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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 (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: January 2005 ISBN: 9781597371612
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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.”

    Newsday

  • 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.”

    Newsweek

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

    Sun-Sentinel

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 2/3/2014

    " I bought this book in a Barnes and Noble in Alaska while on vacation and having run out of reading material. I had never heard of it, and picked it because it was the biggest, cheapest book on their sale table. WHAT A PLEASANT SURPRISE! Only after devouring it did I find that 90% of my book-loving friends also loved this book. It's epic, and was the best thing to come out of that trip. Fabulous story beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Graeme Fraser | 1/21/2014

    " My favourite book of all time. No question. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony Weaver | 1/16/2014

    " A lot of info about early comic books as well. I am really enjoying this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jevelyn | 1/10/2014

    " Love, love, LOVED this book. Mr. Chabon brings you into the story so you see, feel, and almost experiinece it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna Goldberg | 12/20/2013

    " The book lived up to the title. At one point it had me pacing around the house while reading the book because I was too agitated to sit still. A great story beginning to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Childers crouse | 12/16/2013

    " A little far fetched like a good comic book story line but a great book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 12/13/2013

    " I don't have a lot of complaints about this book. It sagged during section VI, the ending could've been more satisfying, and some of Chabon's sentences are exhausting and long for no good reason. But overall I recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandy | 12/11/2013

    " I loved everything about this book. It has a perfect blend of history, romance and outright nerditry (for us comics fans). It rocketed up to the top of my favorites list right out of the gate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete Cochran | 11/16/2013

    " An excellent book I still daydream about it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt Schlatter | 9/11/2013

    " 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joseph | 8/3/2013

    " For winning the Pulitzer Prize, I thought that this book was dull. It spent to much time on minutiae and didn't flow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 7/6/2013

    " Quite wonderful. Didn't want it to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 3/11/2013

    " Magnificent book. Does take an investment in time to get through, and Chabon's sentence structure can be absurdly cumbersome, but it's well worth the effort. Truly excellent, sophisticated, nuanced, and heart-filled storytelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 3/9/2013

    " Not written for children; only for the very literate young adult. Chabon is a miraculous writer. "

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

    " I went to hear Chabon talk at the UEA literary festival, I remember him saying something like that the sentence was the most important part of his work... This shines through in Kavalier and Clay, they're beautiful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelli | 10/17/2012

    " Love Michael Chabon's writing! You really know the characters and the action isn't formulaic. This book looks long but it pulls you in and sails along. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chester | 7/20/2012

    " Too stately, and mired in its period setting. None of the adrenaline and fun of mysteries of Pittsburg and wonder boys. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Herrera | 4/11/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Kenealy | 1/6/2012

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mick | 7/27/2011

    " This well written book by Michael Chabon is hard for me to review. I enjoyed parts of it but overall I never connected to the main characters. I want to rate it higher because of the obvious skill of the author but I just didn't enjoy as much as I wanted to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 6/17/2011

    " I really need a book club to talk about this one "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Minwook | 6/5/2011

    " Dickens without all the moralizing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 5/21/2011

    " Really liked the first half of the book, second half a little less. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 5/21/2011

    " Really well written with great character development "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronan | 5/14/2011

    " Probably one of the best books I've ever read. Definitely should be regarded as a modern classic. Joseph Franzen seems to get all the attention these days, but in my opinion, Chabon is a much better writer. The best book of the century so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/9/2011

    " Liked it but didn't get all the hype. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 5/4/2011

    " This book took some strange turns, but I enjoyed it the most when it was at its most mundane. I always like to hear stories about Jewish boys made good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noramelody | 5/2/2011

    " Amazing to read, really sad at times, but confused me thoroughly because I believed every footnote and historical anekdote....xD "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shero | 5/2/2011

    " Couldn't stand the plot, and didn't care for the characters. Chabon's got great talent, but it seems like he writes the kind of novels that are impossibly boring. Yawnituded through it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 4/29/2011

    " This is the guy who should be on the cover of Time Magazine instead of Jonathsn Franzen, and this book is why. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guyang | 4/29/2011

    " I don't think I've read such a long book in such a short amount of time. It had just the right amount of adventure, historical fiction, magic, romance, and humor. Also cameos by Salvador Dali and Mann Ray. "

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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 recorded more than one hundred audiobooks, earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His narration of The Suspect was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2007.