The Immortalists

The Immortalists

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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. Their 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, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018.
ISBN: 9780735215092
Characteristics: 346 pages ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

"Restless during the seismic summer of 1969 on New York's Lower East Side, the four Gold siblings, descendants of Jews who fled violent persecution overseas, sneak off to see a fortune-teller, who tells them each, separately, the date of his or her death."

Recommended by Lisa, Collection Services

Recommended by Amy, Community Relations

“A thought-provoking, sweeping family saga set in New York City’s Lower East Side, 1969. Four siblings sneak out to visit a psychic who reveals to each, separately, the exact date of his or her death. The book goes on to recount five decades of experience shaped by the siblings’ attempts to contr... Read More »

A thought-provoking, sweeping family saga set in New York City’s Lower East Side, 1969. Four siblings sneak out to visit a psychic who reveals to each, separately, the exact date of his or her death. The book goes on to recount five decades of experience shaped by the siblings’ attempts to contro... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 07, 2019

Disappointing ending like the fact that the last few lines are not about Varya. They are about Ruby who in a way is the next generation, the one that will live on so maybe that's what the author was trying to do. I liked the insight into someone like Varya. In conclusion, I would want to know the day I will die.

May 29, 2019

Tuesday November 26 Meeting

Apr 25, 2019

Unique change of pace story but a little slow-going. The book is broken into parts for each of the four siblings. These parts/stories tell life highlights of each sibling and their viewpoint of the overall story of a mother who continues to lose immediate family members and four children who's time of death has been predicted. The story of the gay younger brother became graphic so would not recommend this book for children under 18 as it was definitely too much for me.

Apr 09, 2019

Great premise but the characters and their actions were not believably written. Disappointing.

Mar 07, 2019

Well written, and one that draws you in about 4 siblings who go to fortune teller when young and find out date of death. However, did not enjoy it that much and would not necessarily recommend it, as has a lot of sadness in it. Unexpected ending and not even that was happy. Very sad account of a research primate on restiction diet (longevity study) very graphic and sad about self mutilation. I found it unecessarily sad, gruesome

Mar 03, 2019

This book was over-rated in my opinion. The unusual plot twist didn't really affect them until the day of their death. This was otherwise an okay telling of 4 relatively flatly described siblings.
I recently read that the "nocebo" effect (opposite of placebo - i.e. the patient thinks that they are ingesting a dangerous substance, which is really a sugar pill) is just as potent as the placebo effect. Some people have actually died simply because they thought they would die.

MGBustillo Jan 26, 2019

Benjamin draws in the reader with an interesting plot twist - four siblings know the date of their death according to a fortune teller - yet what they do with that information is the real driving force of her narrative. Thought provoking and full of juicy quotes, this is a great book club title. Highly recommended and worth reviewing with fellow readers.

Tigard_AnnieS Jan 23, 2019

If you knew the date that you were going to die, how would it affect your life? This is the central question that the four Gold sibling grapple with after visiting a Roma woman who tells them each in turn, their own death-date. The book is told in four parts, one for each sibling. Set in New York City, San Francisco, and the American Southwest we follow the lives of each sibling as adults and witness how this terrible knowledge effects each of them differently. This wonderful novel has a touch of magical realism which will appeal to those who have enjoyed Jhumpa Lahiri and Téa Obreht.

Jan 22, 2019

May Bookclub Book

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 28, 2018

An excellent novel with a great sense of setting. I loved all the characters and I can already tell I’ll be thinking about it for a while. Lots of big ideas about life and death.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Apr 25, 2019

iujigga2003 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WCLS

To Top