The Great Believers

The Great Believers

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 th A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contempora...

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Title:The Great Believers
Author:Rebecca Makkai
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:0735223521
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:421 pages pages

The Great Believers Reviews

  • Jessica
    Jul 12, 2018
    "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 ha...
  • Dan
    Feb 25, 2018
    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 Par...
  • Elyse Walters
    Nov 23, 2018
    Actress Mary-Louise Parker once said.... ?I think that no story is more dramatically interesting than to see someone fight a battle that is seemingly unwinnable?. The characters in ?The Great Believers? were fighting for their lives. So much hopelessness..so much fa...
  • David
    Nov 04, 2018
    "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 Be...
  • Jill
    Nov 22, 2018
    The carnage of the AIDS epidemic has been often mined by literary writers. Tim Murphy?s Christodora is an excellent example of a haunting novel that captures AIDS devastation and enduring legacy. But Tim Murphy is a white, male New Yorker who reported on HIV/AIDS for 20 years. I wond...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    Mar 08, 2018
    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...
  • Esil
    Mar 11, 2018
    3.5 stars I 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 b...
  • Diane S ☔
    Mar 11, 2018
    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 embr...
  • Trudie
    Nov 02, 2018
    * 3.5 * I normally set to writing my impressions of a book directly after finishing it, unfortunately for The Great Believers I read it partly on holiday and now find myself struggling to get enthusiastic about writing this review. It is just one of those books I was totally engross...
  • Emily May
    Mar 20, 2018
    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...
  • Angela M
    Mar 09, 2018
    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...
  • Martie Nees Record
    Jun 28, 2018
    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 are...
  • Greg
    Aug 29, 2018
    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 ...
  • Rebecca Makkai
    Feb 04, 2018
    Only giving this five stars because I'm married to the author's husband. ...
  • Larry H
    Jun 30, 2018
    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 ...
  • Rebecca
    Jun 13, 2018
    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 k...
  • Marchpane
    Oct 29, 2018
    The Great Believers was a mixed bag for me, and I feel I should emphasise upfront that my 3-star rating is not an ?all-over? 3, but a result of ?averaging out? the excellent bits with the less successful aspects. The main storyline involves Yale Tishman, his boyfriend Charli...
  • Tyler Goodson
    Dec 25, 2017
    The Great Believers is the kind of book you make time for, the kind you cancel plans and turn your phone off for. It's utterly believable, heartbreaking, and beautiful. In Makkai's hands, this generation devastated by AIDS are not victims, but fighters, resisters, and believers. I am t...
  • Mandy
    Sep 25, 2018
    This is a fictional book based on the AIDS epidemic in Chicago in the 80s/90s. I won this off of a Good Reads give-a-way. This is a beautiful and sorrowful book of love, family, and friendship. We see this story through two narratives, one during the 80s/90s and one more current. T...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Nov 02, 2018
    Follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. Chicago is the third largest city in the US and we rarely associate it with the AIDs epidemic, yet, the city and its people were deeply impacted by the then mysterious and untreatable, deadly disease. ...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Sep 27, 2018
    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. I...
  • Doug
    Jul 28, 2018
    4.5, rounded up. I've read a lot of criticism that a 40 year old straight woman dares to write a book about the early years of the AIDS crisis, and the author acknowledges that others might claim inappropriate appropriation - but it is clear that not only has she done her homework, ...
  • Karin
    Oct 29, 2018
    Just fantastic. I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn't let go. I personally preferred the 80s storyline to the 2015 one, but the whole thing worked in the end. My final book of the 2018 NBA fiction longlist, I think it's got a solid chance of winning. ...
  • Michael
    Oct 13, 2018
    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 t...
  • Kathleen
    Nov 28, 2018
    ?We were the great believers. I have never cared for any men as much as for these who felt the first springs when I did, and saw death ahead, and were reprieved?and who now walk the long stormy summer.? F. Scott Fitzgerald Fitzgerald refers to the Lost Generation of post-WWI. ...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    May 09, 2018
    ?They were walking every day through streets where there had been a holocaust, a mass murder of neglect and antipathy.? I remember vividly that bleak period in the early 1980s when a spectrum of bizarre but fatal conditions started afflicting gay men. The tabloids were in their el...
  • Dan Friedman
    Sep 25, 2018
    Rebecca Makkai?s The Great Believers is a heart-breaking fictionalization of the burgeoning AIDS epidemic in Chicago. Makkai reminds us of those especially mystifying and terrifying early days before AIDS was AIDS: "She might not have remembered Jonathan Bird, except that he was the ...
  • Roman Clodia
    May 27, 2018
    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 exclud...
  • Meike
    Sep 05, 2018
    Shortlisted for the National Book Award 2018 A 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; ...
  • Lydia
    Dec 04, 2017
    I LOVE this book. It's heartbreaking and propulsive - I could not put it down, and was turning pages so fast it felt like I was reading a thriller. I loved all the characters, and thought the author did a wonderful job of the time change (going back in time then current day). ...