The Interestings

by Wolitzer, Meg,

Format: Print Book 2013.
Availability: Available at 35 Libraries 36 of 43 copies
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Summary
Named a best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly , Time , and The Chicago Tribune , and named a notable book by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post

"Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself."-- The New York Times Book Review

"A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . . She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's."-- Entertainment Weekly (A)

From New York Times --bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a new novel that has been called "genius" ( The Chicago Tribune ), "wonderful" ( Vanity Fair ), "ambitious" ( San Francisco Chronicle ), and a "page-turner" ( Cosmopolitan ), which The New York Times Book Review  says is "among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot ."

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings , Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

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. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules's now-married best friends, become shockingly successful--true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.

Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In that self-obsessed, hyperaware, and mordantly ironic way of privileged teens, Ethan, Jonah, Cathy, Ash, and her brother Goodman dub themselves The Interestings when they reconvene at their trendy creative-arts summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains. Jules, nee Julie, Jacobson is both flattered and flabbergasted to be admitted into their little enclave, where she uses her sardonic wit to compensate for a lack of beauty, money, or social graces. To her surprise, golden-girl Ash adopts her as her best friend, while the dorky but brilliant Ethan becomes mired in unrequited love. After a tragedy affects two of their members in very different ways, the remaining group slogs their way into adulthood, embarking upon careers and relationships with varying degrees of success and satisfaction. Despite being rooted in a wealth of pop-cultural references, from Nixon's resignation to the Moonies to Wall Street scandals and even the aftermath of 9/11, Wolitzer's clique of narcissistic friends turns out to be not so interesting after all.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In the "nefarious, thoroughly repulsive" summer of 1974, 15-year-old Julie Jacobson, "an outsider and possibly even a freak" from the suburbs, gets a scholarship to an arts camp and falls in with a group of kids-the aptly self-named "Interestings." Talented, attractive, and from New York City, to Julie they are "like royalty and French movie stars." There Julie, renamed Jules, finds her place, and Wolitzer her story: the gap between promise and genuine talent, the bonds and strains of long friendships, and the journey from youth to middle age, with all its compromises, secrets, lies, and disparities. One member of the group, Jonah, is the son of a famous folk singer, and another, Ethan, becomes an extremely successful animator, and another Interestings member whose brother-in-law is accused of raping a girl in the group, flees his court date and disappears. Meanwhile, Jules, the character Wolitzer focuses on, becomes a therapist, marries a nice guy with no interest in being as "interesting" as her camp friends, and copes with jealousy and not having enough money in New York City. While Wolitzer (The Ten-Year Nap) is adept at switching between past and present, and showing the different fears that dog Jules at different ages, the problem is that the Interestings are never quite as interesting as this 464-page look at them requires them to be. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Gifted persons -- Fiction.
Self-realization -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Bildungsromans.
Publisher New York :Riverhead Books,2013.
Language English
Description 468 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781594488399 (hbk.)
1594488398 (hbk.)
9781594632341 (pbk.)
1594632340 (pbk.)
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