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
5 stars for a book that makes you think. "Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come."
What if you knew the day, the month, the year of your death? Would that make you live a different life? Would you try to compress all of life's experiences, the good, the seedy, and the bad into a short life projection? Would you languish your days knowing that you had many years in front of you and ...more
This is my first 5 star rating of a novel that I didn’t really like at all most of the way through... I came very close to not finishing. That is why I am completely baffled by my own reaction. The pieces to this puzzle are not really unique on their own, however, once they come together the product is utterly amazing. Upon finishing I could not fathom giving it anything other than 5 stars. Would make a great book club pick... it yearns to be discussed and I’m really looking forward to others re ...more
Which is stronger, fate or free will? Can changing your actions alter your fate, or simply make it more inevitable? Should life be measured by longevity, or by joy? Should we fear death, or embrace life all the more because of it?
These are the questions Chloe Benjamin has us consider in this beautiful novel. In 1969, 4 siblings, ranging in age from 13 to 7, visit a fortune teller who tells them the exact date of their death. How they handle this information is told through each one's story, with ...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
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a 2018 G.P. Putnam’s Sons publication.
In a novel, so centered on death, there is a tremendous amount of life and living within these pages.
Beginning in 1969, the four Gold siblings boldly knock on the door of a fortune teller who then proceeds to impart to them the one thing nobody knows when they enter this world- the exact day you will die.
For better or worse, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon cope with this heavy information, but, their approach to life, t ...more
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?
The conceit is fabulous: in 1969, the four Gold siblings visit a fortune teller who bestows upon them the date of their death. Like a stone dropped in a pond, the repercussions reverberate through time and we follow Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon across their individual life spans, their choices and actions made in spite of and in defiance of this "foreknowledge". Chloe Benjamin's debut novel The Immortalists juggles many questions - do we create our fates or are we slaves to them, how should a ...more
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