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Extended Audio Sample The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Audiobook, by Michael Chabon Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (88,967 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Chabon Narrator: David Colacci Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781469216423
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"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" is the best-selling novel by Michael Chabon which, since its first publication, has fast become a cult classic. Narrator David Colacci brings fans over 26 hours of listening enjoyment.

Through a rich parade of finely developed characters, Chabon takes listeners on a journey through the history of the comic book in fiction form. Joe Kavalier, prior to his escape to New York City, has been caught up in Prague during Hitler's regime. Desperate to bring his family to America, he searches for work to earn their passage money. A talented artist, he turns to his cousin, Sammy Clay, who is in need of a co-creator of a relatively new art form: the comic book.

The World War II era provides fertile soil for the comic book industry. People are longing for escape from the realities around them and from the dire possibilities that lay ahead of them. They find escape through living vicariously, and what better fantasy world to escape into than those created by comic book artists?

Kavalier does not find immediate success. Times are tough. Jobs are scarce. The emerging comic book scene is difficult to break into. Kavalier and Clay do not give up. They possess tremendous talent and the drive to go along with it. They are motivated and imaginative enough to turn the colorful characters around them into super villains creating larger-than-life scenarios where ever newer super heroes rush in to save the day.

What sets Kavalier and Clay apart from others in the industry are their own life experiences they bring to their work, drawing upon their personal struggles to fill in the colorful panels of their comic books. Their own needs to escape everyday problems played out against a New York City background spew forth from pen and ink are met with a public appetite for new entertainment via this developing art form.

Fans of the novel will rediscover the greatness of Chabon's work and remember why they fell in love with the novel in the first place through listening to this audiobook. They will also better understand why an ever-growing number of fans have named "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" Chabon's best work.

American writer Michael Chabon was born May 24, 1963 in Washington, D.C. He is best known as a novelist, a screenwriter and a short story writer. His novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Chabon has loved reading comic books from his childhood. He achieved an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of California at Irvine. His great love of comic books became the subject matter of this work, his third novel.

Michael Chabon has written under the pen names of Leon Chaim Bach, Malachi B. Cohen, and August Van Zorn.


The beloved, award-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a Michael Chabon masterwork, is the American epic of two boy geniuses named Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay. Now with special bonus material by Michael Chabon.

A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnum opus” (The New York Review of Books), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling, an exuberant, irresistible novel that begins in New York City in 1939. A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink. Spanning continents and eras, this superb book by one of America’s finest writers remains one of the defining novels of our modern American age.


Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and the New York Society Library Book Award

Named one of the 10 Best Books of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The depth of Chabon’s thought, his sharp language, his inventiveness, and his ambition make this a novel of towering achievement.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “It’s absolutely gosh-wow, super-colossal—smart, funny, and a continual pleasure.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Richly imagined and unexpectedly moving, Kavalier & Clay shows a thoroughbred author writing at the peak of his talents.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Towing, swash-buckling thrill of a book…The themes are masterfully explored, leaving the book’s sense of humor intact and characters so tightly developed.”


  • “Lyrical…Exquisitely patterned…Composed with detailed scenes, and spotted with some rapturous passages.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “[Chabon’s] biggest and most ambitious work so far. High-spirited, fantastic yet historically grounded, written in a charming, fluent, witty prose, it is a highly engaging and entertaining book.”


  • Kavalier & Clay is full of the kind of exquisitely figurative language and gorgeous sentences for which Chabon is deservedly celebrated.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Chabon takes center stage as a literary Houdini. It’s a crowd-wowing performance, one that pushes the author toward the top ranks of his generation of American writers.”

    Denver Post

  • “Starts out as one of the most pleasurable novels of the past few years. It ends as one of the most moving.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “This is a glad-hearted novel, rich in story and character and invention, and an argument for the virtues of escapism.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Well researched and deeply felt, this rich, expansive, and hugely satisfying novel will delight a wide range of readers.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Michael Chabon’s new novel is the product of sparkling intelligence, undeniable talent, and consummate skill…A triumph both of style and storytelling.”


  • “A stroke of sheer conceptual genius.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction
  • A 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction
  • A 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/7/2014

    " Joyce Sarick's Top 5 Literary Fiction Books "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffany | 2/2/2014

    " It started out perfectly and the writing is smart and good--but then it turned into one of those things where it felt like the author was pushing his characters to do things they wouldn't really do just to move his plot in a certain way. I know it sounds weird to say that--people can make any choice at all--but that's what it felt like to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie Wells | 1/20/2014

    " Long but totally worth the read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carl Marcus | 1/15/2014

    " Chabon is a very gifted writer. This book starts out very well, but the story sort of starts to fall apart about halfway through the book and never fully recovers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Herrera | 1/13/2014

    " It took me forever to read this book because it became pretty clear after reading the first few pages this is a book to savor. I'm glad I did but it means that I've been living in this world for so long that I'm going to miss it that much more now that I finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/12/2014

    " This book is a slow burn. It took me until about 60% through until I really started to connect with the characters. But the ending is lovely, and it's a great portal into an era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles Whittlesey | 1/12/2014

    " A wonderful book, although I found the comic-book motif a detraction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/10/2014

    " I normally love Michael Chabon but there were times I truly struggled to finish this book. Some aspects were fascinating - but I was hoping the whole novel would grab me like his other books have done. Even so, I still consider him one of my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsie Jones | 1/8/2014

    " I thought of my friend Brian through most of this, but a lot of other people came to mind too. I hope this book isn't overlooked - it should be widely read for all the issues it touches on. Rascism, bigotry, war, copyright infringement, love, hate, life, death - and the history of comic books. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Harris | 12/6/2013

    " I like the book. It kept me engaged for a month! Chabon is a brilliant writer. But...i wanted to feel more passion, i guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Ryan | 11/14/2013

    " A ripping yarn, compellingly told. It doesn't quite sustain its quality to the end, but I've picked up "Telegraph Avenue" and am eager to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 11/13/2013

    " Of the 4 of his that I've read, this is my absolute favorite. Very well told, great sense of imagination and you can really invest in the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Goins | 11/3/2013

    " One of the top 2-3 books I've ever read. Perhaps the best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aviva Adler | 11/2/2013

    " I feel so silly for having put this down a few pages in a few years ago- it was so worth the slog through the slow start. Took me some time to get used to Chabon's long run-onnish sentences BUT what a great book! The characters, the subject, the detail, the writing. Really great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Kenealy | 9/15/2013

    " One of my all time favorites. Read the other reviews for the low down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 9/3/2013

    " Funny, moving and very original "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barak Kassar | 5/16/2013

    " reading chabon is kinda like reading rushdie... there is so much detail and it's so beautifully presented. the story is woven so intricately "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yannick Bigras | 3/25/2013

    " really enjoyed the first 3 quarters of this novel the end left me a little uneasy and unsatisfied, but maybe that's what Chabon was going for "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Minwook | 2/26/2013

    " Dickens without all the moralizing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lock | 1/8/2013

    " Comics are dear to my heart. Magical realism is also. Also fighting nazis. This book charmingly binds the three. Skeptical at first, I ended up loving it, but I'm also a sucker for the kinds of characters Chabon creates. Definitely recommended though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Groucho | 12/11/2012

    " Just as great the second time through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith Chapman | 10/10/2012

    " I know it cuts against the conventional wisdom, and I enjoy reading Chabon, but while this yarn entertained, it didn't move. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Manjula | 9/24/2012

    " I am apparently the only person on the planet who hated this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 9/16/2012

    " Wonderful book. Extremely well written. I wasn't crazy about the ending (and almost lowered rating to four stars because of it) but decided to leave it at five because the rest of the book is so fantastic. Glad I finally got around to reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt Schlatter | 9/5/2012

    " Ridiculously good writing. Engaging characterizations, vivid storytelling, distinctly capturing a time/place. This is the perfect page-turner vacation book. If only everything Chabon has written was so good. If you haven't read it by now, do yourself a favor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel d. | 8/25/2012

    " The way this book was finished seemed abrupt. All of that work, the meticulous detail and building of character, then BAM. i really, really liked it until then.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geanette | 8/16/2012

    " Loved it! Intimate story about people but pulls in great big sweeping historic themes. Fantastic writing, ended up breathless by the time I got to the end of some sentences! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 8/15/2012

    " The fact that it involves comic books doesn't hurt at all, but what really makes this book is the incisive portrait of the two central characters, obviously based upon Siegel and Shuster, the two teenagers who created Superman. Chabon is one of the best writers--and people--working today. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the New York Times bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, the middle-grade book Summerland, and several others.

About the Narrator

David Colacci is an actor and director who has directed and performed in prominent theaters nationwide. His credits include roles from Shakespeare to Albee, as well as extensive work on new plays. As a narrator, he has won numerous Earphones Awards, earned Audie Award nominations, and been included in Best Audio of the Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. He was a resident actor and director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992.