The Interestings: A Novel

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The Interestings: A Novel

by Meg Wolitzer

Penguin Publishing Group | March 25, 2014 | Trade Paperback

The Interestings: A Novel is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
“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)


The New York Times–bestselling novel by Meg Wolitzer 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 560 pages, 7.97 × 5.14 × 1.2 in

Published: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594632340

ISBN - 13: 9781594632341

Found in: Fiction

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Different! It took me a few pages to really get captivated in this book, but when I did I could not lay it down!! I have never read a book written so differently before; varying from different perspectives and time periods, yet still keeping a main character. Also talked about very many real life issues which are oftentimes avoided. I dislike endings where you have to make them up yourself, and this was partially so for this book (my reason for giving 4/5 stars).. but I would definitely recommend this book!
Date published: 2014-05-30

– More About This Product –

The Interestings: A Novel

by Meg Wolitzer

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 560 pages, 7.97 × 5.14 × 1.2 in

Published: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594632340

ISBN - 13: 9781594632341

Read from the Book

  ONE   On a warm night in early July of that long-evaporated year, the Interestings gathered for the very first time. They were only fifteen, sixteen, and they began to call themselves the name with tentative irony. Julie Jacobson, an outsider and possibly even a freak, had been invited in for obscure reasons, and now she sat in a corner on the unswept floor and attempted to position herself so she would appear unobtrusive yet not pathetic, which was a difficult balance. The teepee, designed ingeniously though built cheaply, was airless on nights like this one, when there was no wind to push in through the screens. Julie Jacobson longed to unfold a leg or do the side-to-side motion with her jaw that sometimes set off a gratifying series of tiny percussive sounds inside her skull. But if she called attention to herself in any way now, someone might start to wonder why she was here; and really, she knew, she had no reason to be here at all. It had been miraculous when Ash Wolf had nodded to her earlier in the night at the row of sinks and asked if she wanted to come join her and some of the others later. Some of the others . Even that wording was thrilling. Julie had looked at her with a dumb, dripping face, which she then quickly dried with a thin towel from home. Jacobson , her mother had written along the puckered edge in red laundry marker in a tentative hand that now seemed a little tragic. “Sure,” she had said, out of instinct. What if she’d s
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From the Publisher

“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)


The New York Times–bestselling novel by Meg Wolitzer 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.

About the Author

Meg Wolitzer’s previous novels include The Wife, The Position, The Ten-Year Nap, and The Uncoupling. She lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

“Remarkable . . . [ The Interestings ’s] inclusive vision and generous sweep place it among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot . The Interestings is warm, all-American, and acutely perceptive about the feelings and motivations of its characters, male and female, young and old, gay and straight; but it’s also stealthily, unassumingly, and undeniably a novel of ideas. . . . 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) "The big questions asked by The Interestings are about what happened to the world (when, Jules wonders, did ''analyst'' stop denoting Freud and start referring to finance?) and what happened to all that budding teenage talent. Might every privileged schoolchild have a bright future in dance or theater or glass blowing? Ms. Wolitzer hasn’t got the answers, but she does have her characters mannerisms and attitudes down cold."— The New York Times "I don''t want to insult Meg Wolitzer by calling her sprawling, engrossing new novel, The Interestings , her most ambitious, because throughout her 30-year career of turni
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