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The Interestings

Wolitzer, Meg (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Interestings
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Named a best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly , Time , and The Chicago Tribune , and named a notable book by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post #147;Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself."#151; The New York Times Book Review "A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . . She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's."#151; Entertainment Weekly (A) From New York Times #150;bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a new novel that has been called "genius" ( The Chicago Tribune ), #147;wonderful" ( Vanity Fair ), "ambitious" ( San Francisco Chronicle ),nbsp;and a #147;page-turner" ( Cosmopolitan ), which The New York Timesnbsp;Book Reviewnbsp; says is "among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot ." The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings , Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules's now-married best friends, become shockingly successful#151;true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
Authors: Wolitzer, Meg
Title: The Interestings
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, c2013.
Characteristics: 468 pages ;,24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Local Note: 6 7 15 16 17 18 35 53 57 71 75 76 79 80 97 109 110 112 118 122 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 152 156 159 160 167 172 176 182 188 193 198 210 211 216 222 224 226 228 231 242 243 245 250 263 264 268
ISBN: 1594488398
9781594488399
Statement of Responsibility: Meg Wolitzer
Subject Headings: Friendship Fiction. Self-realization Fiction. Gifted persons Fiction.
Genre/Form: Bildungsroman.
Domestic fiction.
Topical Term: Friendship
Self-realization
Gifted persons
LCCN: 2012050294
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Jul 30, 2014
  • peachy1 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

The Interestings aren't.

Jun 29, 2014
  • SLoMotion rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I listened to the audiobook while on vacation last year, and I remember being so engrossed in the characters and feeling haunted when it was over. As I enter my 30's, my own life, past friends, and events play before me in a parallel fashion to the protaganist and her life in the novel. We all start out so young and sure of ourselves, this golden path laid out for us to follow. But life's twists and turns bring unexpected disappointment and beauty.

I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, I should read it again, too.

Apr 19, 2014
  • kninchicago rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I couldn't put this book down, but I do have mixed feelings on it. It's about six teens who meet at an arts summer camp in the 70s. It follows the lives of four of the youth up through their 50s (aka through present time) with the occasional mention/appearance of the other two. Something happens between two of the teens which has implications on them for decades to come. To be honest I feel like it didn't need to happen. In another plot, one the other teens ends up being wildly successful (creates a show that sounds an awful lot like The Simpsons) and the concept of evaluating your choices in life, as you get older, and wondering if you did the right thing or if you were ever truly meant to be anything but ordinary could have been expanded rather than the confrontation which splits the group. The confrontation is never comfortably resolved, though, I suppose that's rather realistic in many cases, but it makes me have less respect for our protagonist.

Mar 30, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Julie Jacobson goes to an arts camp when she's fifteen in the summer of 1974. She becomes Jules Jacobson and gains a new group of friends. They jokingly refer to themselves as "The Interestings." This books covers the stories of their lives and friendship from their teenage years to their middle age. The plot wanders a bit at points, admittedly to a point where I'd get a little frustrated, but it always pulls you back as you see something that you know too well from your own group of friends or just from yourself.

There are big events, there are little events, there are falling outs, there are major and minor tragedies and achievements. You hate and like everyone at different points for different reasons and a big focus of the novel is of Jules' envy that two of her friends made it in their chosen art while everyone else couldn't for various reasons.

I had my moments with this book but I came out really enjoying it and, surprisingly, wishing to know what awaits the group in their later years. If you're looking to get comfortable with a group of friends and watch their lives unfold, and are ready for a long haul, this is the book for you.

Mar 02, 2014
  • TracyGuza rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel which tracks the activities of teenagers at camp in the 1970's through the present deals brilliantly with divisions between the super rich and entitled and the regular middle class. Set in upstate New York and Manhattan, the book seamlessly switches between past and present, intertwining characters stories. The Interestings was interesting indeed. I felt affinity for all the characters and situations. And, as a fan of New York at any point in time, the city provides a fantastic backdrop for the drama.

Feb 16, 2014
  • bigoz123 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Entertaining Book.

Feb 10, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book begins when six teens meet at art camp in the 1970s and christen themselves “The Interestings”. It then follows their evolving relationships until the present time. While the characters are not always likable, they are complicated, relatable and realistic. The book also examines the corrosiveness of envy and touches on many serious themes including rape, depression, autism, and AIDS. Not a light read, but definitely an interesting and worthwhile one.

very disappointing. could not get into this book. wanted to smack the characters.

EW top 10 non-fiction of 2013
and gay book club

Dec 15, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was rated fairly lowly which I found surprising because so many people read it this year. My feelings towards the novel was that it has an amazing story, it was well-written and hard to put down, but the characters in the novel drove me crazy. I found them all to be self-absorbed and unrelatable . Regardless, I am giving this novel 5 stars because it really was an excellent read.

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Nov 26, 2013
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Meg Wolitzer & Delia Ephron at the New York Society Library

Meg Wolitzer and Delia Ephron in conversation about Wolitzer's THE INTERESTINGS.

Find it at CLEVNET

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