The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching ...

Details The Immortalists

TitleThe Immortalists
Release DateJan 9th, 2018
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
GenreFiction, Fantasy, Contemporary

Reviews The Immortalists

  • Emily May
    "And what if I change?" It seems impossible that Varya's future is already inside her like an actress just offstage, waiting decades to leave the wings. "Then you'd be special. 'Cause most people don't." 2 1/2 stars. I have a lot of mixed feelings about The Immortalists. Though there were parts I enjoyed, I was left feeling underwhelmed and like I'd recommend many other similar books before recommending this one.You should be aware that this is l...
  • Elyse
    Update ---I must add one more thought to this review: *The-Book-Cover* is not only lovely -- but now that I've read the book -- I recognize this 'perfect' design is symbolic to this story. Jewish Kabbalists believe "The Tree of Life" to be a diagrammatic representation of the process by which the Universe came into being". Jewish Kabbalists also don't envision time and space as pre-existing. A wonderful -symbolically fitting book cover -- The mys...
  • Julie
    The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a 2018 G.P. Putnam’s Sons publication. In a novel, so centered on death, there is a tremendous amount of life and living within these pages.Beginning in 1969, the four Gold siblings boldly knock on the door of a fortune teller who then proceeds to impart to them the one thing nobody knows when they enter this world- the exact day you will die. For better or worse, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon cope with th...
  • Navidad Thelamour
    See my exclusive interview with Chloe Benjamin about her novel The Immortalists here!“There are two major theories about how to stop aging…”“…It sounds like you’re saying we can choose to live. Or we can choose to survive.”Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists is a thoughtfully executed novel written in simple, yet often poetic, prose that allowed the characters’ voices at their most forceful to shine on their own past the narrative...
  • Annet
    The Immortalists…. Imagine you are a kid and together with your siblings you sneak out of the house to go see a gypsy woman who is said to be able predict the day you die… It’s 1969 in New York City’s East side, and word has spread about a mystical woman, a traveling psychic….You go to see her and all of you get to hear ‘your’ date.You go home and then…. Life goes on. Will you believe this prophecy, will it influence the way you l...
  • Larry H
    I'd rate this 4.5 stars.If you could know the exact day of your death, would you want to find out? If you did find out, how would knowing that information affect how you lived your life? These questions are at the heart of The Immortalists , Chloe Benjamin's deeply affecting and beautifully written new book.In 1969, growing up on New York's Lower East Side, the Gold siblings learn that there is a traveling fortune teller in their neighborhood wh...
  • Paromjit
    Chloe Benjamin's epic The Immortalists has us considering some of the most fundamental and complex questions about life and how we live it. It is thought provoking as it asks does knowledge of our mortality make us live our life to the utmost or makes us fearful, guilty, and seek to outwit death? It is 1969 and in Manhattan, New York, the 4 Jewish Gold children seek a light hearted encounter with a gypsy psychic, who tells each of them their prop...
  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    This was a Traveling Sisters Group Read, and only two of us were left standing in the Lush Coulee with the rest of the sisters leaving the coulee at or before the first goal of this book. Thank you to Jennifer for reading this one with me, it was a pleasure and I loved the discussion this book brought out.4.5 stars! This was such a memorable and interesting read that had such a unique storyline with a profound and special message within the pages...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Conceptually intriguing but lackluster in its execution. Benjamin’s contemporary coming-of-age tantalizes with its premise of four siblings who encounter a traveling psychic who reveals when they will die but is feather-light in its examination of the line between destiny and choice. Despite mention of mysticism and psychics, gypsies and magicians, the prose is unadorned, and the brevity of each character’s story evokes a perpetual sense of d...
  • Esil
    I didn’t love everything about The Immortalists, but I found it powerful in parts, and especially at the end. After giving it some thought, I’m comfortable with a 4 star rating.The book focuses on four siblings. At the beginning, as children and young teens growing up in Manhattan, they visit a fortune teller who tells them separately and secretly the date they will each die. The rest of the book is broken into four parts, each part focusing ...
  • Jen
    Would you want to know when you will die? It would give you a chance to live life to its fullest or could hang over you like a death sentence. It's 1969 and the 4 young Gold siblings decide to chance it when a gypsy comes to town to find out when their expiration dates are up. These prophecies dictate how their lives unfold because as much as they don't want to believe, their own self fulfilling prophecies will lead them down a path: Simon, the y...
  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    3.5? 3.75?I actually ended up liking this more than I expected!The premise was very intriguing. Four siblings meet a psychic who tells them the exact date they will die. It tend influences how they choose to live their lives.This felt more like a historical fiction/contemporary than fantasy/sci-fi so be warned! It's definitely a slow burning story where you follow each characters throughout their struggles.I enjoyed it!
  • JanB
    2.5 starsWhat a unique and compelling premise. Would you want to know the date of your death? And if you did, how would that knowledge change the way you lived? If you change your life could that be the very thing that might hasten your demise? Or would you just try and make the most of every day? The book opens with 4 siblings visiting a fortune teller who tells each of them the exact day they would die. After this intriguing beginning, the stor...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    Live each day as if it were your last, while also not knowing it's your last day. ✨ 4.5 stars rounded up for The ImmortalistsThe Immortalists is a different sort of book. Hard to classify, and while it may not be for everybody, it was an addictive read for me. Four young siblings find out the date of each of their deaths from a gyspsy fortune teller. The reader follows each sibling as "the day" edges near, and the way the stories were arranged ...
  • Tammy
    I thought that this was going to be magical realism which I confess is not a subgenre that I enjoy. It isn't. Four siblings, as children, find out the date of their deaths and for the next fifty years their lives richochet about as they try to live with (or run from) this knowledge. The Immortalists is about life, the bonds between siblings as well as science, religion, dance and research monkeys. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Linda
    "The power of words. They weaseled under door cracks and through keyholes. They hooked into individuals and wormed through generations."And the utterance of dates murmured by an unreliable mystical woman on a scorching hot summer's day is the focus of this story. It's 1969 in New York City and the four young Gold children set out to find this elusive woman who will tell them the dates of their deaths. Would you honestly want to know? The gift of ...
  • Carol
    3.5 Stars. BEWARE the woman on Hester Street.As the story begins, it's 1969 New York when four bored adolescent siblings....just for a bit of fun....pool their allowances and sneak out to track down a Seer they heard tell about who could predict the date of their death. What they discover changes each life forever. One by one, the individual stories are told, the dates of demise divulged as we follow a young Varya 13, Daniel 11, Klara 9 and Simon...
  • Karen
    4.5 for this novel centered around 4 siblings in New York. It’s 1969, these Jewish siblings ages 13-7, two boys and two girls, hear on the street that there is a woman in the city who can tell fortunes. They visit her and she sees them one at a time, and tells them the date they will die.So we follow these kids through the years and see how this information changes the way they live and their relationships with their family and others.I really ...
  • Marialyce
    5 stars for a book that makes you think. "Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come."What if you knew the day, the month, the year of your death? Would that make you live a different life? Would you try to compress all of life's experiences, the good, the seedy, and the bad into a short life projection? Would you languish your days kn...
  • Lori
    This is my first 5 star rating of a novel that I didn’t really like at all most of the way through... I came very close to not finishing. That is why I am completely baffled by my own reaction. The pieces to this puzzle are not really unique on their own, however, once they come together the product is utterly amazing. Upon finishing I could not fathom giving it anything other than 5 stars. Would make a great book club pick... it yearns to be d...
  • Dem
    3.5 Stars.Would your life change if you had been given the date on which you would die?Set in 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, word spreads that there is a a traveling psychic who claims she can tell folks the date of their deaths. . The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes but how will it affect them as individuals and as a family. Without doubt an interesting and intriguing pr...
  • Hannah
    In 1969, four siblings visit a mystical woman who tells each one the precise date of their death. This knowledge will define each sibling's life in various ways, be it because they live their life in spite of the knowledge or because of their knowledge. It is a novel about fate and agency, about finding a place in the world, about family and selfhood, about mistakes and guilt and forgiveness.This book's prologue was absolutely bloody brilliant. I...
  • Jenny
    This was a book from the library on my want to read list. I just finished and couldn’t put it down but now filled with sadness and a general feeling of true unnecessary sorrow for the family. So many themes in this book, fate vs freewill, happiness versus duty/obligation, freedom versus family and many more.It is certainly a book that leaves you pondering your own goals, hopes and dreams for the life that you are given.
  • Sam
    The conceit is fabulous: in 1969, the four Gold siblings visit a fortune teller who bestows upon them the date of their death. Like a stone dropped in a pond, the repercussions reverberate through time and we follow Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon across their individual life spans, their choices and actions made in spite of and in defiance of this "foreknowledge". Chloe Benjamin's debut novel The Immortalists juggles many questions - do we creat...
  • Cheri
    The year is 1969, as this story begins, Varya is thirteen, a child no longer, but still hovering on the verge of becoming a woman. ”They wind through the neighborhood, all four of them: Varya, the eldest; Daniel, eleven; Klara, nine; and Simon, seven. Daniel leads the way, taking them down Clinton to Delancey, turning left at Forsyth. They walk the perimeter of Sara D. Roosevelt Park, keeping to the shade beneath the trees.”It’s there, in t...
  • Diane Barnes
    Which is stronger, fate or free will? Can changing your actions alter your fate, or simply make it more inevitable? Should life be measured by longevity, or by joy? Should we fear death, or embrace life all the more because of it?These are the questions Chloe Benjamin has us consider in this beautiful novel. In 1969, 4 siblings, ranging in age from 13 to 7, visit a fortune teller who tells them the exact date of their death. How they handle this ...
  • Philip
    3.5ish stars. An enjoyable family saga/character study with the tiniest dash of magical realism, but it's missing something. Without the something, it's unmemorable and unremarkable. The kids of the Gold family have a gypsy psychic tell them the dates of their deaths, which is sort of used as the premise of the book. Mostly it's just used as an excuse to explore what it means to live one's "best life." Try to cram as much life in as possible befo...
  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    Still need to chew on the rating overnight but this book was at least 4.5 stars! Full review to follow.
  • Victoria
    ‘The impossibility of moving beyond loss, faced against the likelihood you will: it’s as absurd, as seemingly miraculous, as survival always is.” The power of this story is in the larger questions it poses. Do our personally held beliefs play a significant role in shaping our destinies? How do our families mold us and what roles do we play in our shared fates? To live with uncertainty or prophesy, which provides us the greater path?Why I li...