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Extended Audio Sample The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, 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 (89,065 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Chabon Narrator: David Colacci Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It’s 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler’s Prague. He’s looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn’s own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book.

Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and the otherworldly Mistress of the Night, Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. The golden age of comic books has begun, even as the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a stunning novel of endless comic invention and unforgettable characters, written in the exhilarating prose that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to Cheever and Nabokov. In Joe Kavalier, Chabon, writing “like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times), has created a hero for the century.

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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

  • “[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

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

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “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

  • “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.”


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


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

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A stroke of sheer conceptual genius.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeff Bare | 2/17/2014

    " Incredibly well written and great story telling. Distinct characters that read very true. Funny at times, often thoughtful, and a bit of a magical touch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sion1128 | 2/14/2014

    " Easily one of my new favorites. This book has serious heart and creativity. I adored every word of every page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Zina | 2/6/2014

    " The characters and story were good, but I think what really made the book fun was all of the detail about the creation of comic books. It's admittedly trendy now to talk about comics as an underappreciated and Serious Art Form, but Chabon's jumping on that bandwagon somehow didn't really annoy me. Some of the background stuff was a bit plodding and pedantic, but overall I thought it struck an interesting balance between the whimsical (from the comic book parts) and the very serious (from the Holocaust parts). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Yogadog Wendy | 2/4/2014

    " Listened to the audiobook--the story starts strong, with so much possibility between the two main characters and their circumstances. I love novels that take place in this time period, and I especially liked Joe Kavalier. On the audio, the reader gives him a wonderfully European accent that works well with the reading, and lends even more depth to his character. The style is typical Chabon--complex, artistic, rich in emotional description and character depth. However, with such a strong start, I think Chabon got lost somewhere in the middle with too many character issues that, in my mind, detract from the overall theme of the story--which, to me, was the building of the comic book industry during WWII. I loved this idea, but was turned off by Clay's character development, which to me felt artificially dramatic and not true to the rest of the storyline. Despite that (and despite what I felt was a flat ending, and a very disappointing quash to the Tracy Bacon character), I enjoyed the story of the Escapist, the backstory on Bernard Kornblum, and the drama within Empire Comics. I also appreciated the viewpoint and feelings of isolationist, pre-war America, the caution to express a negative opinion toward the Nazis, the legal issues over potential copyrights. Not a favorite, but still a good read. "

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