“The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin // Book Review

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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 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; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.


“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.”


I expected a lot from this book, I had heard a lot about it, often really good reviews. The summary had really attracted me, intrigued me, I threw myself on this reading and I come out extremely disappointed …

The +: the cover! Really gorgeous, isn’t it? On the other hand, after reading the book, I don’t necessarily see any connection with the story, but hey!

As I said above, the description was really promising: and if you knew the exact date of your death, how would you decide to live your life? To make short, four brothers and sisters had the opportunity to meet a clairvoyant, she told them one by one, taking them apart, the date of their deaths. Of course, those with a fairly young death have come out of this announcement really scared.

In this book we follow these 4 characters. The story is shared in 4 stories. We start with Simon, homosexual who decides to take care of himself and go to San Francisco and live his life where the gay community is omnipresent! We will follow him until his death. Then, it’s Kara’s turn. Then Daniel and finally Varya!

We follow their lives, their doubts, their fears about the date of their deaths.

I was expecting answers, something a little more “supernatural” if I can say it like that. In the end, it’s more philosophical than anything else and it’s clearly not what I was looking for with this book.

I come out so extremely disappointed, and the end did nothing to make up for this feeling, since it is clearly one of the worst endings I’ve read for a long time!





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