One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay’s cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. Together, they create a comic strip called ‘The Escapist’, its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed around the world. ‘The Escapist’ makes their fortune, but Joe can think of only one thing: how can he effect a real-life escape and free his family from the tyranny of Hitler?
Michael Chabon’s exceptional novel is a thrilling tightrope walk between high comedy and bitter tragedy. In Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay he has created two unforgettable characters bound together by love, family and cartoons.
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
‘Dazzling. Chabon has not so much attempted the great American novel as brought to life the idea that it had already been written – week by week, in the humble heroism of the comic book.' Independent
‘An adventure story that keeps you up until 4am with the bedside lamp on, eager to learn if the Escapist, and Chabon himself, can free the enslaved and lead them home.' Observer
‘This is one of those books that makes the reader want to race through to the find out what happens, while at the same time wishing it will never end.’ Mail on Sunday
‘Proof of the abiding power of complex, serious, engaged, but above all entertaining story-telling.' Times Literary Supplement
'A page-turning epic, sketching World War II as seen through the eyes of two comic book writers.' Time Out
'A novel of towering achievement.' New York Times
'Absolutely gosh-wow, super-colossal.' Washington Post
'An exciting, emotional, exuberant delight. Read it.' Chicago Tribune