The Immortalists

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

Wow, such a great premise for a novel - If you knew the details of your death, and the date, how would you live the rest of your life? I went with 4 stars on this novel from Chloe Benjamin because I so thoroughly enjoyed the first three quarters of the story. The last section seems to run out of steam a bit, but I still enjoyed the story. Ms. Benjamin offers readers 4 distinct characters in the children who visit a psychic and find out the details of their deaths. I appreciated the complexity of their character profiles, the way they interacted and reacted to instances in the novel and the impact their parents (also quite well dimensioned characters) had on the children's lives as...

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Mixed feelings. I really wanted to love this one more than I did, but I'm not sure that it lives up to the hype. It feels unbalanced somehow. It's the story of 4 siblings, each of whom knows the date of his/her death. Each sibling is given a section of the book, which honestly took away from the characterization. We only get to see a snippet of most of the characters, and the two siblings whose stories are told last feel unfinished. The first two sibling stories were great, but due to the timing, the author was better able to flesh out their characters and give them comprehensive back-stories, something that the other two lacked. Not that I didn't like the book, because I...

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The Immortalists draws you in from the first page and keeps you wanting more. I loved this book and could not put it down. This book tells the tale of siblings that go to visit a psychic who claims to be able to tell you the day of your death. I loved this book.
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One day, Daniel Gold overhears a couple of other boys talking about a strange woman who can tell you the date of your death. She relocates frequently, advertises nowhere, and can only be discovered through word of mouth. Driven by the mystery of it all, Daniel compels his brothers and sisters - Varya, Klara, and little Simon - to join him in the pursuit of this woman. When they do find her, they each get an answer to that burning question - when will I die? Now what will they do with the information? Will their lives be transformed? Is it even true?

There is so much to say about this book, I hardly know where to begin. The base premise of the book - if you thought you knew the date of your...

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The premise for this book made it quite an interesting read. Four siblings, Varya, Daniel, Klara & Simon, at a young age go to a fortune teller who tells each of them separately the date in which they will die. What does one do with that information? Live life to its fullest whether you believe it or not? The kids grow up never really talking about that day or revealing to each other the dates they were told they would die. The story is then told in sections, each section focusing on one of the siblings. In some parts it did slow down a bit for me, but there were some heartbreaking and shocking moments that I didn't see coming. Overall, I felt the writing was very well done.

I...

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Thank you for the chance to review this book, however, unfortunately, I was unable to read and review this title before it was archived.
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And if there’s magic in the world, there’s magic beyond it.”

Chloe Benjamin’s novel, The Immortalists begins in 1969 with the four Gold children Varya, 13, Daniel, 11, Klara, 9, Simon, 7 who head out, pressured by Daniel to have their fortunes told by a travelling psychic. Daniel has heard that the fortune-teller can predict death dates.

The practical minded Varya asks “What is it’s bad news? What if she says you’ll die before you’re even a grown-up?”

“Then it would better to know, ” said Daniel. “So you could get everything done before.”

But would the knowledge of the date of your death ‘help’ or hinder you? You won’t know if the date is correct or not until it arrives. I was intrigued...

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My Review: 4.5 stars

The Immortalists is a literary fiction family drama that balances the premise of living by fate or free will. Do we live our lives by circumstance or intention? After four children visit a nomadic gypsy to find out the date of their deaths, this knowing forever torments their lives, a whisper in the recesses of their minds of how much time they have left. Whether it’s true or not, they can’t know, but they wonder if their lives will become self fulfilling prophecies or led by chance alone.

Broken into four distinct parts for each of the four kids, we learn how their lives play out. Some parts were very predictable while others were more surprising. Each character went...

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I’m definitely in the minority in not loving this debut novel. It’s getting lots of attention from the bookish media and love from some bloggers I normally agree with (Ann Marie at Lit Wit Wine Dine and Renee at It’s Book Talk). The beginning felt like The Rules of Magic: 1960’s/70’s NYC, a bit of magic, and young siblings trying to slide things by their parents. From that point on, the story is told in sections, one focusing on each of the four Gold children’s lives. These were hit and miss…I was engrossed in some parts (Simon’s and parts of Daniel’s) and kept tuning out during others (Klara’s and Varya’s). I didn’t care much about the sibling in the final section because he/she had been...

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While this wasn’t a perfect book, I absolutely loved it! It was incredibly well written and forces the reader to ask important questions of themselves. It is a wonderful exploration of mortality what comprises a good life or a life well lived. Most of all, it was simply a delicious read… a book that pulls you in and unravels beautifully.

The premise is that 4 siblings living in New York City in 1969, aged 7,9, 11 and 13, set out to visit a psychic to learn their futures. They enter her apartment one at a time and are each told the date of their death. They do not share this information with each until about a decade later when they are all up on the rooftop of their home chatting one...

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A beautifully braided story of the lives of four siblings after they each learn their death date from a fortune teller. The impact this knowledge has on each of their lives, and the overarching relationships between the siblings leaves the reader much fodder for thought. I will be thinking of this book for a long time to come, and will confidently recommend it often.
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I reviewed this book here: http://www.bethfishreads.com/2018/01/stacked-up-book-thoughts-6-books-to.html
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I became so attached to the characters in this story that I needed to take breaks in reading to mourn each one. Benjamin wraps the reader up in the emotional drama of the Gold family. I know I will be thinking about this one for a long while.
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Benjamin's novel blew me away. Told in five parts, Benjamin's story is the tale of the Gold's, a modern Jewish family. Four siblings, Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon, take a trip to visit the town psychic to discover their death dates. What the four siblings don't realize is how much the answer will affect them for the rest of their lives. This book begins in 1969 and unfolds over the next five decades to reveal how each sibling chooses to live their life. Benjamin writes from each sibling's perspective, and each consecutive sibling picks up where the story of the other ends. This style was striking and mesmerizing.

I found connection with each character, although...

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The four young Gold siblings live in the Lower East Side of New York in the summer of 1969, and they hear of a woman who is telling people what date they will die. They figure it should be interesting to find out their own death dates, so they pool their savings and meet with the woman, one by one. What they are told rattles each of them, and while they either pretend they don’t believe or what they heard doesn’t bother them, what they hear informs the rest of their lives.

Simon, who realizes he’s gay as a teen, takes off to San Francisco with his little sister, Klara. He is intent on living the life he’s heard about in this homosexual mecca. Klara herself decides to pursue her dreams of...

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We all want to get the most out of the lives we live. But how might your life’s path change if someone told you the day on which it would end?

That’s what happens to four children living in New York City in the late 1960s in Chloe Benjamin’s novel “The Immortalists.” What follows is a steady journey across the decades, following each of these young people as their choices are impacted by the ever-closing distance between them and their predicted fates.

The Gold children live on the Lower East Side with their parents Saul and Gertie. It’s 1969; Saul owns a reasonably successful small business, but he works incredibly hard for that success. One sweltering summer day, the four young Golds...

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The Immortalists strikes a perfect balance of can't-put-it-down readability and can't-stop-thinking-about-it philosophical concepts. It begins when four siblings visit a traveling psychic who predicts the dates of each of their deaths, and then follows the siblings through the consequences of those predictions. It's cleverly structured in a way that is engaging and fast paced. It also deals with weighty issues like life vs. survival, purpose, family, relationships, and loneliness. I'm not generally much of a re-reader, but this is a book I'll find myself returning to.
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I found this title depressing and pretentious. It is well written - I suffered through to the end, hoping that something would finally happen, but alas, nothing did. This is a book for folks who want to sit and debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, while congratulating themselves on how high-brow they are. I realize this has gotten many positive reviews, and is even on the cover of Book Pages, but I think there will be at least an equal number of readers who will reject it because it is just too, too pretentious. Ah, you might say, she just doesn't like novels that are not action driven. Nope, I love the psychological, character development novels. But this one...

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I found the idea of this book fascinating. The three siblings find out when they are going to die and we follow each of their respective lives. I loved that there was such a focus on whether they died when they did because of the prophecy or because of their belief in the prophecy.
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Interesting characters and themes running throughout the book.  The idea of how we believe what someone says to us and it's long term impact.  Could something as simple as say a horoscope direct our lives simply because it wiggled I to our brain and we then let it effect our lives?  The second major theme is family in general, the ebb and flow of the difference between siblings and expectations.  A third theme is illusion, magic and the ability we have to hide our true selves.  This books will give its reader a lot to think about.  Highly recommend.
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