Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Finally. I finished the last book I had chosen for the New Classics Challenge. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. It took me much longer to read than I thought it would. It shouldn’t have surprised me, though, it is 656 pages long in not very big print.

So, what did I think?

Well, I loved it. It had a great combination of fantasy and historical fiction. The story follows cousins Sammy Clay and Joe Kavalier while they find success as comic book writers/artists in New York City in the time surrounding WWII. Both have reasons to lose themselves in their created comic world of Empire City and live vicariously through their superheroes. Joe is trying to help his family escape from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia and Sammy is coming to terms with his sexuality.

There are chapters thrown in throughout where they diverge from Sammy and Joe and tell their Comics characters stories. Even these, however, give us insight into Sammy and Joe since they put so much of themselves into them. Their main character is The Escapists who fights fictional versions of Nazis and Hitler. It is a way for Joe to fight against those he can’t do so for real. Also, the Escapists alter ego is Tom Mayflower who has a lame leg and walks with a cane. Sammy is hindered a bit by his own legs due to having polio as a child.

So many aspects of this book make it worthy of its Pulitzer Prize. The story of these two cousins is so intriguing and inspiring. It makes you believe that anyone can be a superhero. Superheroes are not only in comics and novels.


New Classics Challenge
AtoZ Challenge


  1. I was worried that I wouldn't like this when I picked it up a few years ago, but I thought it was superbly written and definitely deserving of the Pulitzer. I was sad to turn the last page with this one. Glad to hear you liked it!

  2. I feel the way as J.S. Peyton does. The comic element puts me off, but now that two insightful bloggers have recommended it, I would give it a go. Plus he's local writer.

  3. I also read this for the Modern Classics challenge (it was my favorite of the 8 I read) and I loved it. I put my review up (and it was an uncharacteristically short review because anything I could say about this book would have been insufficient). I've got some of his other books that I'm going to read.

  4. Thank you for reading this book, which I always thought I should read, but always thought: Oh dear. But it's so B I G. I'm happy to look over your shoulder on this.

  5. JS and Matt- I am very happy I finally read this after all these years. It was a pleasant surprise to enjoy it so much.

    Heather- I listed it as my favorite as well.

    Beth-It was a big read but well worth it.

  6. I was really interested to read this review ... it caught my eye in your archives. I got this book quite a while ago because I feel like I should read it ... but I wasn't sure if it was as good as the hype and if I would like it. The subject matter sounds so weird. But I'm going to give it a try based on your review!

  7. I posted this here on War Through the Generations.

    Diary of an Eccentric


Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)