|Plot Summary of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay|
|"This novel by the author of _Wonder Boys_ won the Pulitzer Prize for 2001, but don't let that scare you off: It is compulsively readable. Ostensibly about two young Jewish men who collaborate on writing and illustrating comic books during the golden age of superheros (1939-1941), this book is about art, magic, and the magic (and escapism) of art. Joe Kavalier, a talented artist and student of prestidigitation, escape, and other forms of stage magic, flees from Prague ahead of the Nazis and works hard to save the rest of his family from the death camps. His travails even take him to Antarctica with the U.S. Navy(!), while his cousin, partner, and best friend Sammy Clay holds down the fort in New York City with Joe's abandoned fiancee, Rosa Saks. A cavalcade of actual historic personages pass through the pages of the story, from Al Smith, Orson Welles, and Delores del Rio to the other cartoonists of the Golden Age of comics. Chabon also footnotes the tale with bibliographical notations, and true and bogus facts to further the illusion and make the time come alive. But above all, it's a fabulous story."
David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|"To say that Josef Kavalier - Jewish refugee, novice escapist, artistic prodigy and vicarious proponent of truth and justice - led a remarkable life understates the intensity of Michael Chabon's main character.
Upon escaping Nazi persecution and meeting his cousin Sam Clay (also artistically gifted), Joe finds love and inspiration in New York City and launches a blend of pulpy nonsense and high social commentary via his comic book hero the Escapist. The comic book exceeds expectations and the teenage boys become success stories overnight.
Chabon's serial presentation guides the reader from Prague to Manhattan with occasional detours through the South Pole and a fictional-yet-optimistically possible world where heroes fight hatred and win. Superb characterization emphasizes the themes of self-discovery and faithfulness to the findings, as Joe and Sam learn from each other, themselves, and their separate lovers and find a world that seems more whole. Chabon follows them from their creation of a comic book series and their eventual success."
Michael Engel, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Life of a profession:
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- healthy but a geeky weakling
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 6 ()
- Eastern Europe
- South Pole
- fort/military installation
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- descript of kissing
- touching of anatomy
- actual description of hetero sex
- descript. of female anat. (the big B's)
- descript. of nude males (the big P)
- male homosexuals doing their thing
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- No single main character?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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