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The Immortalists av Chloe Benjamin
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The Immortalists (utgåvan 2018)

av Chloe Benjamin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,3321655,077 (3.76)65
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 children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak 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. 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.… (mer)
Medlem:Aziza71
Titel:The Immortalists
Författare:Chloe Benjamin (Författare)
Info:G.P. Putnam's Sons (2018), Edition: First Edition, 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Immortalists av Chloe Benjamin

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Visa 1-5 av 165 (nästa | visa alla)
I enjoyed the fact that each of the four parts was told in the voice of one of the four siblings. It reminded me of Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride, and Nancy Huston's Fault Lines, with each chapter told from the point of view of a different character. ( )
  lacurieuse | Nov 11, 2021 |
“Thoughts Have Wings”

Thoughts certainly do have wings, regardless whether they are good or bad. They also have claws and teeth, taking hold and, here in Chloe Benjamin’s novel, never letting go as they do lots of damage to the Gold children, Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon.

These four as children living in New York in the late 60s visit a Romany soothsayer. To each separately, she reveals the exact date of their deaths. Being children, they take their fortunes to heart, and these revelations remain with them and impact their lives negatively, and, with the exception of the oldest, Varya, hasten their deaths. If only they had told their mother as children, instead of in the end Varya revealing it to aged and invalided Gertie, they might have been saved by her succinct comment, “Junk!” But then, of course, no novel and no well taken point about not subsuming your life and will with myth, and in our modern day equivalent, demagoguery.

What makes Benjamin’s novel interesting is how she builds the story child to child, life to life. As the story progresses through the four children into their teen years and adulthoods, she layers in details about them as a family and their relationship, or lack thereof, until at the end we have a full picture of why each took the course they did and how they affected the other. It adds up to more than alternate characters unfolding their tales (the voice is third-person) with a startling ending but as a paced and engaging portrait of a family, one leaving you wondering how the children would have faired but for the soothsayer.

Simon, with sister Klara, run off to San Francisco in the 80s. Simon searches for acceptance, people like himself, and love. He settles into a flamboyant and reckless life he probably could never have lived at home. Klara, fascinated by magic, hones her skills, develops an act, relives to a degree the life of her grandmother, also a daring performer, and moves to Vegas with her new husband and child, Ruby. Daniel becomes a doctor but settles for a modest and contradictory life. He works as a doctor, rank Major, passing on whether or not recruits are suitable for combat. Married to Mira, they are childless. Daniel lives with anger toward Simon and Klara for deserting the family, then with a dooming desire to punish the soothsayer. Varya becomes a research biologist who leads a long-term study on longevity, isolating herself from not only her family, but from her own emotions, until a decision from her younger years finds her and helps her find her way back to reality.

Fear not that any of the above will spoil the novel for you, because the strength and power of Benjamin’s work lies in the telling. This isn’t so much a fantasy, as a novel on how easily life can be thrown off course by the craziest things, or, as momma Gertie calls them, “Junk!” Guess we all should listen to our mothers.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
“Thoughts Have Wings”

Thoughts certainly do have wings, regardless whether they are good or bad. They also have claws and teeth, taking hold and, here in Chloe Benjamin’s novel, never letting go as they do lots of damage to the Gold children, Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon.

These four as children living in New York in the late 60s visit a Romany soothsayer. To each separately, she reveals the exact date of their deaths. Being children, they take their fortunes to heart, and these revelations remain with them and impact their lives negatively, and, with the exception of the oldest, Varya, hasten their deaths. If only they had told their mother as children, instead of in the end Varya revealing it to aged and invalided Gertie, they might have been saved by her succinct comment, “Junk!” But then, of course, no novel and no well taken point about not subsuming your life and will with myth, and in our modern day equivalent, demagoguery.

What makes Benjamin’s novel interesting is how she builds the story child to child, life to life. As the story progresses through the four children into their teen years and adulthoods, she layers in details about them as a family and their relationship, or lack thereof, until at the end we have a full picture of why each took the course they did and how they affected the other. It adds up to more than alternate characters unfolding their tales (the voice is third-person) with a startling ending but as a paced and engaging portrait of a family, one leaving you wondering how the children would have faired but for the soothsayer.

Simon, with sister Klara, run off to San Francisco in the 80s. Simon searches for acceptance, people like himself, and love. He settles into a flamboyant and reckless life he probably could never have lived at home. Klara, fascinated by magic, hones her skills, develops an act, relives to a degree the life of her grandmother, also a daring performer, and moves to Vegas with her new husband and child, Ruby. Daniel becomes a doctor but settles for a modest and contradictory life. He works as a doctor, rank Major, passing on whether or not recruits are suitable for combat. Married to Mira, they are childless. Daniel lives with anger toward Simon and Klara for deserting the family, then with a dooming desire to punish the soothsayer. Varya becomes a research biologist who leads a long-term study on longevity, isolating herself from not only her family, but from her own emotions, until a decision from her younger years finds her and helps her find her way back to reality.

Fear not that any of the above will spoil the novel for you, because the strength and power of Benjamin’s work lies in the telling. This isn’t so much a fantasy, as a novel on how easily life can be thrown off course by the craziest things, or, as momma Gertie calls them, “Junk!” Guess we all should listen to our mothers.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
New York in the late 1960s, and the four young Gold siblings – Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon – are on their way to see a mysterious fortune teller who is said to be able to tell you the date you will die.

The novel then follows each sibling in turn, starting with the youngest (Simon) and ending with the oldest (Varya) as they grow up and live their lives, and how the prophecy each received affects their behaviour and choices. Simon moves to San Francisco to find love and adventure, Klara becomes an illusionist and magician but is a haunted soul. Daniel tries to make his place in the world a worthy one by becoming an Army medic, while Varya turns to science.

I’m not going to reveal spoilers here as this book deserves to be read with no idea of what’s going to happen. But it’s fair to say that if you knew the date you were going to die, would it affect the way you chose to live? And would the prediction you had received become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Anyway, I loved this book. I felt that each character was brought to life beautifully and was entirely believable. The four lives were very different, but the human emotions and feelings were so well written and described.

Despite the subject which was at times fairly heavy, the book never become clogged down or difficult to read. I enjoyed Simon’s section a lot and was sorry when it ended but then Klara’s part was just as good. The same with Daniel and Varya, both of whom could be difficult to like at times, but never difficult to invest in.

All in all, an excellent read, and I will definitely look out for more books by Chloe Benjamin. ( )
  Ruth72 | Oct 31, 2021 |
Wish they had 1/2 stars. Couldn't decide between 3 and 4. I wasn't liking this book too much toward the end of part 3. Too predictable, too many people living in the past (although a lot of us do that, I suppose). But part 4, Varya's story kept me going. We really got to see what she was thinking and how she worked. And she was able to get out of the rut of the past and change! That for me made the story work. ( )
  debfung | Jul 12, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 165 (nästa | visa alla)
Chloe Benjamin pulls this novel off almost as a series of four set-pieces, enriched by period detail from each era.
 
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For my grandmother, Lee Krug
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Varya is thirteen. New to her are three more inches of height and the dark patch of fur between her legs.
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She's always thought of home as a physical destination, but perhaps Raj and Ruby are home enough. Perhaps home, like the moon, will follow wherever she goes.
Our language is our strength. Thoughts have wings.
The cost of loneliness is high, she knows, but the cost of loss is higher.
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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 children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak 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. 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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