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The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
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The Interestings

by Meg Wolitzer

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1,8851473,643 (3.6)112
  1. 31
    Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (hairball)
    hairball: Similar tone.
  2. 20
    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another group of lifelong friends followed over the decades.
  3. 21
    The Big Chill [1983 film] by Lawrence Kasdan (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: A very similar theme and story line for the generation immediately preceding The Interestings.
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Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Set mainly in New York, this novel follows the lives of a group of Americans from their teens in 1974 when they meet at summer camp, to their maturity in 2012. The e writer weaves a fascinating pattern as their relationships, ambitions and careers change from their initial meeting, through subsequent years. Wolitzer deftly and entertainingly captures the way that friendships can wax and wane through the course of lives, as well as exploring how the experiences and memories of the formative times in teenage years can last a lifetime.
  camharlow2 | Sep 22, 2017 |
My favorite book of 2013 (so far). Witty & moving, with characters that grow and change, and ring true at every turn. Wolitzer creates an insightful and authentic view of people and friendships that evolve, devolve, change and grow. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
only got half way thru. tired of waiting for something interesting to happen to these uninteresting people. jumping to and fro different time periods only increased the realization that nothing really ever happens of any real interest during all of the characters' lives. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
Maybe you have to have attended prep-school to appreciate this book. Appreciate it I did, but the frequent flash-backs that went on for pages put me off. ( )
  AuthorGabrielle | May 28, 2017 |
When I grow up, I want to write like Meg Wolitzer.

Great interesting characters, a great story. Pull-at-my-heartstring emotional situations. Just a great read. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Feb 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
While riding on a train goin' west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had
~Bob Dylan, "Bob Dylan's Dream"

... to own a little talent ... was an awful, plaguing thing ... being only a little special meant you expected too much, most of the time.
~Mary Robison, "Yours"
Dedication
For my parents, who sent me there
And for Martha Parker, whom I met there
First words
On a warm night in early July of that long-evaporated year, the Interestings gathered for the very first time.  They were only fifteen, sixteen, and they began to call themselves the name with tentative irony.
Quotations
Irony was new to her and tasted oddly good, like previously unavailable summer fruit.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Book description
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.
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Forging a powerful bond in the mid-1970s that lasts throughout subsequent decades, six individuals pursue challenges into their midlife years, including an aspiring actress who harbors jealousy toward friends who achieve successful creative careers.

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