Friday Morning Bookclub

October 17, 2013

The Interestings : A Review By Ann

Filed under: The Interestings — susanbright @ 2:28 pm

InterestingsWolitzer has written a sprawling, decades-long tale of East Coast kids who meet at an arts camp and jokingly refer to themselves as The Interestings–exactly the kind of ironic, half-kidding-half-hopeful joke that captivates them at that moment in 1974. The six teenagers run the gamut of the art world: a dancer, a musician, an animator, an actress and feminist, an architect, and a comedic actress. The latter character, Jules, forms the center of the story: Jules is not an artist when she ends up at Camp Spirit-in-the-Woods. She is an outlier: a scholarship kid enamored of the privilege and talent of the others.

As the clique of six teenagers sit around in Boys’ Teepee 3, they establish a group dynamic that will endure not only for the rest of that summer (and the summers to come), but for much of the next thirty-odd years. Unfortunately, I think Wolitzer got it right when at the end of the book she has Jules describe these decades as: “…an animated sequence of longing and envy and self-hatred and grandiosity and failure and success, a strange and endless cartoon loop…”

The overall messages of the book seems to be that life sucks, gets better again, sucks a little more, gets better, and so on and so forth. No, the book was not that interesting.



  1. I’ve had this book for a couple of months and haven’t been able to get more than a few chapters into it. Definitely not that interesting.

    Comment by Jessica — October 17, 2013 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  2. I agree. I nicknamed this one The Uninterestings…

    Comment by Gabi Coatsworth — October 17, 2013 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  3. I read the blurb of the book as well as one or two pages and knew instinctively it was definitely not my kind of book. I am an avid reader of all books so it is definitely not because I am not American. The book sounded so boring and Uninteresting!!! Usually I like to give the Author’s a chance but from what I have gleaned from the other reader’s comments I am pleased I did not waste my money. Nevertheless I appreciate all your recommendations.

    Comment by Marilyn — October 17, 2013 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  4. Nice review. It is too bad that Wolitizer used this title, because it is easy to turn it back on her. I like the nickname The Uninterestings!

    Comment by Kathleen — October 17, 2013 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  5. This is one of those times where the audio book may be more enjoyable than the written book. I listened to The Interestings in the car, while dressing, cooking etc so my full attention was not necessarily on the book. At first I was not at all interested in any of the characters, and then Goodman was accused of rape. Finally something of interest happened. Unfortunately even this storyline did not really go anywhere. While I did not dislike this book as much as many others, I will not be recommending it.

    Comment by susanbright — October 24, 2013 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

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