The Interestings

The Interestings

Book - 2013
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Named a best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly , Time , and The Chicago Tribune , and named a notable book by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post

"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)

From New York Times --bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a new novel 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.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2013.
ISBN: 9781594488399
Branch Call Number: WOLITZER M
Characteristics: 468 p. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

A character-driven book about six teens at an art camp and the years after in which they grow up and apart. Some readers will find irony in the title... "Not very interesting, was it?" but those that enjoy language and well-developed characters will likely find redeeming qualities in th... Read More »

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Jul 17, 2018

I found this book incredibly draggy. The characters were not very interesting and it was hard to care what happened to them. There was little plot, though I slogged on and finally finished it.

Jan 30, 2018

Hidden gem. Wolitzer develops these characters phenomenally, tracking friends in the coming of age from high school through middle age. Honestly, thought this was a non-fiction work because the characters were so believable and she wove it into historical events so well. Almost has a Forest Gump meets the big city vibe. One of my best reads of the year.

Apr 03, 2017

Like pretty much anything with an ensemble cast, this book has a lot of characters to love, or to like, or to not like very much. It's a coming of age story that follows shifting fortunes and relationships. I just wanted to keep reading.

Apr 01, 2017

I really enjoyed this book— it was like a chronicle of these friends and families, but one that was so raw and realistic. Certainly, the last chapter gave a solid conclusion, though left me a bit wanting, in terms of "yes, everyone got what they deserved, but is life so cruel and convoluted in reality?". Being young, it certainly gave an eye-opening perspective into a life that is at once full of envy, truths and lies, joys and successes, but also a very real illustration of what insight one gains as their world expands in width and depth.

Sep 04, 2016

this is a character driven book about 6 best friends that meet at summer camp in 1974, and their lives for the next 30 years.

i wanted to love this book, but some parts were very long-winded and i wanted to get to something *good*.

it wasn't boring, per-se, but there is a lot going on and Wolitzer's writing reminds me a little of Franzen.

Julie was hard to like. the story is mostly from her pov and she's likable, but the way she constantly compares her lives to her friends and her envy make it really hard to be on her side.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

A character-driven book about six teens at an art camp and the years after in which they grow up and apart. Some readers will find irony in the title... "Not very interesting, was it?" but those that enjoy language and well-developed characters will likely find redeeming qualities in the novel.

Sep 18, 2015

A nice enjoyable read. I did get invested into the characters and wanted to know how their lives played out.

Jun 30, 2015

The Insipids.

samdog123 Jun 02, 2015

I've given this a 5 star review because the writing is just so well done. Reminiscent of John Irving, Wolitzer is a wonderful storyteller and she needs to be to keep your interest as the book is over 500 pages long with dense text on each page. Jules Jacobson goes to a summer arts camp at age 15 and meets friends who form lifelong connections. Following from age 15 to over 50, there's a lot that happens in each characters lives but Wolitzer manages to make you care deeply about each person. I was sad when the book ended and understand why this book made it on some 'must read' lists.

Feb 21, 2015

The more i reflect back on this book, the less i like it. i'm not sure why it bugged me so much, but it really did. the characters were lame, the plot was boring, the writing was uninspired. I don't know why it got such good reivews

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siammarino Oct 11, 2014

As a teenager, Julie (Jules) Jacobson has a life-changing summer at the Spirit-in-the-Woods camp. There she meets an incredibly talented young animator, Ethan Figman, and a girl named Ash who will become her best friend. While she keeps up with her camp friends throughout her life, her relationship with them changes. Envy of their success and wealth is a burden to her and prevents her from being happy and enjoying her many blessings including a loving husband and healthy daughter. Life doesn't always go the way you want it to, but it's still interesting!


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

People could not get enough of what they had lost, even if they no longer wanted it.


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