Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The

Chabon, Michael

  14 Reviews

Following his escape from 1939 Prague, a young Jewish artist, Joe Kavalier, joins forces with his New York cousin, Sammy Clay. They become the creative forces behind a Nazi-busting, comic book superhero who promotes good over evil. A witty look at how art can offer a gesture of defiance and hope. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2001. [Big read, small font]

Comments from Groups

What a fascinating book and great writing. This author uses words we haven't heard before which is mind opening. The story was interesting and in parts instructive. It is a book that needs time - a chapter here and there won't work. It's a sit down and enjoy it book. It ventures into areas (magic tricks and comic books) that are unusual, and takes you places that you wouldn't usually go. Read it!! Ngongotaha 002

This, we all agreed, was a very densely packed novel, beautifully written, full of detail, and not easy reading. For those who persevered, it provided a number of topics which repaid our attention, focussing as it does, for example, on the infinite variety of aspects of love - family love, romantic love, parental and sibling love, and the love of art, to name a few. Art is a strong central theme. This book, we thought, gradually engaged the determined reader, and had a lot of beautiful and also sad things to tell us about life, personal philosophies and motivation. An important novel. Whitby 002

Many found it too long and tedious to make it half-way. Those who did were intrigued, enjoyed the writing and made it to the end. Needs commitment. Dunedin 006

The group was evenly divided on this one. Half just could not get into it, and half thought it was brilliant. The positive view was that it was an innovative, well-written, tragicomic novel. The impetus of the story swept readers along. Lower Hutt 004

Not all of the group had time to read this lengthy book, but those of us who did thoroughly enjoyed it. A highly recommended book. Leigh 001

Very dense prose with great descriptions that really evoked the New York of the pre WW 2 Jewish immigrant. Wellington 039



I feel like I've just come out of one of those 3 hour movies like Oppenheimer except this one lasted 12 hours instead. It is so full of detail that I feel full up, like I've eaten 3 volumes of the Britannica with a knife and fork. Yes, I liked it, if that is the correct context to use that word "liked'. It feels like saying I liked The Industrial Revolution or I liked the Stone Age. You don't read this book, you consume it as it consumes you, when you meet in the middle it smiles at you, lifts its hat and moves on. But you notice that the smile is warm and human.
AUCK 379
Group thought book was too long and hard to understand. Some couldn't finish due to length and complexity. Good story subject but hard to understand much of it.
AUCK 422
Very mixed opinions - from really brilliant, the best read of the year; to those who didn't enjoy it at all. Those of us who loved it most were really grateful to our Bookclub, as it was not the sort of book we would necessarily have chosen ourselves. And thanks to BDS for having it in their catalogue!
I loved it! Rest of the group mixed. Rich characters, unique settings (comic industry) - recommend.
WELL 018
Most thought the print was too small, daunting, and the sentences too long. BUT those who read the most gave it 8-8.5.
Overall impression was that the first third of the book quite heavy going and rather wordy in parts. Good discussion as various views by all. Fascinating theme of comics.
CHCH 088
Of the 11 members, only 4 managed to read the book - others found the writing style and story underwhelming. 3 of the members found it enjoyable and a good read. A general discussion on the book's writing style, story and themes, led by the readers, was interesting.
WELL 071
We enjoyed the book - a lot of reading though!
People struggled to complete the book in one month, but those who did thought it was well worth it. A multi layered complex novel.
NELS 024
An enthusiastic response - all enjoyed the story, and its various threads. Characters were alive, dialogue was dynamic and only the font of this edition was troublesome for the optically challenged!
GISB 002
Not enjoyed by everyone, but an interesting discussion followed which always helps to understand the book better.
AUCK 164
There was a mixed reception to this book. Some members really liked it, and others did not saying that it was too long and had too much detail. There was certainly a huge amount of detail and some very unusual words used. Very evocative of the era and of New York. Might appeal more to people who like comics.
TAUR 009
Discussion went really well; it was really well crafted with a lot of philosophy underneath. Not easy to read because of the fine print, but everyone enjoyed what bits they did read.
CHCH 194
Such a different and excellent book. We learnt so much. We are not sure how we came to choose this book - as the topic wasn't really in anyone's field of interest. However, I have since recommended this to several people and we all rated it highly. Do not be put off by the length. Once you get into it, you will love it - and learn so much.