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The Interestings Hardcover – 8 Aug 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; 1 edition (8 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701188278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701188276
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"This is a wonderful book. Intelligent and subtle, it is exquisitely written with enormous warmth and depth of emotion… But what makes The Interestings exceptional is the precision and elegance of Wolitzer’s writing… This should be the novel to make Wolitzer a household name here too" (Kate Mosse The Times)

"Wolitzer is a writer of prodigious energy and detail, with the knack for comic-satirical perceptions of character and culture" (Rachel Cusk Guardian)

"A complex, cleverly interwoven analysis of the moment when the lives of six friends begin to unravel’" (Viv Groskop Observer)

"Wolitzer has a knack for homing in on the kind of pretension-puncturing details that can sum up a minor character in a single sentence" (Hepzibah Anderson Daily Mail)

"Meg Wolitzer writes fluently about the American Dream and whether you should surrender your goals to reality in this wonderful novel" (Stylist)

"A breakout book" (Allison Pearson)

"If you enjoy the introspective aspects of Virginia Woolf or the American modernity of Jennifer Egan, you’ll love this sweeping, tragicomic novel of ideas" (Psychologies)

"One of those generation-defining America novels that tackles big historical issues" (Marie Claire)

"Full of wit" (Emerald Street)

"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)

"Meg Wolitzer’s latest offering promises to be the epic novel of the summer" (Stella, Sunday Telegraph)

"A wonderful novel, written with warmth and depth of emotion" (Kate Mosse The Times)

"This is an exhilarating, aerobatic, addictive novel" (Claire Lowdon Sunday Times)

"Meg Wolitzer’s best novel yet" (William Leith Evening Standard)

"The dreamy, criss-crossing narrative proves Wolitzer one of America’s most ingenious and important writers" (Sunday Telegraph)

"An engrossing look at life’s twists and turns" (Woman's Weekly)

Book Description

A heartbreaking, panoramic tragicomedy and a big American novel from bestseller Meg Wolitzer

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claire Matthews on 14 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book certainly did keep me interested, and as the reader 'grows up' with the characters they are likely to find themselves more and more involved in their lives and stories, as I was. The characters, especially Jules and Ethan, are depicted and developed in a way that makes the reader care for them, and they can be lovable one moment and infuriating the next, just like real friends. This book struck me as being about how events, both big and small, have profound effects on our lives. It's a wonderful study of friendships and how our interactions with others, behaviours and even split second decisions can deeply our own lives and other people's. Whilst we are becoming absorbed in these interactions between characters, Wolitzer is also showing us how events in the wider world shape the course of our lives and we see how the Aids epidemic, the economy, 9/11 etc provide challenges, opportunities and both limit and enhance the life chances of the characters. This means that the book is more than just the story of a few people, thrown together in a certain place and time. The reader is also encouraged to consider much bigger issues such as inequality and feminism, and this makes The Interestings both an enjoyable and thought- provoking read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By molko VINE VOICE on 9 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
This book grabbed me right from the start. The story unfurls at an American summer camp for creative kids, we're introduced to a bunch of them and follow their life stories from there. Wolitzer's writing is genuinely funny and it's clear that she has a keen eye for observing human behaviour - her characters are completely realistic and believable, whilst also remaining constantly interesting. There's no real great mystery to unearth in this book, it's more a character study, sometimes comedic. affecting and sad. The premise is reminiscent of Tartt's Secret History or a Franzen novel, but The Interestings seems much more accessible than both of those authors. The Interestings is a book you can get stuck into and enjoy with a well rounded cast of characters that are well written enough to seem like old friends.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SocialBookshelves.com on 3 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

Wow, what can I say? I’m a convert. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first picked up this book, considering it started off set in an American summer camp, the kind of place that a British boy like me has no experience of whatsoever. Luckily, that plays a relatively minor role in the narrative, although it sure as hell leaves its mark on the protagonists.

And I can safely say, hand on heart, that this is one of the most interesting (geddit?) and well-written modern novels that I’ve read in a long time, a credit to both Wolitzer and to the Waterstones book club, which is the reason why I read it in the first place. I’m glad I did – I don’t often give a book a ten out of ten when I review it, I reserve that honour for a book that left me changed when I reached the ending. That definitely happened here.

Particularly worthy of credit is Wolitzer’s ability to write about characters of both sexes convincingly – too many novelists can only write about their own gender, but Wolitzer’s characters are well-rounded and believable whether they’re male or female, even if you don’t necessarily like them.

There’s even a rape involved, an event that’s covered with ambiguity and extremely well-handled – despite being unnecessarily hailed as a ‘feminist writer’ (this annoys me as much as Graham Greene being a ‘Catholic writer‘, rather than just a ‘writer’), Wolitzer lends equal gravitas to both sides of the argument. You’re never quite sure who’s telling the truth, and in the end you feel kind of sorry for both parties, although I’m sure everyone has their own idea of what really happened by the end of the novel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary Reilly on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book infuriating in places - it's too long, the opening isn't particularly engaging and certain sections are predictable. But when it's good, it's very, very good, and the characters are rounded and complex enough to sustain your interest for (the majority of) the novel. It raises interesting questions, and is fundamentally about such universal things that you can't help but question your life choices after you've read it. This book isn't as good as reviews make out but, equally, it isn't a waste of 400-odd pages; you will get something from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was totally absorbed by the slow unravelling of these people's lives and watching what they became. Such insight - different people, different motivations, different ways of coping with the vicissitudes of life. There's lots to recognise, and the way the characters' lives are separate but woven together is constantly fascinating. Masterly writing. Deeply drawn characters. It's like a long, slow process of discovery, all of it adding up to something. It's my first experience of Meg Wolitzer. I'll be reading her others now for sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jackrock on 6 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book on a long flight and found it the perfect companion. It's an ambitious undertaking with a wide scope, a bildungsroman of a very disparate group of friends. I really felt sad to leave them, they were carefully drawn with all their idiosyncrasies and their faults, their fluctuations in fortune, their career changes....an absorbing book.
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