The Immortalists

The Immortalists

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A captivating family saga."-- New York Times Book Review

"This literary family saga is perfect for fans of Celeste Ng and Donna Tartt."-- People Magazine (Book of the Week)

"A sprawling, enchanting family saga."-- Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)

A dazzling family love story reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You from a novelist heralded by Lorrie Moore as a "great new talent."

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2018]
ISBN: 9780735213197
0735213194
9780735213180
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Opinion

From Library Staff

Recommended by Amy, Community Relations

Recommended by Lisa, Collection Services

A thought-provoking, sweeping family saga set in New York City’s Lower East Side, 1969. Four siblings sneak out to visit a psychic who reveals to each, separately, the exact date of his or her death. The book goes on to recount five decades of experience shaped by the siblings attempts to control... Read More »


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n
naturepod
Sep 17, 2018

A great read for a rainy weekend. I was particular entranced by Simon's section, which unfortunately, ended pretty quickly. The rest was a little bit boring, and I found myself skipping pages or simply not paying attention whatsoever. However, I appreciate the idea behind the book, and I am looking forward to reading Chloe Benjamin's other book as well.

Overall, I enjoyed the premise, and though it took me awhile to drop into her cadence, Benjamin's writing was captivating enough to keep me reading.

l
lovebugs95
Sep 16, 2018

I could not put this book down. I was engrossed with the tale of these four siblings and what would happen to them. This book made me evaluate how we should enjoy every moment and seize the day.

t
talk2terih
Sep 02, 2018

Is how we die destiny or a self-fulfilled prophecy? That is the question the reader must ask himself as the tales of 4 siblings of the Gold family unfold

The premise the author presents is interesting. If we know the date of our death, how will it alter and inform our behavior throughout our lives. The four siblings around whom the tale centers visit a fortune teller as very young children. The fortune teller gives each child, separately, the date they will die. As they grow into adulthood, each carries this knowledge with them and it shapes their lives, always a factor in the life choices they make, and is a different type of burden for each one of them.

It proves to be a hard knowledge for the siblings and sometimes blinds them to their own self interest, particularly as their predicted dates get closer.

This book is dark and not particularly happy, although there are happy moments. I came away from it feeling relieved that I don't have to carry the burden of knowing the date of my death, and feeling that I have some control (illusory as that feeling may be) over my fate.

n
njon38
Aug 18, 2018

Four siblings in 1969 new York go to a Roma fortune teller to learn the date of their death. simon, goes to SF and dies of AIDS before anyone knows what the disease is, Klara follows the footsteps of her grandmother and becomes a magician, Daniel becomes an army doctor, and Varya becomes a longevity researcher. It is really well written and poses the question in the four section will they die on the augured date because it is their destiny, or because the prediction draws them into an altered pattern of life choices?

r
Rachelc24
Aug 13, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. Excellent story telling. Great character development. What if you knew the exact date of your death? Would it change your entire life. Would it affect all your decisions? This book explores those heavy questions, with an interesting and entertaining narrative.

l
Linyarai
Aug 03, 2018

I mostly enjoyed this book, I liked the story idea and how each section focused on one of the siblings. I did not like the ending and lack of completion.

MrsIredale Jul 04, 2018

A lovely book that kept me wanting more, but felt like enough.

c
cloudi72
Jun 28, 2018

This book seemed realistic in the way she had the characters interacting, the love, the grudges, the worries, and concerns or no concern. It's a book of what one chooses to believe in the face of fate, or can belief alter destiny? Some of the characters were way predictable, nonetheless, a good book overall. What will happen to Ruby, later in life?

m
mckenzieseaux
Jun 17, 2018

The Immortalists was a great family saga. I loved it. At moments in the middle, it felt slow, but it always reeled me back in quickly. It was thought-provoking and had such unique characters! I didn't love the ending at first, but the more I think about it, the more I'm at peace with it.

6
671books
Jun 01, 2018

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The premise was awesome. I mean who wouldn't want to learn of their future when they're a child and then live life to its fullest.

But the book/story just didn't deliver. The author gets bogged down in details that really don't add anything to the story. I found myself skipping page after page just to get to the meat of the story. This book was truly a disappointment.

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