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 childrenfour adolescents on the cusp of self-awarenesssneak 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....
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The Immortalists Reviews
Imagine you are a kid and together with your siblings you sneak out of the house to go see a gypsy woman who is said to be able predict the day you die… It’s 1969 in New York City’s East side, and word has spread about a mystical woman, a traveling psychic….You go to see her and all of you get to hear ‘your’ date.
You go home and then…. Life goes on. Will you believe this prophecy, will it influence the way you live? Will you be able to handle it? How will you live your life?
See my exclusive interview with Chloe Benjamin about her novel The Immortalists here!
“There are two major theories about how to stop aging…”
“…It sounds like you’re saying we can choose to live. Or we can choose to survive.”
Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists is a thoughtfully executed novel written in simple, yet often poetic, prose that allowed the characters’ voices at their most forceful to shine on their own past the narrative itself. More than that, it is a novel crafted around a question we ...more
See my review on booktube: https://youtu.be/vNUh7NwLuyM
Conceptually intriguing but lackluster in its execution. Benjamin’s contemporary coming-of-age tantalizes with its premise of four siblings who encounter a traveling psychic who reveals when they will die but is feather-light in its examination of the line between destiny and choice. Despite mention of mysticism and psychics, gypsies and magicians, the prose is unadorned, and the brevity of each character’s story evokes a perpetual sense of detachment. The fun of The Immortalists lies in specula ...more
An enjoyable family saga/character study with the tiniest dash of magical realism, but it's missing something. Without the something, it's unmemorable and unremarkable.
The kids of the Gold family have a gypsy psychic tell them the dates of their deaths, which is sort of used as the premise of the book. Mostly it's just used as an excuse to explore what it means to live one's "best life." Try to cram as much life in as possible before death catches up (and maybe inadvertently cause ...more
Still need to chew on the rating overnight but this book was at least 4.5 stars! Full review to follow.
"And what if I change?" It seems impossible that Varya's future is already inside her like an actress just offstage, waiting decades to leave the wings.
"Then you'd be special. 'Cause most people don't."
2 1/2 stars. I have a lot of mixed feelings about The Immortalists. Though there were parts I enjoyed, I was left feeling underwhelmed and like I'd recommend many other similar books before recommending this one.
You should be aware that this is literary fiction and focuses in depth on the lives ...more
Update ---I must add one more thought to this review: *The-Book-Cover* is not only lovely -- but now that I've read the book -- I recognize this 'perfect' design is symbolic to this story.
Jewish Kabbalists believe "The Tree of Life" to be a diagrammatic representation of the process by which the Universe came into being".
Jewish Kabbalists also don't envision time and space as pre-existing.
A wonderful -symbolically fitting book cover -- The mysticism of the fortune teller mixed with traditiona ...more