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The Immortalists

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  169,015 ratings  ·  16,892 reviews
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.

The prophecies inform their ne
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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David Jr. 50-page rule! Until the age of fifty if you are not into a book by page 50, skip it. For every year after the age of fifty read one less page before y…more50-page rule! Until the age of fifty if you are not into a book by page 50, skip it. For every year after the age of fifty read one less page before you make your decision. ie. A sixty-year-old person only has to read 40 pages. (less)
Chloe Benjamin Good question--no!! I've tried to resolve this with Goodreads a few times. I've only written THE IMMORTALISTS and THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS. :)…moreGood question--no!! I've tried to resolve this with Goodreads a few times. I've only written THE IMMORTALISTS and THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS. :)(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  169,015 ratings  ·  16,892 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-lit, arc, 2017
"And what if I change?" It seems impossible that Varya's future is already inside her like an actress just offstage, waiting decades to leave the wings.
"Then you'd be special. 'Cause most people don't."

2 1/2 stars. I have a lot of mixed feelings about The Immortalists. Though there were parts I enjoyed, I was left feeling underwhelmed and like I'd recommend many other similar books before recommending this one.

You should be aware that this is literary fiction and focuses in depth on the liv
Elyse  Walters
Update ---I must add one more thought to this review: *The-Book-Cover* is not only lovely -- but now that I've read the book -- I recognize this 'perfect' design is symbolic to this story.
Jewish Kabbalists believe "The Tree of Life" to be a diagrammatic representation of the process by which the Universe came into being".
Jewish Kabbalists also don't envision time and space as pre-existing.
A wonderful -symbolically fitting book cover -- The mysticism of the fortune teller mixed with traditiona
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a 2018 G.P. Putnam’s Sons publication.

In a novel, so centered on death, there is a tremendous amount of life and living within these pages.

Beginning in 1969, the four Gold siblings boldly knock on the door of a fortune teller who then proceeds to impart to them the one thing nobody knows when they enter this world- the exact day you will die.

For better or worse, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon cope with this heavy information, but, their approach to life, t
The Immortalists….
Imagine you are a kid and together with your siblings you sneak out of the house to go see a gypsy woman who is said to be able predict the day you die… It’s 1969 in New York City’s East side, and word has spread about a mystical woman, a traveling psychic….You go to see her and all of you get to hear ‘your’ date.
You go home and then…. Life goes on. Will you believe this prophecy, will it influence the way you live? Will you be able to handle it? How will you live your life?
Hannah Greendale
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Conceptually intriguing but lackluster in its execution. Benjamin’s contemporary coming-of-age tantalizes with its premise of four siblings who encounter a traveling psychic who reveals when they will die but is feather-light in its examination of the line between destiny and choice. Despite mention of mysticism and psychics, gypsies and magicians, the prose is unadorned, and the brevity of each character’s story evokes a perpetual sense of detachment. The fun of The Immortalists lies in specula ...more
This was a Traveling Sisters Group Read, and only two of us were left standing in the Lush Coulee with the rest of the sisters leaving the coulee at or before the first goal of this book. Thank you to Jennifer for reading this one with me, it was a pleasure and I loved the discussion this book brought out.

4.5 stars! This was such a memorable and interesting read that had such a unique storyline with a profound and special message within the pages of this book that had us asking ourselves so many
Felice Laverne
See my exclusive interview with Chloe Benjamin about her novel The Immortalists here!

“There are two major theories about how to stop aging…”
“…It sounds like you’re saying we can choose to live. Or we can choose to survive.”

Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists is a thoughtfully executed novel written in simple, yet often poetic, prose that allowed the characters’ voices at their most forceful to shine on their own past the narrative itself. More than that, it is a novel crafted around a question we
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss
2.5 stars

What a unique and compelling premise. Would you want to know the date of your death? And if you did, how would that knowledge change the way you lived? If you change your life could that be the very thing that might hasten your demise? Or would you just try and make the most of every day?

The book opens with 4 siblings visiting a fortune teller who tells each of them the exact day they would die. After this intriguing beginning, the story is broken into four parts, one for each of the s
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
3.5? 3.75?

I actually ended up liking this more than I expected!

The premise was very intriguing. Four siblings meet a psychic who tells them the exact date they will die. It then influences how they choose to live their lives.

This felt more like a historical fiction/contemporary than fantasy/sci-fi so be warned!

It's definitely a slow burning story where you follow each characters throughout their struggles.

I enjoyed it!
Larry H
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

If you could know the exact day of your death, would you want to find out? If you did find out, how would knowing that information affect how you lived your life? These questions are at the heart of The Immortalists , Chloe Benjamin's deeply affecting and beautifully written new book.

In 1969, growing up on New York's Lower East Side, the Gold siblings learn that there is a traveling fortune teller in their neighborhood who can tell anyone the day they will die. While n
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
edit: ok it's only been a day, but i've thought about this some more and i realized i only put it at a 2.5 stars to be nice because this is such a popular book.

it's gonna be a straight 2/5 from me, folks.
2.5 stars

i try to avoid using half stars (at least until goodreads decides to help a girl out and make them an option) but while i don't have strong enough feelings about this to justify a two, i didn't enjoy this book enough to give it a three. so, 2.5 it is.

it was ok, in an "i was able t
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chloe Benjamin's epic The Immortalists has us considering some of the most fundamental and complex questions about life and how we live it. It is thought provoking as it asks does knowledge of our mortality make us live our life to the utmost or makes us fearful, guilty, and seek to outwit death? It is 1969 and in Manhattan, New York, the 4 Jewish Gold children seek a light hearted encounter with a gypsy psychic, who tells each of them their prophecies and their date of death. They cannot break ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew
I didn’t love everything about The Immortalists, but I found it powerful in parts, and especially at the end. After giving it some thought, I’m comfortable with a 4 star rating.

The book focuses on four siblings. At the beginning, as children and young teens growing up in Manhattan, they visit a fortune teller who tells them separately and secretly the date they will each die. The rest of the book is broken into four parts, each part focusing on one sibling. It’s not so much about whether the pre
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘she knows that stories have the power to change things: the past and the future, even the present.’

but if you knew the exact day you were going to die, how would you let those stories change the way you lived life? would you try to change the future, reminisce on the past, or just live in the present?

i love how this story explores these questions, these themes, these ideas. and does so in a very real and relatable way. it shows the fear and fearlessness, the comfort and loneliness, the impu
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Would you want to know when you will die? It would give you a chance to live life to its fullest or could hang over you like a death sentence.

It's 1969 and the 4 young Gold siblings decide to chance it when a gypsy comes to town to find out when their expiration dates are up.

These prophecies dictate how their lives unfold because as much as they don't want to believe, their own self fulfilling prophecies will lead them down a path: Simon, the youngest, lives his life recklessly trying to fulfi
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought that this was going to be magical realism which I confess is not a subgenre that I enjoy. It isn't. Four siblings, as children, find out the date of their deaths and for the next fifty years their lives richochet about as they try to live with (or run from) this knowledge. The Immortalists is about life, the bonds between siblings as well as science, religion, dance and research monkeys. Yes, you read that correctly. ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Live each day as if it were your last, while also not knowing it's your last day. ✨ 4.5 stars rounded up for The Immortalists

The Immortalists is a different sort of book. Hard to classify, and while it may not be for everybody, it was an addictive read for me. Four young siblings find out the date of each of their deaths from a gyspsy fortune teller. The reader follows each sibling as "the day" edges near, and the way the stories were arranged and overlapped between each character added further
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
"The power of words. They weaseled under door cracks and through keyholes. They hooked into individuals and wormed through generations."

And the utterance of dates murmured by an unreliable mystical woman on a scorching hot summer's day is the focus of this story. It's 1969 in New York City and the four young Gold children set out to find this elusive woman who will tell them the dates of their deaths.

Would you honestly want to know? The gift of life is like handing over the reins of a wild runa
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
An intriguing concept but ultimately I didn't feel attached to any of the characters or feel the emotional weight of the story. ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-clubs

So, would you want to know the date of your death? I would not, but it’s a fascinating premise for a novel. Four siblings venture to a fortune teller in 1969 and learn the exact dates of their deaths. The book then takes on each sibling and shows us how their life plays out. Do they live their lives differently for knowing the date? Do their actions lead them to die on the intended date? Do those that are given a long life take advantage of the time or waste it?

It’s a sad book. I wanted to wrap
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
First, this is mistitled. Second, I listened to every word. Narrator, Maggie Hoffman is excellent. Third. My overall conclusion is that this is 99% downerville. The writing while good, scatters this novel and leaves the listener/reader unfulfilled. If you favor tragedies with lots of depression, this is for you. 4 of 10 stars
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first 5 star rating of a novel that I didn’t really like at all most of the way through... I came very close to not finishing. That is why I am completely baffled by my own reaction. The pieces to this puzzle are not really unique on their own, however, once they come together the product is utterly amazing. Upon finishing I could not fathom giving it anything other than 5 stars. Would make a great book club pick... it yearns to be discussed and I’m really looking forward to others re ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 for this novel centered around 4 siblings in New York. It’s 1969, these Jewish siblings ages 13-7, two boys and two girls, hear on the street that there is a woman in the city who can tell fortunes. They visit her and she sees them one at a time, and tells them the date they will die.
So we follow these kids through the years and see how this information changes the way they live and their relationships with their family and others.
I really enjoyed this book!
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars.

BEWARE the woman on Hester Street.

As the story begins, it's 1969 New York when four bored adolescent siblings....just for a bit of fun....pool their allowances and sneak out to track down a Seer they heard tell about who could predict the date of their death.

What they discover changes each life forever.

One by one, the individual stories are told, the dates of demise divulged as we follow a young Varya 13, Daniel 11, Klara 9 and Simon 7 throughout their often heartbreaking, challen

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
5 stars for a book that makes you think. "Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come."

What if you knew the day, the month, the year of your death? Would that make you live a different life? Would you try to compress all of life's experiences, the good, the seedy, and the bad into a short life projection? Would you languish your days knowing that you had many years in front of you and
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a book from the library on my want to read list. I just finished and couldn’t put it down but now filled with sadness and a general feeling of true unnecessary sorrow for the family.
So many themes in this book, fate vs freewill, happiness versus duty/obligation, freedom versus family and many more.
It is certainly a book that leaves you pondering your own goals, hopes and dreams for the life that you are given.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Immortalists the Gold siblings - Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon - pool their money together to visit a female fortune teller who tells visitors the exact date of their death. As children, this sounds somewhat spooky, but mostly intriguing, however, the visit is not what the children expected. The Golds are seen separately by the woman, and the news she shares with each of them affects the siblings differently. The Immortalists is then divided into four parts, detailing the fate of each s ...more
Aug 29, 2017 added it
Shelves: e-galley, fiction
E-galley provided by Edelweiss, G.P. Putnam & Sons, and Author Chloe Benjamin. To be published January 9, 2018. A special shout out to Michael Kindness for his profuse recommendation of The Immortalists.

I was lured in wanting to know the fate of the four Gold siblings whose date of death is foretold by a nomadic fortuneteller. To my amazement this was not the best part. Mesmerizing and so well told. The publishing date of January 9, 2018 can’t come soon enough. The Immortalists is bound to be a
Roman Clodia
Great premise, but left me underwhelmed as a novel

Have we reached a point where for a book to be regarded as ‘literary fiction’ all that is required is that it’s not genre fiction? I ask because this comes accompanied with lots of hype and buzz but personally I found it both underwhelming and eminently forgettable.

The fascinating premise asks questions about how we would live if we knew with certainty the date of our death – but this big theme gets shoved aside for what are more or less four co
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars.
Would your life change if you had been given the date on which you would die?

Set in 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, word spreads that there is a a traveling psychic who claims she can tell folks the date of their deaths. . The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes but how will it affect them as individuals and as a family.

Without doubt an interesting and intriguing premise and a book that caught me by surprise for many
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Chloe Benjamin is the author of THE IMMORTALISTS, a New York Times Bestseller, #1 Indie Next Pick for January 2018, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, #1 Library Reads pick, and Amazon Best Book of the Month.

Her first novel, THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS (Atria, 2014), received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.

Her novel

Articles featuring this book

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
217 likes · 79 comments
“She understands, too, the loneliness of parenting, which is the loneliness of memory—to know that she connects a future unknowable to her parents with a past unknowable to her child.” 53 likes
“Most adults claim not to believe in magic, but Klara knows better. Why else would anyone play at permanence--fall in love, have children, buy a house--in the face of all evidence there's no such thing?” 49 likes
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