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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Chabon


Fourth Estate

Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


656 pages

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One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his arduous and nerve-wracking escape from Prague finally achieved - with the help of his mentor, the master illusionist Kornblum. But little does he realise that this uneasy first meeting is the start of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. For Sam, Joe's formidable artistic skills are a chance to liberate them both from lives as inventory clerks at the Empire Novelties Incorporated Company. Together, they create a comic strip called The Escapist, its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed around the world with his Golden Key. The Escapist makes them their fortune and their name, but, as the situation worsens in Europe, Joe can only think of one thing. How can he effect a real-life escape, and free his family from the tyranny of Hitler? Michael Chabon's exceptional new novel is a thrilling tight-rope walk between high comedy and bitter tragedy, and confirms his position as one of the most inventive and daring of contemporary American writers. In Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, he has created two unforgettable characters bound together by love, family and cartoons. Their story, which ranges from the heady heights of the American Dream to the desperation and grief of the Second World War, and which journeys from New York and Czechoslovakia to the Arctic Circle, will live on in the mind of every reader long after the final page is turned.

By:   Michael Chabon
Imprint:   Fourth Estate
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   New edition
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   450g
ISBN:   9781841154930
ISBN 10:   1841154938
Pages:   656
Publication Date:   June 2003
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Author Website:

Michael Chabon is the author of two collections of stories for adults, 'A Model World' and 'Werewolves in their Youth'; a children's book, 'Summerland'; the novels 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh', 'Wonder Boys' (which has been made into a film), 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' (winner of the Pulitzer Prize); and the short story 'The Final Solution'. His most recent work is 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union'. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Spiderman 2. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire and Playboy. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their four children.

Josef Kavalier's teenage years in Prague are spent under the guidance of his beloved magic teacher who teaches him the art of escapology. But Hitler's takeover of Czechoslovakia spells doom for Josef, although he escapes to America to stay with his Jewish cousin Sammy Clay. They venture into the world of comic books: Sam the writer, and anglicized Joe the artist. Joe engages in the struggle of Americanizing his roots, transferring himself from Prague to New York, from chains to the American Dream as success opens its doors. But his desire for escape, to liberate his loved ones runs deeper than the physical distance of an ocean between countries. Chabon's novel is nothing but remarkable. A social history of the war, of the golden age of the comic book and America, of the refugee, animated into startling, breath taking exuberance in the lives of Kavalier and Clay. This is a book that illuminates the mind and awakens the heart. Joe's magic, illusions and escapist acts are laden with the poignancy of what he is escaping from, as Chabon shows us that the real magic lies in belonging, as the bonds of history, family, identity and friendship are the ones that there is no escape from, as Sammy and Joe thrillingly, rebelliously, tragically and soulfully take on the bonds metaphorical and physical of oppression and prejudice. (Kirkus UK)

  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize Fiction Category 2001
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize Fiction Category 2001.
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2001
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2001.
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