2 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay · Moonglow ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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