The Interestings

The Interestings

Book - 2013
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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. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents become and the shapes their lives take.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781594488399
Characteristics: 468 p. ; 24 cm


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Apr 25, 2019

This book is well written and reads well and quickly. The six friends whose lives are described over a thirty year period are very believable. Meeting at summer camp in the early seventies, four of those characters remain friends throughout despite the notoriety of one of them. Throughout, Jules struggles in this friendship where the bonds are very close but the discrepancy in the earnings of Ethan and Ash and her own brings out feelings of envy and insecurity, feelings she tries to change. The denouement is unexpected but the bonds remain tight. Enjoyable.

Mar 01, 2019

I kept going, hoping it would get better. I finally finished this book, but felt as if I’d wasted my time. I found this group of characters maddening and the whole story unredeeming.

Oct 05, 2018

"Slowly, the movement away from the creative, and toward the creativity of money, was becoming increasingly visible."
New Yorker Meg Wolitzer has been writing novels for a while, but 2013's "The Interestings" brought her to the attention of a wider audience. Six teenagers meet at a summer camp in the 70s, which is a formative experience for them all, and they stay friends, even as their lives diverge in many ways. It could be cliched, but Wolitzer creates fully realized and nuanced characters and deftly weaves all the story lines together while exploring big themes (without being heavy-handed). A great novel. I also really admired her latest, "The Female Persuasion."

Jul 17, 2018

I found this book incredibly draggy. The characters were not very interesting and it was hard to care what happened to them. There was little plot, though I slogged on and finally finished it.

Jan 30, 2018

Hidden gem. Wolitzer develops these characters phenomenally, tracking friends in the coming of age from high school through middle age. Honestly, thought this was a non-fiction work because the characters were so believable and she wove it into historical events so well. Almost has a Forest Gump meets the big city vibe. One of my best reads of the year.

Apr 03, 2017

Like pretty much anything with an ensemble cast, this book has a lot of characters to love, or to like, or to not like very much. It's a coming of age story that follows shifting fortunes and relationships. I just wanted to keep reading.

Apr 01, 2017

I really enjoyed this book— it was like a chronicle of these friends and families, but one that was so raw and realistic. Certainly, the last chapter gave a solid conclusion, though left me a bit wanting, in terms of "yes, everyone got what they deserved, but is life so cruel and convoluted in reality?". Being young, it certainly gave an eye-opening perspective into a life that is at once full of envy, truths and lies, joys and successes, but also a very real illustration of what insight one gains as their world expands in width and depth.

Sep 04, 2016

this is a character driven book about 6 best friends that meet at summer camp in 1974, and their lives for the next 30 years.

i wanted to love this book, but some parts were very long-winded and i wanted to get to something *good*.

it wasn't boring, per-se, but there is a lot going on and Wolitzer's writing reminds me a little of Franzen.

Julie was hard to like. the story is mostly from her pov and she's likable, but the way she constantly compares her lives to her friends and her envy make it really hard to be on her side.

Sep 18, 2015

A nice enjoyable read. I did get invested into the characters and wanted to know how their lives played out.

Jun 30, 2015

The Insipids.

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siammarino Oct 11, 2014

As a teenager, Julie (Jules) Jacobson has a life-changing summer at the Spirit-in-the-Woods camp. There she meets an incredibly talented young animator, Ethan Figman, and a girl named Ash who will become her best friend. While she keeps up with her camp friends throughout her life, her relationship with them changes. Envy of their success and wealth is a burden to her and prevents her from being happy and enjoying her many blessings including a loving husband and healthy daughter. Life doesn't always go the way you want it to, but it's still interesting!


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