Nach dem Tod ihres Vaters will Julie Jacobson nur noch eins: raus aus der Tristesse ihres provinziellen Zuhauses. Das Sommercamp an der Ostküste eröffnet ihr eine neue Welt. Eine Welt der Kunst, Kreativität und Freiheit, verkörpert durch die interessantesten Menschen, denen sie je begegnet ist: Ethan, Jonah, Cathy, Ash und Goodman, fünf junge New Yorker, die Julie ihrer Schlagfertigkeit und ihres schwarzen Humors wegen in ihre privilegierte Clique aufnehmen.
Die Jahre und Jahrzehnte vergehen, aber nicht jeder der "Interessanten", wie sie sich selbst halb ironisch nennen, kann aus seinen Begabungen das machen, was er sich als Jugendlicher erträumte. Was bestimmt das Leben Talent, Glück oder das Resultat der eigenen Entschlossenheit?
Meg Wolitzer zeigt an ihren Figuren die Tragik und Komik des Daseins und erzählt davon, wie es sich anfühlt, wenn man plötzlich versteht vielleicht zu spät , wer man einmal war und wer man geworden ist. Die Interessanten ist ein großer Gesellschafts- und Ideenroman über das Wesen der Kunst und der Freundschaft vor dem Panorama der USA in den letzten vierzig Jahren.
"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)
The New York Times -bestselling novel by Meg Wolitzer that has been called "genius" ( The 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 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'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.
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.- 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)"The big questions asked by The Interestings are about what happened to the world (when, Jules wonders, did 'analyst' stop denoting Freud and start referring to finance?) and what happened to all that budding teenage talent. Might every privileged schoolchild have a bright future in dance or theater or glass blowing? Ms. Wolitzer hasn't got the answers, but she does have her characters mannerisms and attitudes down cold."- The New York Times"I don't want to insult Meg Wolitzer by calling her sprawling, engrossing new novel, The Interestings , her most ambitious, because throughout her 30-year career of turning out well-observed, often very funny books at a steady pace, I have no doubt she has always been ambitious. . . . But "The Interestings" is exactly the kind of book that literary sorts who talk about ambitious works . . . are talking about. . . . Wolitzer is almost crushingly insightful; she doesn't just mine the contemporary mind, she seems to invade it."- San Francisco Chronicle"A sprawling, marvelously inventive novel . . . ambitious and enormously entertaining."- The Washington Post"A supremely engrossing, deeply knowing, genius-level enterprise . . . The novel is thick and thickly populated. And yet Wolitzer is brilliant at keeping the reader close by her side as she takes her story back and forth across time, in and out of multiple lives, and into the tangle of countless continuing, sometimes compromising, conversations."- Chicago Tribune"Masterful, sweeping . . . Her clear gaze captures the intricacies of lasting friendship, enduring love, marital sacrifice, bitter squabbles, family secrets, parental angst and deep loss. Though the story hops back and forth in time, it is rarely confusing, frequently funny and always engaging. . . . A story that feels real and true and more than fulfills the promise of the title. It is interesting, yes, but also moving, compelling, fascinating, and rewarding."- Miami Herald"Wolitzer has produced a novel that is big by at least a couple of clear measures-it's nearly 500 pages long, and it covers a lot of time and drama in the lives of a small circle of friends. . . . It's a small world in which these characters want to live large, and Wolitzer is wonderful at conveying that through the point of view of someone who doesn't even see it, all the while shading in the stuff that lives, big and small, are made of."- Minneapolis Star Tribune"It's a ritual of childhood-that solemn vow never to lose touch, no matter what. And for six artsy teenagers whose lives unfold in Wolitzer's big-hearted, ambitious new novel, the vow holds for almost four decades."- People"Readers may also enjoy comparing The Interes tings with Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children . . . In probing the unpredictable relationship between early promise and success and the more dependable one between self-acceptance and happiness, Wolitzer's novel is not just a big book but a shrewd one."- Christian Science Monitor"[ 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
On a warm night in early July of that long-evaporated year, the Interestings gathered for the very first time. They were only fifteen, sixteen, and they began to call themselves the name with tentative irony. Julie Jacobson, an outsider and possibly even a freak, had been invited in for obscure reasons, and now she sat in a corner on the unswept floor and attempted to position herself so she would appear unobtrusive yet not pathetic, which was a difficult balance. The teepee, designed ingeniously though built cheaply, was airless on nights like this one, when there was no wind to push in through the screens. Julie Jacobson longed to unfold a leg or do the side-to-side motion with her jaw that sometimes set off a gratifying series of tiny percussive sounds inside her skull. But if she called attention to herself in any way now, someone might start to wonder why she was here; and really, she knew, she had no reason to be here at all. It had been miraculous when Ash Wolf had nodded to her earlier in the night at the row of sinks and asked if she wanted to come join her and some of the others later. Some of the others . Even that wording was thrilling.
Julie had looked at her with a dumb, dripping face, which she then quickly dried with a thin towel from home. Jacobson , her mother had written along the puckered edge in red laundry marker in a tentative hand that now seemed a little tragic. "Sure," she had said, out of instinct. What if she'd said no ? she liked to wonder afterward in a kind of strangely pleasurable, baroque horror. What if she'd turned down the lightly flung invitation and went about her life, thudding obliviously along like a drunk person, a blind person, a moron, someone who thinks that the small packet of happiness she carries is enough. Yet having said "sure" at the sinks in the girls' bathroom, here she was now, planted in the corner of this unfamiliar, ironic world. Irony was new to her and tasted oddly good, like a previously unavailable summer fruit. Soon, she and the rest of them would be ironic much of the time, unable to answer an innocent question without giving their words a snide little adjustment. Fairly soon after that, the snideness would soften, the irony would be mixed in with seriousness, and the years would shorten and fly. Then it wouldn't be long before they all found themselves shocked and sad to be fully grown into their thicker, finalized adult selves, with almost no chance for reinvention.
That night, though, long before the shock and the sadness and the permanence, as they sat in Boys' Teepee 3, their clothes bakery sweet from the very last washer- dryer loads at home, Ash Wolf said, "Every summer we sit here like this. We should call ourselves something."
"Why?" said Goodman, her older brother. "So the world can know just how unbelievably interesting we are?"
"We could be called the Unbelievably Interesting Ones," said Ethan Fig-man. "How's that?"
"The Interestings," said Ash. "That works."
So it was decided. "From this day forward, because we are clearly the most interesting people who ever fucking lived ," said Ethan, "because we are just so fucking compelling , our brains swollen with intellectual thoughts, let us be known as the Interestings. And let everyone who meets us fall down dead in our path from just how fucking interesting we are." In a ludicrously ceremonial moment they lifted paper cups and joints. Julie risked raising her cup of vodka and Tang-"V&T," they'd called it-nodding gravely as she did this.
"Clink," Cathy Kiplinger said.
"Clink," said all the others.
The name was ironic, and the improvisational christening was jokily pretentious, but still, Julie Jacobson thought, they were interesting. These teenagers around her, all of them from New York City, were like royalty and French movie stars, with a touch of something papal. Everyone at this camp w