Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

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Time for my first book review! The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon is not a new release but
I recently finished it and loved it so much I had to share.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay follow the lives of two Jewish cousins leading up to and during World War II. Joe Kavalier makes a daring escape from his homeland Prague just prior to its German occupation and makes his way to New York and into the home of his Brooklyn cousin Sam Clay.

Sam Clay has been living with his mother and grandmother in a small apartment in Brooklyn while working a small time job in a company that sales small gag and toy items (think whoopee cushion ads in the old comic books). Meanwhile he has big ideas that he tells everyone and he somewhat has his mother convinced he is on to bigger things. When his mother ushers Joe into his room that first fateful night, his gears start to turn and his develops his greatest idea yet.

The book chronicles their life over the next 10 years. The ups, the downs, the parties and the war. The book is well written and the addition of the footnotes made me forget at times that I was reading a fiction novel. Michael Chabon really brings the characters to life and while some events seem outrageous the way Chabon portrays them it seems to fit seamlessly in and it seems like a probably event in the lives of Kavalier and Clay.

Comic books play a central role in the book, Joe and Sam start out as two kids with a crazy idea and manage to make it in the beginnings of the comic book genre. Chabon describes the difficulties of the genre’s start and even throws in a few of the Kavalier and Clay story lines.    I’m not a comic book fan myself yet and new little about the genre, but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment. It actually made me more interested in trying it out and made me want to research more of the history.

So don’t shy away from the tale if you think it’s just a book about a couple of boys and comic books, it is so much more than that. It truly follows to boys striking out on their own during a time that the United States and world at large was changing.


I wanted to announce that I will be participating in the ThankFully Reading weekend next weekend. Hosted by the blogs Jenns Bookshelves and Beth FishReads. The post can be found here ( Lots of other blogs will be participating and we will be posting about what we are reading, participating in some challenges and tweeting about what we are reading with the hashtag #thankfulreading. If you have a blog and want to participate sign up, she also mentions about participating through comments and remember to check out the #thankfulreading hashtag next weekend for lots of fun Thanksgiving weekend reading!

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  1. I agree. It’s a great book. Magical and engrossing.


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