A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai.In 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 intertwin...
|Title||:||The Great Believers|
|Number of Pages||:||421 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Great Believers Reviews
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 ...more
I started out listening to this book on Audible. Then I got the hardback at the library because I wanted to see the words. Then I bought it on Kindle so I could see the words at night.
I wanted to climb inside this gorgeous book and live in it. I did live in it. I'm still living in it.
I found The Great Believers really dry and boring. It's about the AIDs epidemic and a group of gay friends, split between 1985 and 2015, and yet this subject that should have been deeply emotional left me cold. I didn't care for the characters and there were huge chunks that could have (and should have) been cut out.
The Heart's Invisible Furies and The House of Impossible Beauties also look at this time period and do a much better job of it, in my opinion. Each have more interesting characters, ...more
"And was friendship that different in the end from love? You took the possibility of sex out of it, and it was all about the moment anyway. Being here, right now, in someone's life. Making room for someone in yours."
These words brought me great comfort because reading "The Great Believers" is as close to a real haunting as I hope to come. The ghosts of my own past were very much present throughout the experience. Makkai describes an era with lingering, painful echoes for me and my generation. At ...more
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Group Viking
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
The Grim Reaper follows all in this novel. Think of Scrooge without a happy ending. The author, Rebecca Makkai, writes about the 1980s AIDS outbreak. The novel is set in the heart of Chicago in an area known as Boystown. There are two storylines, told in alternating chapters: one is in the 1980s and the other is in present time. The book opens in the past. We meet a close-knit group of friends, most of them gay men, at ...more
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 fiancé (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 ...more
I read the first 50 pages for a potential BookBrowse review, skimmed up to p. 172 and also skimmed the last few chapters. There’s a near-contemporary story line that’s not very compelling; while I enjoyed the 1980s strand, there are a lot of secondary characters we don’t get to know very well, plus the details of Yale’s art deal slow down the narrative. I really wanted to appreciate the book because I loved Makkai’s two previous novels so much, but I’m not feeling the impetus to continue.
Only giving this five stars because I'm married to the author's husband.