Hachette Book Group (AU)
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Follow the Author
The Immortalists: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live? Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B01MR92OQ1
- Publisher : Tinder Press (9 January 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 2392 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 95,876 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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In this case, we learn a lot about what it was like in San Francisco when AIDS first struck. We learn a lot about being a stage magician and it’s very interesting. We learn about being a military doctor vetting young men who want to join the army to fight in Afghanistan. We learn about being a research scientist using monkeys to study longevity. And we learn about being a sister or a brother who loses touch maybe. About having, or not having a child. About caring for an aged parent. About navigating life in all its vicissitudes. The book follows each of the siblings in turn through the decades as their stories diverge and intersect. It’s always wonderful when you feel as though an author really understands life and people, and that’s what you get here. Very satisfying.
After the initial scenes set in 1969, the book is divided into four parts, each telling the story of a different Gold sibling.
Varya studies hard and eventually becomes a research scientist studying longevity. She has trouble connecting with people and prefers science and data.
Daniel becomes a doctor and after 9/11 joins the military. I connected with him the least. I felt also that he was a very contradictory character and his actions at one point in the story did not make sense.
Simon flees to San Francisco with Klara to live his life with gusto and passion.
Klara wants to be a magician.
“She had never heard of a female magician. ‘Why are there so few of us?’ she asked Ilya once. ‘For one thing,’ he said, ‘the Inquisition. For two more, the Reformation and the Salem Witch Trials. What’s more, the clothing. You ever try to hide a dove in an evening gown?’”
She doesn’t see magic as deception but as expanded possibilities. She is attracted to the street magicians with their card and other sleight of hand tricks, she’s not interested in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Simon and Klara’s storylines are initially closely linked but their parts shows us the different way in which they approach the knowledge of their destinies. Both of their stories were beautiful and heartfelt.
The siblings have some trouble connecting with each other after finding out their fates that day in 1969 and Daniel (whose idea it was to visit the psychic in the first place) experiences a lot of guilt. I feel that one theme in the book was forgiveness; forgiving yourself and forgiving those around you.
This is a beautiful story, poignant, at times hopeful, at times sad. Is the psychic right? Will these four siblings be able to change their destiny or will they run towards it?
Top reviews from other countries
On one level, it’s just a brilliant family story about four siblings and their relationships, lives and deaths. But it has a very clever hook - as children, they see a fortune teller who gives them all the dates of their deaths.
What they do with this information - how it affects their lives and the decisions they make, how far it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - is the rest of the novel. It gets to the heart of issues about what makes a ‘good life’ whilst still being a hugely gripping family story.
THIS IS NONSENSE BUT IS UNDERSTANDABLE BECAUSE her FATHER had MARRIED OUT no RABBI would bother to
explain the essence of Judaism to her so all she is left with is some memories from second -generation of HOLOCAUST survivors which give a fragmentary view of Judaism and probably some chicken -soup invitations on Friday nights. it is when she writes in her VARYA SECTION about research on PRIMATES where the conflict between
animal experiments for the purpose of advances in medicine that BENJAMIN becomes very interesting. As an inexperienced novelist she compares her LUKEsituation in which she would have been a single mother with a child rejected by a biological father with LUKE's behaviour towards Asher. Benjamin at this point does not give either mother or son the words to transmit to her readers which will make her novel unforgettable.
If she can work with a playwright so as in the final ACT of a play the audience goes out in the evening with some words resounding in their psyche.
The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
Each section tells of one of the siblings lives from that moment on and how the knowledge affects them. Some are stronger and more interesting that others, there were a couple of characters whose actions made no sense whatsoever but overall an easy read and despite the subject, enjoyable as well.
The story has 2 levels - firstly its a book about family; how four siblings grow up and, in some cases, apart. The relationship between those children and the parents, how the role of parent and child reverses as time goes on.
Secondly the book is about the children finding out the dates of their deaths when they’re young, how this affects the lives they lead and plays on the idea of whether these prophecies are true, self-fulfilling or not true at all.