The Great Believers

The Great Believers FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN FICTIONWINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDALWINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARDSHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDSoon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler A page turner An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it s like to live during times of crisisThe New York Times Book Review A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary ParisIn 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico s little sister.Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster The Great Believers has become a critically acclaimed, indelible piece of literature it was selected as one of New York Times Best 10 Books of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Buzzfeed Book of the Year, a Skimm Reads pick, and a pick for the New York Public Library s Best Books of the year. Best Read [ The Great Believers ] author [ Rebecca Makkai ] For Kindle ePUB or eBook – rarefishingbooks.co.uk Only giving this five stars because I m married to the author s husband. In a weird way, I feel that this is the sweeping gay masterpiece that A Little Life should ve been It s a nice long read about a close knit group of gay friends and their straight allies that jumps back and forth between the height of the AIDS crisis in Chicago and present day Paris Makkai does a pretty clever thing here by drawing parallels between the Lost Generation from WWI and survivors of the AIDS crisis Ordinarily, when I read books that go back and forth between two narrators I tend t In a weird way, I feel that this is the sweeping gay masterpiece that A Little Life should ve been It s a nice long read about a close knit group of gay friends and their straight allies that jumps back and forth between the height of the AIDS crisis in Chicago and present day Paris Makkai does a pretty clever thing here by drawing parallels between the Lost Generation from WWI and survivors of the AIDS crisis Ordinarily, when I read books that go back and forth between two narrators I tend to have a favorite, but in this case I didn t Both Fiona and Yale s parts address the cen
I m between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up.At the start of The Great Believers , Rebecca Makkai s beautifully poignant yet meandering new novel, it is 1985, and Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, are preparing for the memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS.The gay community in Chicago where they live has been devastated by this recently discovered disease, as have gay communities across the country The sense of loss they feel is just beginning to hit them, as they I m between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up.At the start of The Great Believers , Rebecca Makkai s beautifully poignant yet meandering new novel, it is 1985, and Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, are preparing for the memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS.The gay community in Chicago where they live has been devastated by this recently discovered disease, as have gay communities across the country The sense of loss they feel is just beginning to hit them, as they begin hearingandabout people getti
4.5 The story opens with the death of a young gay man, named Nico Disowned by this family for his sexual preference, that is all but his younger sister, Fiona, who is with him until the end This is her introduction into the gay community, a community that will embrace her as she embraces them It is the eighties in Chicago, Boys town and the AIDS epidemic is in full swing We meet many of these young men, so many whose families have cut them loose See their fear, their sorrow asdie, or 4.5 The story opens with the death of a young gay man, named Nico Disowned by this family for his sexual preference, that is all but his younger sister, Fiona, who is with him until the end This is her introduction into the gay community, a community that will embrace her as she embraces them It is the eighties in Chicago, Boys town and the AIDS epidemic is in full swing We meet many of these young men, so many whose families have cut them loose See their fear, their sorrow asdie, or find out they have the virus Fiona, is with many of them, caring for them when they cannot care for themselves I can t imagine watching everyone you love die, and we see how this affects Fiona in her life a dual story line with the second in 2015 as Fiona searches for her own grown daughter She finds Richard, a photographer, a survivor from the eighties, and there will be another
The Great Believers 3.5 stars rounded up 1980s Chicago, the devastating AIDS epidemic seen through the eyes of a group of gay friends as they slowly lose so many in their circle of friends, reflects the time in a realistic way Fiona who has lost her loving brother and many of their friends over the years travels in to Paris in 2015, connecting with Richard an old friend from those times, as she searches for her daughter and the grandchild she has not met The chapters alternate between these t The Great Believers 3.5 stars rounded up 1980s Chicago, the devastating AIDS epidemic seen through the eyes of a group of gay friends as they slowly lose so many in their circle of friends, reflects the time in a realistic way Fiona who has lost her loving brother and many of their friends over the years travels in to Paris in 2015, connecting with Richard an old friend from those times, as she searches for her daughter and the grandchild she has not met The chapters alternate between these two time periods and these two places and it was good to have the connection of some of the same people so moving from one time to another felt seamless in ways.This is an important story depicting the devastation of the Aids e
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Alternating between present day Paris and 80s Chicago, The Great Believers explores the impact and aftermath of the AIDS epidemic on a close knit group of friends living in Boystown The novel tells three stories, through two perspectives In the main plot, Yale Tishman struggles to cope with the illness and loss of his friends, and placate a jealous partner who fears Yale will leave him after the epidemic ends al My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Alternating between present day Paris and 80s Chicago, The Great Believers explores the impact and aftermath of the AIDS epidemic on a close knit group of friends living in Boystown The novel tells three stories, through two perspectives In the main plot, Yale Tishman struggles to cope with the illness and loss of his friends, and placate a jealous partner who fears Yale will leave him after the epidemic ends all the while, Yale,
DNF p.148What, I hear you thinking, is wrong with this old man DNF a five star read Five star a DNF side eye The fact is that I lived this story I lost the love of my life to AIDS, and attended far too many funerals and memorial services before I was 30 So I really just can t finish the book I am not up for those wounding memories to be poked with a stick.The prose is exemplary in its economy and precision, both qualities I admire greatly Yale came fully into his manhood for me when, DNF p.148What, I hear you thinking, is wrong with this old man DNF a five star read Five star a DNF side eye The fact is that I lived this story I lost the love of my life to AIDS, and attended far too many funerals and memorial services before I was 30 So I really just can t finish the book I am not up for those wounding memories to be poked with a stick.The prose is exemplary in its economy and precision, both qualities I admire greatly Yale came fully into his manhood for me when, on the last page I read, he reflected even if the world wasn t always a good place, he reminded himself that he could trust his perceptions now Things were so often exactly what they seemed to be.Precisely, Yale, they so often are and one is always wise to remember that fact Occam proposed his razor for a reason It s an incisive haw insight.So while I fu
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019 FinalistWinner of the Carnegie Medal for FictionA global crisis that has taken the lives of 35,4 million people, changing the face of the world forever no, this is not a dystopia, Rebecca Makkai wrote the Great American Novel about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic which is ongoing here s the latest data The author introduces us to a circle of friends in mid 80 s Chicago, many of them gay, and shows how HIV AIDS imp Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019 FinalistWinner of the Carnegie Medal for FictionA global crisis that has taken the lives of 35,4 million people, changing the face of the world forever no, this is not a dystopia, Rebecca Makkai wrote the Great American Novel about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic which is ongoing here s the latest data The author introduces us to a circle of friends in mid 80 s Chicago, many of them gay, and shows how HIV AIDS impacts their lives What makes this book particularly shocking is that it starts rather slow, but pretty quickly it becomes clear that what propels the story forward is the question who will die next and as Makkai s characters are brilliantly drawn, psychologically covincing and vivid, it is heart wrenching to read about their destinies This main narrative is intersected with a second storyline that takes us and some of the surviving protagonists to Paris in 2010, thus sho
When my best friend, Wade, died of complications of the AIDS virus in 1992, I was devastated and broken If it weren t for my fianc now husband , I may have spiraled into a dark, depressing space for a long time Makkai s book brought it all back to me the despair, the secrets, and the shame that was forced upon my friend from the virus and the politics of the time Even though the locale Chicago Paris in Makkai s novel is different than my own, and the plot of course sprang from the depth o When my best friend, Wade, died of complications of the AIDS virus in 1992, I was devastated and broken If it weren t for my fianc now husband , I may have spiraled into a dark, depressing space for a long time Makkai s book brought it all back to me the despair, the secrets, and the shame that was forced upon my friend from the virus and the politics of the time Even though the locale Chicago Paris in Makkai s novel is different than my own, and the plot of course sprang from the depth of her imagination, she captured the emotions and momentum of the time so well that I often twinned with the author s story Character driven, theme driven, and generous of spirit, The Great Believers is a fully realized work of art.The novel threads two timelines the 80s 90s AIDS epidemic era and 2015 We follow Fiona in both timelines, first a heartsick nineteen year old sister in the 80s and subsequently a mother estranged from her adult daughter in 2015 She never stopped grieving for he
3.5 starsI really loved the themes running through The Great Believers, but I was a little less enthusiastic about the delivery.The story is told in two timelines The first timeline runs from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, and it is focused on a group of characters affected by the AIDS epidemic in Chicago The story is told from Yale s perspective, who is seeing many of his friends getting sick and dying Much of his story focuses on the breakdown of his relationship and an art show that he is 3.5 starsI really loved the themes running through The Great Believers, but I was a little less enthusiastic about the delivery.The story is told in two timelines The first timeline runs from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, and it is focused on a group of characters affected by the AIDS epidemic in Chicago The story is told from Yale s perspective, who is seeing many of his friends getting sick and dying Much of his story focuses on the breakdown of his relationship and an art show that he is trying to put together The second storyline focuses on Fiona, who is the sister of one of Yale s friends, as she searches for her missing daughter in Paris.It was no until the end that I fully understood how the two storylines fit together bo
There s an important story here at least in the 1985 strand as AIDS cuts through the Chicago gay community but something about Makkai s style left me feeling mostly disengaged from it in emotional terms Sure, I had moments of anger as we witness a dead man s parents exclude his lover from the funeral, the horrible voyeurism that makes a thing of a man being gay, black, whatever But overall I was never able to get involved or attached to what is going on.Add to the style a baggy structure t There s an important story here at least in the 1985 strand as AIDS cuts through the Chicago gay community but something about Makkai s style left me feeling mostly disengaged from it in emotional terms Sure, I had moments of anger as we witness a dead man s parents exclude his lover from the funeral, the horrible voyeurism that makes a thing of a man being gay, black, whatever But overall I was never able to get involved or attached to what is going on.Add to the style a baggy structure that
But what a burden, to be Horatio To be the one with the memory Like many others of a certain age who are fans of musical theater, I went through a phase in my late teens and early twenties where I thought Rent was the most amazing piece of art ever created A lot about the show hasn t aged well just pay your rent, guys but it s still a moving remembrance of a very particular time and place New York during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s One of my favorite lines in the show isn t one that IBut what a burden, to be Horatio To be the one with the memory Like many others of a certain age who are fans of musical theater, I went through a phase in my late teens and early twenties where I thought Rent was the most amazing piece of art ever created A lot about the show hasn t aged well just pay your rent, guys but it s still a moving remembrance of a very particular time and place New York during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s One of my favorite lines in the show isn t one that I think a lot of others would cite It s not funny, it s not romantic, it s not empowering It got cut out of the movie adaptation and I could write a long, long paper about why that was a bad move , but it
We get the day off to stay in bed and read big, brave and beautiful books This is one of the year s best and explores the realities and legacies of the AIDS epidemic through parallel narratives It will make you fucking furious and it will instil deep faith in our shared humanity It s one of those
Only giving this five stars because I m married to the author s husband. In a weird way, I feel that this is the sweeping gay masterpiece that A Little Life should ve been It s a nice long read about a close knit group of gay friends and their straight allies that jumps back and forth between the height of the AIDS crisis in Chicago and present day Paris Makkai does a pretty clever thing here by drawing parallels between the Lost Generation from WWI and survivors of the AIDS crisis Ordinarily, when I read books that go back and forth between two narrators I tend t In a weird way, I feel that this is the sweeping gay masterpiece that A Little Life should ve been It s a nice long read about a close knit group of gay friends and their straight allies that jumps back and forth between the height of the AIDS crisis in Chicago and present day Paris Makkai does a pretty clever thing here by drawing parallels between the Lost Generation from WWI and survivors of the AIDS crisis Ordinarily, when I read books that go back and forth between two narrators I tend to have a favorite, but in this case I didn t Both Fiona and Yale s parts address the cen
I m between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up.At the start of The Great Believers , Rebecca Makkai s beautifully poignant yet meandering new novel, it is 1985, and Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, are preparing for the memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS.The gay community in Chicago where they live has been devastated by this recently discovered disease, as have gay communities across the country The sense of loss they feel is just beginning to hit them, as they I m between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounding up.At the start of The Great Believers , Rebecca Makkai s beautifully poignant yet meandering new novel, it is 1985, and Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, are preparing for the memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS.The gay community in Chicago where they live has been devastated by this recently discovered disease, as have gay communities across the country The sense of loss they feel is just beginning to hit them, as they begin hearingandabout people getti
4.5 The story opens with the death of a young gay man, named Nico Disowned by this family for his sexual preference, that is all but his younger sister, Fiona, who is with him until the end This is her introduction into the gay community, a community that will embrace her as she embraces them It is the eighties in Chicago, Boys town and the AIDS epidemic is in full swing We meet many of these young men, so many whose families have cut them loose See their fear, their sorrow asdie, or 4.5 The story opens with the death of a young gay man, named Nico Disowned by this family for his sexual preference, that is all but his younger sister, Fiona, who is with him until the end This is her introduction into the gay community, a community that will embrace her as she embraces them It is the eighties in Chicago, Boys town and the AIDS epidemic is in full swing We meet many of these young men, so many whose families have cut them loose See their fear, their sorrow asdie, or find out they have the virus Fiona, is with many of them, caring for them when they cannot care for themselves I can t imagine watching everyone you love die, and we see how this affects Fiona in her life a dual story line with the second in 2015 as Fiona searches for her own grown daughter She finds Richard, a photographer, a survivor from the eighties, and there will be another
The Great Believers 3.5 stars rounded up 1980s Chicago, the devastating AIDS epidemic seen through the eyes of a group of gay friends as they slowly lose so many in their circle of friends, reflects the time in a realistic way Fiona who has lost her loving brother and many of their friends over the years travels in to Paris in 2015, connecting with Richard an old friend from those times, as she searches for her daughter and the grandchild she has not met The chapters alternate between these t The Great Believers 3.5 stars rounded up 1980s Chicago, the devastating AIDS epidemic seen through the eyes of a group of gay friends as they slowly lose so many in their circle of friends, reflects the time in a realistic way Fiona who has lost her loving brother and many of their friends over the years travels in to Paris in 2015, connecting with Richard an old friend from those times, as she searches for her daughter and the grandchild she has not met The chapters alternate between these two time periods and these two places and it was good to have the connection of some of the same people so moving from one time to another felt seamless in ways.This is an important story depicting the devastation of the Aids e
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Alternating between present day Paris and 80s Chicago, The Great Believers explores the impact and aftermath of the AIDS epidemic on a close knit group of friends living in Boystown The novel tells three stories, through two perspectives In the main plot, Yale Tishman struggles to cope with the illness and loss of his friends, and placate a jealous partner who fears Yale will leave him after the epidemic ends al My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Alternating between present day Paris and 80s Chicago, The Great Believers explores the impact and aftermath of the AIDS epidemic on a close knit group of friends living in Boystown The novel tells three stories, through two perspectives In the main plot, Yale Tishman struggles to cope with the illness and loss of his friends, and placate a jealous partner who fears Yale will leave him after the epidemic ends all the while, Yale,
DNF p.148What, I hear you thinking, is wrong with this old man DNF a five star read Five star a DNF side eye The fact is that I lived this story I lost the love of my life to AIDS, and attended far too many funerals and memorial services before I was 30 So I really just can t finish the book I am not up for those wounding memories to be poked with a stick.The prose is exemplary in its economy and precision, both qualities I admire greatly Yale came fully into his manhood for me when, DNF p.148What, I hear you thinking, is wrong with this old man DNF a five star read Five star a DNF side eye The fact is that I lived this story I lost the love of my life to AIDS, and attended far too many funerals and memorial services before I was 30 So I really just can t finish the book I am not up for those wounding memories to be poked with a stick.The prose is exemplary in its economy and precision, both qualities I admire greatly Yale came fully into his manhood for me when, on the last page I read, he reflected even if the world wasn t always a good place, he reminded himself that he could trust his perceptions now Things were so often exactly what they seemed to be.Precisely, Yale, they so often are and one is always wise to remember that fact Occam proposed his razor for a reason It s an incisive haw insight.So while I fu
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019 FinalistWinner of the Carnegie Medal for FictionA global crisis that has taken the lives of 35,4 million people, changing the face of the world forever no, this is not a dystopia, Rebecca Makkai wrote the Great American Novel about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic which is ongoing here s the latest data The author introduces us to a circle of friends in mid 80 s Chicago, many of them gay, and shows how HIV AIDS imp Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019 FinalistWinner of the Carnegie Medal for FictionA global crisis that has taken the lives of 35,4 million people, changing the face of the world forever no, this is not a dystopia, Rebecca Makkai wrote the Great American Novel about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic which is ongoing here s the latest data The author introduces us to a circle of friends in mid 80 s Chicago, many of them gay, and shows how HIV AIDS impacts their lives What makes this book particularly shocking is that it starts rather slow, but pretty quickly it becomes clear that what propels the story forward is the question who will die next and as Makkai s characters are brilliantly drawn, psychologically covincing and vivid, it is heart wrenching to read about their destinies This main narrative is intersected with a second storyline that takes us and some of the surviving protagonists to Paris in 2010, thus sho
When my best friend, Wade, died of complications of the AIDS virus in 1992, I was devastated and broken If it weren t for my fianc now husband , I may have spiraled into a dark, depressing space for a long time Makkai s book brought it all back to me the despair, the secrets, and the shame that was forced upon my friend from the virus and the politics of the time Even though the locale Chicago Paris in Makkai s novel is different than my own, and the plot of course sprang from the depth o When my best friend, Wade, died of complications of the AIDS virus in 1992, I was devastated and broken If it weren t for my fianc now husband , I may have spiraled into a dark, depressing space for a long time Makkai s book brought it all back to me the despair, the secrets, and the shame that was forced upon my friend from the virus and the politics of the time Even though the locale Chicago Paris in Makkai s novel is different than my own, and the plot of course sprang from the depth of her imagination, she captured the emotions and momentum of the time so well that I often twinned with the author s story Character driven, theme driven, and generous of spirit, The Great Believers is a fully realized work of art.The novel threads two timelines the 80s 90s AIDS epidemic era and 2015 We follow Fiona in both timelines, first a heartsick nineteen year old sister in the 80s and subsequently a mother estranged from her adult daughter in 2015 She never stopped grieving for he
3.5 starsI really loved the themes running through The Great Believers, but I was a little less enthusiastic about the delivery.The story is told in two timelines The first timeline runs from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, and it is focused on a group of characters affected by the AIDS epidemic in Chicago The story is told from Yale s perspective, who is seeing many of his friends getting sick and dying Much of his story focuses on the breakdown of his relationship and an art show that he is 3.5 starsI really loved the themes running through The Great Believers, but I was a little less enthusiastic about the delivery.The story is told in two timelines The first timeline runs from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, and it is focused on a group of characters affected by the AIDS epidemic in Chicago The story is told from Yale s perspective, who is seeing many of his friends getting sick and dying Much of his story focuses on the breakdown of his relationship and an art show that he is trying to put together The second storyline focuses on Fiona, who is the sister of one of Yale s friends, as she searches for her missing daughter in Paris.It was no until the end that I fully understood how the two storylines fit together bo
There s an important story here at least in the 1985 strand as AIDS cuts through the Chicago gay community but something about Makkai s style left me feeling mostly disengaged from it in emotional terms Sure, I had moments of anger as we witness a dead man s parents exclude his lover from the funeral, the horrible voyeurism that makes a thing of a man being gay, black, whatever But overall I was never able to get involved or attached to what is going on.Add to the style a baggy structure t There s an important story here at least in the 1985 strand as AIDS cuts through the Chicago gay community but something about Makkai s style left me feeling mostly disengaged from it in emotional terms Sure, I had moments of anger as we witness a dead man s parents exclude his lover from the funeral, the horrible voyeurism that makes a thing of a man being gay, black, whatever But overall I was never able to get involved or attached to what is going on.Add to the style a baggy structure that
But what a burden, to be Horatio To be the one with the memory Like many others of a certain age who are fans of musical theater, I went through a phase in my late teens and early twenties where I thought Rent was the most amazing piece of art ever created A lot about the show hasn t aged well just pay your rent, guys but it s still a moving remembrance of a very particular time and place New York during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s One of my favorite lines in the show isn t one that IBut what a burden, to be Horatio To be the one with the memory Like many others of a certain age who are fans of musical theater, I went through a phase in my late teens and early twenties where I thought Rent was the most amazing piece of art ever created A lot about the show hasn t aged well just pay your rent, guys but it s still a moving remembrance of a very particular time and place New York during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s One of my favorite lines in the show isn t one that I think a lot of others would cite It s not funny, it s not romantic, it s not empowering It got cut out of the movie adaptation and I could write a long, long paper about why that was a bad move , but it
We get the day off to stay in bed and read big, brave and beautiful books This is one of the year s best and explores the realities and legacies of the AIDS epidemic through parallel narratives It will make you fucking furious and it will instil deep faith in our shared humanity It s one of those

Best Read [ The Great Believers] by [ Rebecca Makkai ] – rarefishingbooks.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • The Great Believers
  • Rebecca Makkai
  • 12 September 2017
  • 073522353X