If you knew exactly when you were going to die, how would you live your life? In The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, siblings Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Vanya Gold are confronted with this morbid conundrum after a run-in with a mysterious psychic as children.
The novel, which landed on the New York Times bestseller list soon after its January 2018 release, leads readers through five decades of lives that have been irrevocably shaped by the knowledge of their imminent ends. Simon discovers his homosexuality and moves to San Francisco just as the AIDs crisis begins; Klara dreams of becoming a Las Vegas magician; Daniel finds work post-9/11 as a military doctor; and Vanya delves into the study of longevity.
“They began together: before any of them were people, they were eggs, four out of their mother’s million. Astonishing, that they could diverge so dramatically in their temperaments, their fatal flaws — like strangers caught for seconds in the same elevator.”
A meditation on family and place as much as mortality, Benjamin’s second novel proves that she is an author to watch out for.
Be sure to tell us what you think of The Immortalists, and check out some of our favorite images of the book’s gorgeous cover.
Disclaimer: The images used in this post do not belong to Paperback Paris, but to their accredited creators.
“Most adults claim not to believe in magic, but Klara knows better. Why else would anyone play at permanence — fall in love, have children, buy a house — in the face of all evidence there’s no such thing. The trick is not to convert them. The trick is to get them to admit it.” ‘The Immortalists’ by Chloe Benjamin is an absolutely stunning novel, and I highly encourage everyone to go read it ASAP
Brief Review: – The year is 1969 and the destiny of 4 Jewish siblings; Vayra, Daniel, Klara, and Simon, is altered during a visit to a peculiar psychic. According to this psychic, she knows the exact day of any human being, except hers, will die. Each of the siblings prefer to believe that the psychic is crazy, wrong, or a liar, trying to scare them, so they decide to forget about the visit and return home. Knowing about their final day, only two of them truly believe she might be right, Simon and Klara. Both of them decide to live their life doing what they love, risking everything, including their lives, to be happy until their last breath. Mean while, the eldest brothers, Daniel and Vayra, despise the fact that their other two siblings are living a reckless life, throwing themselves away in ridiculous dreams. Unfortunately, Daniel becomes too caught up in an absurd chase, trying to explain the death of his younger siblings, and Vayra, has to go through the loss of almost everyone in her family, a sour encounter, and a meltdown at her job, to finally start living a life without fear of dying. • – When I was reading this novel, I noticed that in almost every chapter, someone was going through sorrow, grief, and a bit of chaos. Not only the main characters, but the world that surrounded them. The time frame each of the siblings encounter, is an era that actually caused despair in reality. There's the birth of AIDS, racism, 9/11, mental sickness, animal experimentation, alcoholism, and suicides. Trying to live in a world that introduces havoc each day, can make anyone take two decisions; either play it safe, avoid anything that can cause danger, and die doing what everyone expected you to do. The second decision is uncommon, since most of us escape this decision because of fear. Live. Nobody does what they truly want these days. We have this code or belief that we are immortal. As if we have all the time in the world, filling up our brain with insecurities and beliefs that assure us a safe well-being. What if's can drown you without being underwater. – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 🤗 • #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookphotography #book #booklover #literature #bookish
Here it is… the review you've all been waiting for! Not really, but this is my review of Bookstagram's hot book of the moment, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I think I'm in the minority because I didn't love love it. I liked it. I'm going to focus on the weaknesses since most other reviews I've read have been glowing – caption length is cutting me off, so see the goodreads link in my linktree for my full review. . The Immortalists is about four siblings: Simon, Klara, Daniel (almost wrote Benjamin for some reason here…) and Varya. As children, the siblings visit a fortune teller who predicts the date each of them will die. This book follows them through their lives as they grapple with the consequences of "knowing" the date of their death. . The book is divided into sections for each character from youngest to oldest. However, because the book is chronological, you skip over large parts of character development for the older characters. By the time you get to Daniel and Varya, you've missed half their lives. I feel like you miss all of their formative moments. . Klara felt the most developed, and I feel like you got the biggest glimpse into her mind and thought process. Daniel was forgettable for me – I almost forgot his name when I first started writing this review! Simon's part felt rushed and I thought it had so much potential to go deeper. I wouldn't have minded if this was a longer book if it meant getting to know the characters more. Simon's part also had some semi-graphic sexual details that felt out of place for the book, and it made it seem like those details were there for the "look how open minded this book is" factor of gay sex. The sex itself didn't bother me, that's not what I'm saying – it just felt out of place considering there were no other sexual encounters described in detail. . Because you only see parts of each character's life, the book jumped around a lot. It kind of felt like, look at what happened to this character, instead of look at this character's thought process and view of the world. . I will read whatever Chloe Benjamin writes next, because this book had moments of insight and feeling that I really connected with. 3.5⭐️
Good morning, friends! A few days ago, I finished reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin and I loved it! I will admit, it is not what I expected it to be, but I still liked it well enough. 🔮 . . . 🔮 Quick review: The Immortalists follows the lives of close-knit siblings who meet a psychic as children and are told when they’re going to die. The rest of the story maps out their lives after that point and all the decisions they make as a result of knowing their date of death. I’ll admit, I was hopeful that there would be more of a fantasy spin on this book, but it really wasn’t fantasy at all. It was literary fiction at its finest! Despite the fantasy aspect being nonexistent, I still really enjoyed the characters and writing style of this book. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes books that explore the idea of “what would you do if you knew when you were going to die?” #theimmortalists #bookreview #bookstagram
6/100 This is it. This is the book to beat so far this year. #TheImmortalists is family drama meets magic realism and damn if I couldn’t put it down. The first half is admittedly stronger than the second half, but it’s a page turner all the way through. . . . . . #amreading #currentlyreading #goodreads #bookstagram #bestseller
Finally finished this beautiful novel today! What a journey it’s been living alongside the Gold’s. They gave us hope, risk, fate, death, life and magic. ❤️🧡💛 QOTD: Are you a red or white wine lover? 🍷 #booksandsocks #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #theimmortalists #wine #socks #books #blanket #bookish #bookaholic #currentlyreading #bookworm #bookphotography #booksandwine #bibliophile #redwine #bookporn #goodreads
#myreadsmonday This week’s blog post is all about destiny vs. choice with the incredible new book from Chloe Benjamin, “The Immortalists”! (Link to blog in Bio) This is a must read for 2018. It debuted at number seven on the New York Times Bestseller List! Thank you @chloekbenjamin and @putnambooks #theimmortalists #bestseller #putnambooks #amazingcoverart #yearsinyourlife #lifeinyouryears #bookstagram #amyonthetown
Sunday Morning ✨ • Today is another busy day before we head to my parents to watch playoff football. I’m bandwaggoning for the Minnesota Vikings, much to the chagrin of my family full of Patriots fans. (But did you see their last play last week?! Come on!!) So before we get going I’m gonna enjoy some cinnamon rolls and The Immortalists! • What are your plans this Sunday? Who are you rooting for this play off season? • • • #sundaymorning #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #bibliophile #chloebenjamin #theimmortalists #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouse #putnambooks @chloekbenjamin @penguinrandomhouse @putnambooks #cinnamonrolls #football #minnesotavikings #newenglandpatriots
Hopping on that @belletrist bandwagon for my last read of January! This story is SO unique – four children go and see a psychic in the 60s in NYC and she tells each child the day they will die. Do the prophecies predict the next 50 years? . . Have you read it? What did you think? Give me some recs for Feb! . . . #bookworm #bookstagram #theimmortalists #chloebenjamin #page #pageturner #bookclub #books #book #photooftheday #tbr #novel #fiction #bibliophile #reader #pages #badassbookbabes #booksofinstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookfeaturepage #bookishfeature #igreads #bookblogger #readingchallenge2018