The Interestings

The Interestings

Large Print - 2013
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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. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty. Their 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. (Bestseller)
Publisher: Detroit : Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410462206
Characteristics: 789 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

The tale of six inseparable friends who bond at summer camp. A 2014 On the Same Page selection.

From the critics

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Oct 15, 2019

Great read. Loved following the characters throughout their years as opposed to just having a snippet in their lives. Really well written.

Aug 06, 2019

Overall, a nice read, good but not great. Quite an interesting storyline, well-developed characters. A bit slow-paced and boring at places.

Jul 24, 2019

Wolitzer is a very fine writer who richly details the lives of the 6 main characters from teenage-hood, through adulthood to retirement age. Along the way they become nuanced, real-life people who change, struggle, encounter joy and sorrows – people we can relate to. Through the characters’ various interests the author weaves in topics of power/wealth structures, friendship, 1980s HIV/AIDS, autism, foreign child labour, and rape culture. Very worthwhile read.

Apr 25, 2019

This book is well written and reads well and quickly. The six friends whose lives are described over a thirty year period are very believable. Meeting at summer camp in the early seventies, four of those characters remain friends throughout despite the notoriety of one of them. Throughout, Jules struggles in this friendship where the bonds are very close but the discrepancy in the earnings of Ethan and Ash and her own brings out feelings of envy and insecurity, feelings she tries to change. The denouement is unexpected but the bonds remain tight. Enjoyable.

Mar 01, 2019

I kept going, hoping it would get better. I finally finished this book, but felt as if I’d wasted my time. I found this group of characters maddening and the whole story unredeeming.

Oct 05, 2018

"Slowly, the movement away from the creative, and toward the creativity of money, was becoming increasingly visible."
New Yorker Meg Wolitzer has been writing novels for a while, but 2013's "The Interestings" brought her to the attention of a wider audience. Six teenagers meet at a summer camp in the 70s, which is a formative experience for them all, and they stay friends, even as their lives diverge in many ways. It could be cliched, but Wolitzer creates fully realized and nuanced characters and deftly weaves all the story lines together while exploring big themes (without being heavy-handed). A great novel. I also really admired her latest, "The Female Persuasion."

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.

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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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