If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?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.Their 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, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality....
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The Immortalists Reviews
I didn’t love everything about The Immortalists, but I found it powerful in parts, and especially at the end. After giving it some thought, I’m comfortable with a 4 star rating.
The book focuses on four siblings. At the beginning, as children and young teens growing up in Manhattan, they visit a fortune teller who tells them separately and secretly the date they will each die. The rest of the book is broken into four parts, each part focusing on one sibling. It’s not so much about whether the pre ...more
Chloe Benjamin's epic The Immortalists has us considering some of the most fundamental and complex questions about life and how we live it. It is thought provoking as it asks does knowledge of our mortality make us live our life to the utmost or makes us fearful, guilty, and seek to outwit death? It is 1969 and in Manhattan, New York, the 4 Jewish Gold children seek a light hearted encounter with a gypsy psychic, who tells each of them their prophecies and their date of death. They cannot break ...more
In 1969, four siblings visit a mystical woman who tells each one the precise date of their death. This knowledge will define each sibling's life in various ways, be it because they live their life in spite of the knowledge or because of their knowledge. It is a novel about fate and agency, about finding a place in the world, about family and selfhood, about mistakes and guilt and forgiveness.
This book's prologue was absolutely bloody brilliant. It had me engaged immediately and I could not stop ...more
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
Would you want to know when you will die? It would give you a chance to live life to its fullest or could hang over you like a death sentence.
It's 1969 and the 4 young Gold siblings decide to chance it when a gypsy comes to town to find out when their expiration dates are up.
These prophecies dictate how their lives unfold because as much as they don't want to believe, their own self fulfilling prophecies will lead them down a path: Simon, the youngest, lives his life recklessly trying to fulfi ...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
"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
Live each day as if it were your last, while also not knowing it's your last day. ✨ 4.5 stars rounded up for The Immortalists
The Immortalists is a different sort of book. Hard to classify, and while it may not be for everybody, it was an addictive read for me. Four young siblings find out the date of each of their deaths from a gyspsy fortune teller. The reader follows each sibling as "the day" edges near, and the way the stories were arranged and overlapped between each character added further ...more