A page turner...An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what its like to live during times of crisis." New York Times Book Review.A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca MakkaiIn 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster....
|Title||:||The Great Believers|
|Number of Pages||:||421 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Great Believers|
The Great Believers Reviews
There’s an important story here (at least in the 1985 strand) as AIDS cuts through the Chicago gay community – but something about Makkai’s style left me feeling mostly disengaged from it in emotional terms. Sure, I had moments of anger as we witness a dead man’s parents exclude his lover from the funeral, the horrible voyeurism that makes a thing of a man being gay, black, whatever. But overall I was never able to get involved or attached to what is going on.
Add to the style a baggy structure t ...more
This sprawling, intimate novel takes on the legacy of the AIDS crisis, focusing on one group of friends in Chicago in the 1980s.
It’s 1985 and Yale Tishman’s friends are dying one by one. As his career at a Chicago art gallery begins to take off, his personal life is consumed with loss—not to mention the looming fear of getting sick himself. Yale throws himself into a new project, helping the aunt of one of his late friends Nico unveil a collection of paintings from famous 1920s artists that she ...more
I read the first 50 pages for a potential BookBrowse review, skimmed up to p. 172 and also skimmed the last few chapters. There’s a near-contemporary story line that’s not very compelling; while I enjoyed the 1980s strand, there are a lot of secondary characters we don’t get to know very well, plus the details of Yale’s art deal slow down the narrative. I really wanted to appreciate the book because I loved Makkai’s two previous novels so much, but I’m not feeling the impetus to continue.
Makkai creates a very personal tour of the AIDS crisis in the 80's in Chicago alternating with chapters occurring in Paris in 2015. Many books have been written about the dreadful trajectories for many AIDS patients at the beginning of this crossroad but few have had the skilled dialogue that takes one inside the minds and hearts of everyday life as individuals confront a disease that no one knew much about. It felt so intimate that I was sure Makkai must have had personal relationships with AID ...more
The Great Believers is the kind of book you make time for, the kind you cancel plans and turn your phone off for. It's utterly believable, heartbreaking, and beautiful. In Makkai's hands, this generation devastated by AIDS are not victims, but fighters, resisters, and believers. I am thankful for this book.
This book is exquisite. The characters seem so real I still think of them almost every day even though I finished this 6 weeks ago.
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up.
At the start of The Great Believers , Rebecca Makkai's beautifully poignant yet meandering new novel, it is 1985, and Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, are preparing for the memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS.
The gay community in Chicago where they live has been devastated by this recently discovered disease, as have gay communities across the country. The sense of loss they feel is just beginning to hit them, as they ...more
What can I say about this book that has not already been said? It is propulsively readable with character development and tone that will grab a hold of you and suck you out the other end feeling enriched, enlightened and ever so lucky to have had the experience of reading this amazing novel. Serious subjects that could be depressing but are not because of Makkai's precision with the written word. The intertwining and overlapping characters and plot lines are masterfully handled. Unless something ...more