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  • The Interestings

  • A Novel
  • By: Meg Wolitzer
  • Narrated by: Jen Tullock
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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The Interestings cover art

The Interestings

By: Meg Wolitzer
Narrated by: Jen Tullock
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Summary

“Remarkable.... With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself.” (The New York Times Book Review)

"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)

A New York Times best-selling novel by Meg Wolitzer that has been called "genius" (Chicago Tribune), “wonderful” (Vanity Fair), "ambitious" (San Francisco Chronicle), and a “page-turner” (Cosmopolitan), which 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 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; 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’s 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.

©2013 Megan Wolitzer (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Interestings

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The Interestings

I enjoyed listening to this book. So much so I will listen to it again. In case I missed something first-time round.. Narration was excellent throughout

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Nostalgic

A book about the lifetime of a friends group formed in adolescence. Good character development and interesting story despite not feeling attached or too close to any of the main characters. Great narration. Would recommend.

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Absorbing and masterful

Fantastic. A vast and compelling book, drawing you into the world of these well crafted characters. I found the narration difficult to get into- at times I found the intonation like an automated almost robotic voice. The voices for the different characters are great and eventually I got into it. Overall a fantastic audiobook and leaves you feeling like you miss the characters once it’s over

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Tying with The Goldfinch as my favourite audible listen

It took me a little while to get into this book to start with, as there are quite a few characters, and I needed to listen to the first couple of chapters a couple of times to learn their names.

I love Jen Tullock’s mellow narration, which changes depending on who is speaking. Each character is recognisable in their timbre of speech and Jen Tullock has written a group of wholly believable people with their own distinct take on the world. The Interestings is beautifully descriptive without being flowery and she paints New York through the times of these friends, with clear knowledge and insight, peppering the story with real events.

Not since I’ve listened to The Goldfinch, have I been so wholly absorbed in a book. You travel with each individual, changing how you feel about each one as the story moves on; with their ups and downs and growing maturity. The group of friends began to feel like my own; they make you giggle, angry or let you down. At times I gasped audibly as secrets were revealed or the plot unfolded. No character is a stereotype or perfect, but each totally rounded and relatable.

As with Donna Tartt, I look forward to listening (or reading) any future book by Meg Wolitzer and would highly recommend it for any book club.

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Immersing story of childhood friendship into adulthood

Warts and all depiction of growing up with hopes and dreams then managing reality, life, love, parenthood and New York.

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Incredible

One of the best audio books I’ve listened too. The narrator does an excellent job of defining each character. The story is a long,’winding and fascinating look at friendships throughout a lifetime. I truly felt bereft when I finished listening, as you really do connect with each character. Recommended!!

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Engrossing

I heard Meg Wolitzer interviewed on a book program, otherwise I would never have come across her or this novel. I’ve really enjoyed it, I was utterly engrossed and I’m very glad I stumbled across it.

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Very talented writer, in depth characters.

Meg W is such a good writer and has created really rich character studies. It's a character driven story - don't get it if you're into plot twists and turns. The narrator was very good at her voices too.

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An animated capturing of the human experience

I am so in love with this book. The setting. The back and forth. The storytelling. The characters. The prose and possession of details. The narration. It feels complete and flawed and connecting. A great companion for loneliness, absurdity, contemplation and growth.

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Profound, gripping and warm like the characters

I feel quite bereft at having finished this novel and have no more ‘Interestings’ to spend part of my day with. The characters grew, the plot was grounded and had surprises but no short cut Deus ex machina. The text is tight and the reader puts meaning into every valuable syllable. Superb performance. I listened at .8 speed to savour it all, all the better.

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