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Extended Audio Sample The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Meg Wolitzer Narrator: Jen Tullock Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A novel about talent, friendship, love, and the ravages that reality bears upon youthful idealism, Meg Wolitzer's, "The Interestings," is an introspective and ambitious novel featuring characters and relationships as complex, intricate, frustrating, and wonderful as life itself. Set initially at an art camp in the mid seventies, the novel follows six teenagers who meet at the art camp and become close friends, sharing in common vast talent and romantic idealism about the world. Each has a special artistic talent, ranging from music to visual arts to drama, and each believes in the power of their own ability to make the world a better place.

However the scope of the novel is not just a fleeting youthful moment at a summer camp, but a philosophical inquiry into how youthful relationships and ideals change upon exposure to the cold facts of the adult world. Critic Adam Langer of The Washington Post writes, "Fine novels that chart the long-term progress of friendships are all too rare... and Wolitzer is at her best when she shows how these relationships can be tested over time." And Wolitzer provides a compelling narrative on the way the relationships between the characters are changed, and how their individual success, or lack thereof, alters and sometimes compromises their original artistic vision. Wolitzer provides a fascinating juxtaposition between art and life over the course of the novel, and circumspectly examines complex characters and their interactions as they capriciously float in and out of each other's lives.

Born on Long Island in 1959, Meg Wolitzer has written a number of full length fiction novels for adults as well as young adults. She attended Brown University and Smith College, and has seen one of her novels, Surrender, Dorothy, made into a full length film.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a new novel that the New York Times Book Review says is “among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot.”

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. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’ now-married best friends become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The 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.

Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The wit, intelligence, and deep feeling of Wolitzer’s writing are extraordinary and The Interestings brings her achievement, already so steadfast and remarkable, to an even higher level.”

    Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex

  • Like Virginia Woolf in The Waves, Meg Wolitzer gives us the full picture here, charting her characters' lives from the self-dramatizing of adolescence, through the resignation of middle age, to the attainment of a wisdom that holds all the intensities of life in a single, sustained chord, much like this book itself. The wit, intelligence, and deep feeling of Wolitzer's writing are extraordinary and The Interestings brings her achievement, already so steadfast and remarkable, to an even higher level. Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Interestings soars, primarily because Wolitzer insists on taking our teenage selves seriously and, rather than coldly satirizing them, comes at them with warm humor and adult wisdom.”

    Elle

  • “[A] big, juicy novel…Wolitzer’s finger is unerringly on the pulse of our social culture.”

    Readers Digest

  • “What becomes a legend most? Or rather, who? Those with innate ability? Those blessed with enough beauty or money to indulge any creative whim? Or just those who want it the most? In The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer's quarry is ambition: what it means to have it, how to use it, how it's lost.”

    Time

  • “In Meg Wolitzer’s lovely, wise The Interestings, Julie Jacobson begins the summer of ’74 as an outsider at arts camp until she is accepted into a clique of teenagers with whom she forms a lifelong bond. Through well-tuned drama and compassionate humor, Wolitzer chronicles the living organism that is friendship and arcs it over the course of more than thirty years.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A sprawling, ambitious, and often wistful novel.”

    USA Today

  • “A victory…The Interestings secures Wolitzer’s place among the best novelists of her generation…She’s every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women’s fiction. It’s everyone’s.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Wonderful.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “You’ll want to be friends with these characters long after you put down the book.”

    Marie Claire

  • “This knowing, generous, and slyly sly new novel follows a group of teenagers who meet at a summer camp for artsy teens in 1974 and survive as friends through the competitions and realities of growing up…How these five circle each other, come together, and break apart, makes for plenty of hilarious scenes and plenty of heartbreaking ones, too. A compelling coming-of-age story about five privileged kids, this is also a pitch-perfect tale about a particular generation and the era that spawned it.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Remarkable… [The Interestings’s] inclusive vision and generous sweep place it among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. The Interestings is warm, all-American, and acutely perceptive about the feelings and motivations of its characters, male and female, young and old, gay and straight; but it’s also stealthily, unassumingly, and undeniably a novel of ideas…With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Juicy, perceptive, and vividly written.”

    NPR.org

  • “Ambitious and involving, capturing the zeitgeist of the liberal intelligentsia of the era.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “There’s something so appealing about books with a whole cast of main characters. It's as if the listener has the chance to identify with not just one character but with a community. In this engrossing audiobook, Meg Wolitzer and Jen Tullock join forces to create three-dimensional characters whose friendship spans the period between their teenage years at an artsy summer camp and their midlife years in and around New York City. Tullock's gift is her ability to capture conversations without overdramatizing the inflections or the voices. Her pacing is superb, and her tone lends a contemporary feel to this contemporary novel. Beautifully written and performed, this audiobook will appeal to lovers of literary fiction as well as those interested in hearing the stories of kindred spirits. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2013
  • A 2013 Entertainment Weekly Best Book
  • A 2013 Time Magazine Best Book for Fiction
  • A People Magazine Best Book of 2013
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A 2013 Washington Post Notable Book
  • A 2013 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • Winner of the 2013 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Fiction
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