This is… rather awkward. That kind of thing. Er — Mrs Higgins, can you explain?
Plot summary[ edit ] The novel begins in with the arrival of year-old Josef "Joe" Kavalier as a refugee in New York Citywhere he comes to live with his year-old cousin, Sammy Klayman. With the help of his mentor, Kornblum, Joe escapes Nazi-occupied Prague by hiding in a coffin.
Joe leaves behind the rest of his family, including his younger brother Thomas. As the novel develops, both Joe and Sammy find their creative niches, one entrepreneurial, the other's artistic.
Beyond having a shared interest in drawing, the duo share several connections to Jewish stage magician Harry Houdini: Josef like comics legend Jim Steranko studied magic and escapology in Prague, which aided him in his departure from Europe; Sammy is the son of the Mighty Molecule, a strongman on the vaudeville circuit.
When Sammy discovers Joe's artistic talent, he gets Joe a job as an illustrator for a novelty products company, Empire Novelty. Sheldon Anapol, owner of Empire, motivated to share in the recent cultural and financial success of Supermanattempts to break Amazing adventures of kavalier and clay the comic-book business on the creative backs of Joe and Sammy.
Under the name "Sam Clay", Sammy starts writing adventure stories with Joe illustrating them, and the two recruit several other Brooklyn teenagers to produce Amazing Midget Radio Comics named to promote one of the company's novelty items.
The pair is at once passionate about their creation, earnestly optimistic about making money, and always nervous about the opinion of their employers. The magazine features Sammy and Joe's character, the Escapistan anti-fascist superhero who combines traits of among others Houdini, Captain AmericaBatmanthe Phantomand the Scarlet Pimpernel.
The Escapist becomes tremendously popular, but like talent behind Superman, the writers and artists of the comic get a minimal share of their publisher's revenue. Joe and Sammy are slow to realize that they are being exploited, as they have private concerns: Joe is trying to help his family escape from Prague and has fallen in love with the bohemian Rosa Saks, who has her own artistic aspirations; while Sammy works to find his sexual identity and seeks progress in his professional and literary career.
For many months after coming to New York, Joe's drive to help his family shows through in his work, which remains violently anti-Nazi despite his employer's concerns.
In the meantime, he spends more and more time with Rosa, appearing as a magician in the bar mitzvahs of the children of Rosa's father's acquaintances, even though he sometimes feels guilty for distracting himself from fighting for his family.
After multiple attempts and considerable monetary sacrifice, Joe ultimately fails to get his family to the States, his last attempt having resulted in putting his younger brother aboard a ship that was destroyed by a German U-boat.
Distraught and unaware that Rosa is pregnant with his child, Joe enlists in the navy, hoping to fight the Germans. Instead, he is sent to a secluded naval base in Antarctica. After a faulty chimney fills the base with carbon monoxideJoe emerges from this interlude the lone survivor from his station.
When he makes it back to New York, he is ashamed to show his face again to Rosa and Sammy. He squats in a hideout in the Empire State Buildingknown only to a small circle of magician-friends. Tracy's movie-star good looks initially intimidate Sammy, but later they fall in love.
When Tracy is cast as The Escapist for the film adaptation, he invites Sammy to move to Hollywood with him, an offer that Clay accepts. But later, when Tracy and Sammy go to a friend's beach house with several other gay couples, the private dinner is raided by the local police as well as two off-duty FBI agents.
All of the men at the party are arrested, except for two who hide under the dinner table, one of whom is Sammy.
The FBI agents use their authority to sexually abuse Sammy and the other man. After this episode, Sammy decides that he can't live with the constant threat of being persecuted and breaks off his relationship with Tracy. Some time after Joe leaves, Sammy marries Rosa and moves with her to the suburbs, where they raise her son Tommy in what outwardly appears to be a traditional nuclear family.
Sammy and Rosa cannot hide all their secrets from Tommy, however, who manages to take private magic lessons in the Empire State Building from Joe for the better part of a year without anyone else's knowledge.
Tommy is instrumental in finally reuniting the Kavalier and Clay duo, which works with renewed enthusiasm to find a new creative direction for comics.
Joe moves into Sammy and Rosa's house. Shortly afterwards, Sammy's homosexuality is revealed on public television. This further complicates the attempts of Rosa, Sammy, and Joe to reconstitute a family.
In the end, despite Joe and Rosa's efforts to convince Sammy to stay, he leaves the house in the middle of the night without saying goodbye. The novel's time span roughly mirrors that of the Golden Age of Comics itself, starting from shortly after the debut of Superman and concluding with the Kefauver Senate hearingstwo events often used to demarcate the era.
Rosa Saks — A bohemian artist who becomes Joe's love interest and later Sam's wife. Tracy Bacon — A handsome actor who plays the Escapist and helps Sam come to terms with his sexual identity.
He helps add to the theme of escapism, and helps Sammy metaphorically escape out of his body. George Deasey — Chief editor of Empire Comics.
Embodies the wishes of the cousins. Joe came up with her largely on his own after meeting Rosa Saks.65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s.
The books that will move you, inspire you, make you cry, make you think, make you laugh. Even if you read them in high school or college, you'll have a. Sep 19, · In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon asks one of the oldest questions asked in stories, and gives us the oldest answer.
But, you know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because, really, the oldest answer is the right one/5. In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon asks one of the oldest questions asked in stories, and gives us the oldest answer. But, you know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because, really, the oldest answer is the right one/5.
In Jewish folklore, a golem (/ ˈ ɡ oʊ l ə m / GOH-ləm; Hebrew: גולם ) is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud).The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.. The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the lateth-century rabbi of Prague.
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Michael Chabon is the author of Wonder Boys, which won universal critical acclaim and was made into a feature film starring Michael Douglas. Entertainment Weekly included his latest, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, on its list of the best books of