Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying read, wonderful characters
Read the review of this book in The Times, never heard about it before. Such a good read especially if you "came of age" in the 70s, this book and the stories of the different characters in it will find a reflection in your own life, I am sure. So pleased I tried a new author for a change.
Published 7 months ago by CJD

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy but ultimately worthwhile
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...
Published 3 months ago by Mary Reilly


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy but ultimately worthwhile, 20 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying read, wonderful characters, 3 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
Read the review of this book in The Times, never heard about it before. Such a good read especially if you "came of age" in the 70s, this book and the stories of the different characters in it will find a reflection in your own life, I am sure. So pleased I tried a new author for a change.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lot of Bedrooms and Kitchens, 9 April 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Carolina Beach, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Interestings (Hardcover)
"The Interestings" is the latest novel from American author Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Ten-Year Nap. She has previously published eight novels; also among the better known, The Wife, and The Uncoupling. She is, as you might expect, the daughter of the well-known American writer Hilma Wolitzer, who has said," I mostly write about domestic situations. I truly believe that what happens in bedrooms and kitchens matters as much as what happens in boardrooms and statehouses." Meg could say much the same: this novel, at least, concerns itself with the domestic; families, gender politics: you'd have to call it chick lit, though with a literary touch. (Full disclosure: I've previously read and reviewed, in these pages, An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer.)

It is the early 1970s, the summer that Nixon resigned, and six teenagers at Spirit in the Woods, an artsy summer camp, come together. Jules Jacobson, born Julie, lower middle-class, in a forgettable suburb on New York's Long Island, but instantaneously renamed by her new friends; she will be our protagonist. Goodman and Ash Wolf, handsome/beautiful brother and sister born to a powerful and wealthy New York City family; funny-looking Ethan Figman, blazingly talented, born to a quarrelsome and poor family, by virtue of the fact that his father is a Legal Aid lawyer. Cathy Kiplinger, who'd like to think she was born to dance: except she's become much too buxom. Jonah Bay, a very handsome long-haired boy, with musical talent, born to a single mother, a then beautiful and popular folk singer. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but almost everything else has changed. In THE INTERESTINGS, Wolitzer follows these characters from the 1970s through the 2010s.

If Wolitzer's book has a theme, it is, to quote the book jacket: "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."

So, "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."

Wolitzer studied creative writing at Smith College and graduated from Brown University. She wrote her first novel, Sleepwalking, a story of three college girls obsessed by poetry and death, while still an undergraduate. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop and Skidmore College, and has written several screenplays, mostly unproduced.

The author is, of course, an able writer, capable of examining changing relationships with a cool eye. She does a good job with New York's well-known liberal, artsy neighborhoods, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side. She also does a good job with New York in the dark, dangerous and druggy 1970s, 80s, and 90s: the 1980s of course, saw in the beginning, the surprise outbreak of AIDS in the gay community, and later in the decade, the scourge of crack cocaine addiction. Former New York City Detective Kirk Burkhalter once said, "Drugs. Guns. Gangs. New York City was just crime central at that time," recalling an era so blood-soaked that the city had a record 2,245 homicides in 1990, compared with 414 last year. Mind you, the writer is less interested in the 2000s and 2010s; the obligatory bow to 9/11, and then she rushes on.

From the early 1970s through 2005, I happen to have lived in New York myself, and can tell you Wolitzer definitely gets the city right. And, though not born on Long Island, as Wolitzer and her character Jules are, I found myself growing up there, and knowing the timetables of the Long Island Rail Road, and Penn Station all too well. Wolitzer doesn't put a foot wrong there either. However, in reading this book, I ultimately found myself less patient than the author and her character Jules: I got bored with her gang of six. And I'm not sure that I found the supposed character arcs of most of the gang entirely believable, either. How much you enjoy this book is likely to depend on how much you like a rather extended close focus on a small group of people.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother, 11 April 2014
This review is from: The Interestings (Hardcover)
Really can't believe the reviews this has got! So bad it is laughable and nothing happens for pages and pages!!!! I gave up after struggling for days as life really is too short!

Really!

Karen S
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A grower!, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
I struggled to care about the characters at first but I persevered and finally became enthralled in their lives. I would recommend it if you enjoy coming of age style novels but the older characters were ultimately the most engaging.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, but..., 10 Feb 2014
By 
Fiona (Leeds, England.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
This is about being stuck in a moment that you can't get out of. Well realised, but the subject matter means it is repetitive and sometimes feels very adolescent in its outlook, which to be fair is the point as that's where the central character is trying to return to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Was sad to finish it, 20 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
Destined for great things..or not? Loved this saga of friends who meet at summer camp in 1970s. We follow through their lives and what happens to their relationships with each other. Convincing characters set against privilege (for some) and high achievement. The well captured domesticity playing out against the late twentieth century,amongst other things, makes this a real page turner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing!, 18 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
This book was recommended to me by an online book club on a blog. This story was full of twists and turns, and I really enjoyed it, it definitely keeps you interested all the way through.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book, 10 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading about the friendships formed at summer camp and what happened to the interesting characters through their lives. I felt very satisfied by the end of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely interesting!, 7 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Interestings (Kindle Edition)
I thought this a marvelous book and could not put it down. Reviews I had read suggested that it might be as good as Jonathan Franzen's " The Corrections" (a great favourite of mine). I thought The Interestings was an excellent portrayal of a group of people in the late 20th/ early 21st Century with various themes of that time, e.g Aids, sexual freedom etc. A very well written book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xaa493ea0)

This product

The Interestings
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (Hardcover - 8 Aug 2013)
12.72
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews