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The Interestings

by

The Interestings Cover

ISBN13: 9781594488399
ISBN10: 1594488398
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From bestselling author Meg Wolitzer a dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships.

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.

Review:

"Wolitzer follows a group of friends from adolescence at an artsy summer camp in 1974 through adulthood and into late-middle age as their lives alternately intersect, diverge and reconnect....Ambitious and involving, capturing the zeitgeist of the liberal intelligentsia of the era." Kirkus (Starred Review)

Review:

"Like Virginia Woolf in The Waves, Meg Wolitzer gives us the full picture here, charting her characters' lives from the self-dramatizing of adolescence, through the resignation of middle age, to the attainment of a wisdom that holds all the intensities of life in a single, sustained chord, much like this book itself. The wit, intelligence, and deep feeling of Wolitzer's writing are extraordinary and The Interestings brings her achievement, already so steadfast and remarkable, to an even higher level." Jeffrey Eugenides

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Kayley, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by Kayley)
Meg Wolitzer is a true story teller, at no point did this feel to me like a novel with a focus and a story arc, it felt like living a life. In finishing this novel I felt like I lived a lifetime, I had unrequited dreams, great friends, and a constant quest for what it all meant and who I was supposed to become. As a writer, the scope of this novel is mind blowing, and it also challenged me to think about my creativity and "talent" and how it may or may not follow me through life.
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tangotue2, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by tangotue2)
The Interestings grabbed me from the first page as I easily related to Jules (Julie)lack of self worth. I loved how true to my experiences in the 1970's and 80's this book portrays bridging many significant events together that I remember so well.
Six friends who meet at a summer camp for aspiring artists in the Berkshires (My home growing up)captured the true essence of that very important time in my life with characters that were interesting and mostly likable. Watching them grow through the decade's facing similar fates as my friends in real life was in some ways frustrating, but also kept me enthralled to find out what was going to happen next.
I highly recommend this book to the generation x crowd and anyone curious enough to explore a true depiction of those special times that were in many ways so much easier and straight forward.
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Rachel Coker, July 28, 2013 (view all comments by Rachel Coker)
Meg Wolitzer takes six friends at a mid-70s summer camp and from there deftly unfurls a huge number of stories spanning several decades. The novel touches on the AIDS crisis, two different Wall Street downturns, the 9/11 attacks, first- and second-wave feminism, folk music's retreat from the mainstream culture and much more, without ever seeming rushed.

What Wolitzer achieves in "The Interestings" is the very thing that eluded Jeffrey Eugenides in "The Marriage Plot:" a clever yet truthful rumination on the lives of well-educated, slightly coddled middle- and upper-middle class Americans. No, this group of characters is not diverse. Yes, they enter adulthood with plenty of advantages. Still, their failures (small and large) and successes (small and large) are both believable and illuminating.

You will have an easier time identifying with the characters in this book if you've ever felt yourself to be a nerd, an artsy kid or someone whose true self was only known to a select group of close friends (at camp, college or elsewhere). It probably doesn't hurt to be between the ages of 35 and 55, either. For me, fitting into both the fraternity of nerds and the age bracket, there were some moments of absolute clarity in this book. What do you do when your life doesn't match your expectations? What do you do when you realize those expectations weren't based on reality? What if you see that you can (or should) be happy with less? And what about your friends who realized or even exceeded their own high hopes? Can you still be friends with them?
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594488399
Author:
Wolitzer, Meg
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130409
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Interestings New Hardcover
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$27.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594488399 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Wolitzer follows a group of friends from adolescence at an artsy summer camp in 1974 through adulthood and into late-middle age as their lives alternately intersect, diverge and reconnect....Ambitious and involving, capturing the zeitgeist of the liberal intelligentsia of the era."
"Review" by , "Like Virginia Woolf in The Waves, Meg Wolitzer gives us the full picture here, charting her characters' lives from the self-dramatizing of adolescence, through the resignation of middle age, to the attainment of a wisdom that holds all the intensities of life in a single, sustained chord, much like this book itself. The wit, intelligence, and deep feeling of Wolitzer's writing are extraordinary and The Interestings brings her achievement, already so steadfast and remarkable, to an even higher level."
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