Skip to content

The Immortalists

The Immortalists Book Cover The Immortalists
Chloe Benjamin
G.P. Putnam's Sons
January 9, 2018
Advanced Reader Copy
Free copy from publisher

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. Their 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, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

My review:

Such a great premise for a book! What would you do, or how would you live your life differently if you knew the date of your death? While I loved the thought process of each of the four members of the Gold family, I wasn't as keen to buy into the way they came to the information about their death date. They learned this through a psychic, and the way each of them dealt with the information was detailed in four sections of the book (one for each child). The whole idea of a psychic was off putting for me, I'm not a believer in any of that  way of thinking, but they were children when they came to the information, so I could buy into the story a bit more and give them a pass. What followed from there, while a great story, was a bit weird for me. Without going into any spoiler details, I'll just say that while I could go along with their rationale and their choices (which we are led to believe are the result of knowing their death date), by the time we got through a couple of the siblings I was rolling my eyes a bit at the coincidences. Even though I may not have bought into the prediction part, what I did buy into was the author's writing style, which was smooth, captivating, and without any excessive wordiness to get her point across.

Overall a fascinating read, with lovely writing and a wonderful plot. If I could have gotten past my dislike of psychic's, this likely would have been a solid four stars. Read it for the premise and writing, I don't think you will be disappointed.



2 thoughts on “The Immortalists

  1. Ethan

    I really like the sound of the premise. I can understand your reservations about the psychic, but if you can get past that it sounds like this is a delightful read!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *