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Amazing Adv./Kavalier/Clay(CD)Libr.(Abr. Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BRILLIANCE AUDIO; Library edition (Jan. 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597371580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597371582
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 16.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)


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First Sentence
IN LATER YEARS, holding forth to an interviewer or to an audience of aging fans at a comic book convention, Sam Clay liked to declare, apropos of his and Joe Kavalier's greatest creation, that back when he was a boy, sealed and hog-tied inside the airtight vessel known as Brooklyn, New York, he had been haunted by dreams of Harry Houdini. Read the first page
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Caldwell on May 27 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" is a work that's difficult to describe. The 600+ pages cover the years from 1937 until 1954 in the lives of Josef Kavalier and Sammy Clayman, two Jewish cousins and best friends. Kavalier flees Prague in 1937 under intriguing circumstances (that are too good to give away), and ends up with Sammy's family (Sammy's mother and both boys' grandmother) in New York City. They're poor, they're approximately the same age (17 at the beginning of the novel), and they both have dreams of bringing the rest of Josef's family to America before the anti-Semitism burbling in Central Europe does more harm to the family.
Through happenstance, careful planning, and skill, the two boys end up creating a super hero comic book. Their hero, "The Escapist," fights crimes with the talents of an escape artist (a career that Joe once aspired to) and eventually superhuman strength. He wears a mask (of course), and a blue suit with a gold key emblem emblazoned on his chest. The book uses as a template the careers of many Golden Age comic book artists, but especially that of Siegel and Schuster, the creators of the greatest of all, Superman. Joe and Sammy work together, and The Escapist is catapulted to the top of the comics heap, originally conceived as a Nazi-fighter (before fighting Nazis was cool) and an outlet for Joe's rage and impotence, and an outlet for Sammy's creativity. They build up an entire comics company, Empire Comics, and their fights with editors, radio producers, and serial producers fuel the need for conflict in the book--as there aren't many between these two friends.
The novel follows them and their comic book creation through World War II, and into the 1950's...and it's not a smooth ride for anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scoopriches TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 23 2013
Format: Paperback
Dear Mr Kavalier and Mr Clay

I would like to start off by saying what an incredible honour it is, as a life long fan of The Escapist, to write to both of my childhood heroes. My excitement is only outmatched by my recent completion of that fantastic autobiography, and winner of the coveted Pulitzer Prize, all about your lives and creative history. It is truly a wonderful book of pulse pounding thrills and incredible human drama, with tons of behind the scene craziness.

But darn it all, I still wonder how The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, written and researched by the fantastic Mr. Michael Chabon ever came out. And I am not just talking about its over 600 hefty pages of glory, or the occasional informative footnote, but the amount of information, both private and public, that you both reveal is astonishing.

I gobbled this book down, all because it told the complete story of how you, Mr Joseph Kavalier and My Sam Clay, created the greatest comic book character of them all, The Escapist. From that first fateful meeting, late one night in 1930’s New York, to your walk the next day that gave the world your greatest gift, almost everything is chronicled.

In fact the massive detail put into virtually all aspects of how The Escapist, and almost all of your other wonderful creations, came about is fantastic. Even the parts about the ones you helped make are amazing. I knew your fingerprints were on those characters as well, just like the legends and lore had suggested!

And the astonishing, prolonged, flashback telling the often hinted about tale of how Mr. Kavalier escaped the prosecution of his people in Europe, and the long and winding road that brought you to your cousins, Mr Clay’s doorstep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cory Beatty on June 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love it completely. Chabon is my favorite author and this book is his absolute masterpiece. I've read everything he's written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25 2003
Format: Paperback
To be honest I couldn't even finish this book.
I'm a comic book collector. My brother is a comic book writer. I know comic books. I know the history of comic books.
I also know this book is boring and is uninteresting after the boys get their comic book career off the ground.
Also, call me "homophobic", but does the author have to put a homosexual writer in every book? (Wonder Boys had one as well) This just didn't ring true - it had the feeling of "I need a homosexual writer" rather than Sammy NEEDING to be a homosexual writer.
After it got boring, it got stupid - the entire World War 2 segment in particular. We went from quasi-realistic to soap opera mush in the span of about 10 pages.
Please skip telling me that it "ended great" - because I don't care. I'm off reading GOOD books now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 15 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book actually deserves two stars. But given that it's received such a high rank here, I thought I needed to a little more to counteract those effects. After all, there's so much better literature out there that you could spend your time on. Some people have criticized this book for being too flowery in its language -- on the contrary, I felt that Chabon writes beautifully, and well. I could stand for even more complex language. Others have taken it to task for coming from a perspective only those with a knowledge of Golden Age comic books could appreciate. I disagree. Even though I was a comic book fan in my youth, my experience with comic books is much more up-to-date. I'm in my 20s. In fact, I found Chabon's constant reference to comic book history a little irritating, because half of his references weren't true, but he wrote as if they were, and those of you who didn't know couldn't ever tell. The most disappointing thing about this book though, was that it was written with precisely all the ham-handed skill of an old-fashioned comic book. (Maybe that was his intention?) None of the characters are very complex, some of them go so far as to be cartoons. Josef is literally some Jewish superhero, almost a copy of Batman. Sammy, the closeted gay man. Rosa, the faithful girlfriend. Mr. Saks, the adoring father in law. Anapol, the avaricious but respectful boss. And Carl Ebling, the bumbling Nazi sympathizer. It was as if Chabon himself was avenging the wrongs done to Jews with such simpleminded work as the Jewish cartoonist, like Joe, once did. If that's true, it's a cute technique, but unworthy of a Pultizer, certainly, and probably easier as a simple comic book. (And besides, isn't it time to let the Germans be, and get over it?Read more ›
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