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text 2018-11-25 19:36
interessante Familiengeschichte
Die Unsterblichen: Roman - Chloe Benjami... Die Unsterblichen: Roman - Chloe Benjamin,Norbert Möllemann,Charlotte Breuer

Das Buch handelt von den Golds, eine jüdische Einwandererfamilie der zweiten Generation, welche in New Yord (lower east side) lebt. An heißen Sommertag in den schier endlos langweiligen Ferien suchen die vier Kinder der Familie Gold eine Wahrsagerin auf - diese hat angeblich die Gabe, den Todestag vorhersagen zu können. In seperaten Sitzungen bekommen die vier Kinder diese Auskunft, die lebensverändernde Folgen haben wird.
In vier Erzählsträngen wird nun das Leben der Geschwister erzählt.

Der Schreibstil der Autorin ist sehr angenehm zu lesen, sodass man nur so durch die Seiten fliegt. Das Thema finde ich sehr interessant und einmal etwas anderes - diese Kombination sorgte dafür, dass ich das Buch kaum noch aus der Hand legen konnte.
Das Buch sorgt auch beim Leser für Tiefgang - was würde man tun, würde man seinen Todestag kennen?

Tolles Leseerlebnis.

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review 2018-08-30 09:42
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

I really enjoyed this one, probably one my favorite reads this year. Four siblings in 1969 New York go see a fortune teller who tells each of them separately the dates of their deaths, and the prophecies affect how each of them live their lives from that moment on. The book is divided into four parts covering each of the siblings' lives, and every section, extensively researched to provide a vivid background, gave me things to think about and relate to and as a whole kept me interested. I liked the writing too, although there tends to be a lot of telling when it comes to the philosophical parts on issues such as fate vs. free will, being bold but reckless vs. being careful but restrictive. It's a gripping, memorable, complex piece of literary fiction with numerous thought-provoking points for discussion, including but not limited to family, faith, destiny, death and life itself.

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review 2018-05-21 22:33
THE IMMORTALISTS by CHLOE BENJAMIN
The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

Audiobook

I kept putting off requesting this book because I stopped reading family sagas in the early 1980s. But I kept reading the blurb over and over and finally thought why not. This book was so good! It's about 4 brothers and sisters and their life from an encounter with a psychic until their death. I liked that it didn't jump around between them but had four parts for each person. The family itself was so sad. All of the stuff they did or should have done, I just wanted to grab the fictional person by the shoulders and tell them that they matter. I loved the ending. I would definitely recommend this book.

Maggie Hoffman did a great job with the narration - both the men and women, young and old.

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review 2018-04-23 18:23
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

This one was entirely different than I'd imagined it would be, and that was fine. I like to be surprised. What was slightly lacking for me was why the Romani fortune teller had such an effect on these four kids. They were raised steeped in Judaism, at least by their father. They were first generation Americans, children of the Holocaust. They were intellectuals, despite the fact that the family had a background in magic. I couldn't get my head around why they were all so sure one visit with a fortune teller had power over them or why she would have knowledge about them. Whether it was real magic or not was never really examined.

 

As kids the characters were likable but as adults they were sorely lacking, and I can't just believe it's because of a prediction from childhood without a reason to suddenly believe in Romani fortune telling. I never got the reason, so while it was interesting and an OK read, it just didn't get over the top ever, nor did it dip low. It was an steady read that lovers of historical fiction (from very recent history) and family sagas will probably like. There were moments where I thought the Kabbalah (sp?) or Jewish mysticism would play more solidly into the plot, where medicine and science would prevail, where family ties might win out, but instead it was all about a date and death. I suppose the lesson, if we go with Simon, if we must have a lesson (I go looking for lessons when the story leaves me questioning I'm learning), is live life to the fullest while we can.

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review 2018-04-06 00:00
The Immortalists
The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin I did enjoy this book. I found the stories of Simon and Klara heartbreaking and very real. I recall that time when AIDS first revealed itself. Simon's story is an interesting study on that time and the many factors involved in its emergence. However we never loose sight of the personal in this story, that it is Simon's story.

You don't really get much of an idea about the interconnectedness of the siblings in the beginning, but it does emerge as the story connects. With Klara's story you get a much richer understanding of the nature of the relationship between Klara, Simon and their father Saul. When Daniel and Varya's stories are broached you get a much better idea of the trajectory of the family's relationships.

Each of the siblings has their own issues with connection; Simon's with feeling safe enough in his difference to express affection; Klara's with believing in the magic of everyday life which holds those we love and have loved close to us; Daniel's with relinquishing control and allowing life to evolve as he would choose it to and Varya's is embracing the meatiness and corporeal nature of our bonds with our nearest and dearest, not trying to rationalise and think them through.

The book very cleverly asks some questions about agency, choice and fate. The fortune teller is the vehicle for this questioning. She is quite a contradictory figure. Is she responsible for their fates? Is she bad? Is she a victim herself? Is she simply at the whim of her 'gift'? These are interesting questions when considered in line with other questions I asked myself while reading this book. Should we live everyday as if it's our last, knowing that our death may be just around the corner? Or should we live disregarding death, embracing only life, putting death to the side, assuming it to be way down the road? Even though the Gold children were probably too young to hear the news the fortune teller told them, they didn't stay children. So where was their adult agency, sense of reason and emotional nous in their later years? Or is their reaction to this sort of news completely normal and understandable, even if you don't believe in fortune tellers?

I think the weakest part of the story was the FBI character. Klara was enchanting enough without him. I would like to see less of him and more of Klara's magic. I still think that having the fortune teller investigated for fraud was clever, and there is a way to have Daniel's story evolve as it did, without the investigator's obsession with Klara. This thread through the story seemed implausible and unnecessary; without it, I would have given the book five stars.

But that aside it is still a great book which will get you thinking and asking the big questions.
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