The Great Believers

The Great Believers

?A page turner...An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it?s like to live during times of crisis." ?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 Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director f ?A page turner...An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it?s like to live during times ...

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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...
  • Rick
    Jul 07, 2018
    I think this book may have helped to prepared me for death (I'm 70). I've become a great believer in the word wizardry of Rebecca Makkai. Best book in a long time, and am actually three pages from finishing, but I'm paralyzed with emotion I want to draw out. ...
  • Mainlinebooker
    Apr 30, 2018
    Makkai creates a very personal tour of the AIDS crisis in the 80's in Chicago alternating with chapters occurring in Paris in 2015. Many books have been written about the dreadful trajectories for many AIDS patients at the beginning of this crossroad but few have had the skilled dialog...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    Jun 26, 2018
    This sprawling, intimate novel takes on the legacy of the AIDS crisis, focusing on one group of friends in Chicago in the 1980s. It?s 1985 and Yale Tishman?s friends are dying one by one. As his career at a Chicago art gallery begins to take off, his personal life is consumed wi...
  • Chris
    Jul 23, 2018
    4.5 stars "We were the great believers. I have never cared for any men as much as for these who felt the first spring when I did, and saw death ahead, and we were reprieved?and who now walk the long stormy summer." F. Scott Fitzgerald This book. This book. For anyone who...
  • Jerry Delaney
    Jul 09, 2018
    What a wonderful book! Makkai is one of those authors I will follow for years no matter what she chooses to write about or how she chooses to express it. She chose to express this material by alternating chapters abouta group of gay male friends in Chicago in 1985 with chapters about a...
  • 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...
  • Emily
    Jun 26, 2018
    My most anticipated release of 2018 also happens to be two other things: the 50th book I?ve read this year, and the best. I am a HUGE Rebecca Makkai fan, and a vocal one at that, so I was irrationally nervous to pick this up. I stared at the ARC for months, hoping it would live up to...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Robin Black
    Jun 04, 2018
    I was lucky enough to see a pre-publication edition of this book. It's an absolute home run -with Makkai's characteristic insight and transporting prose. And of course this is a subject that is due for just this kind of in depth, compassionate treatment. I highly recommend. ...
  • Christopher R.
    Jul 18, 2018
    Okay, I cried. A lot. ...
  • Maureen
    Jul 03, 2018
    What can I say about this book that has not already been said? It is propulsively readable with character development and tone that will grab a hold of you and suck you out the other end feeling enriched, enlightened and ever so lucky to have had the experience of reading this amazing ...
  • 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 Foster
    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...
  • 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...
  • Stephen Kiernan
    Jul 17, 2018
    One of my favorite novels of the year. This book chronicles the arrival of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago in the early 80s. But don't let that scare you away. It is packed with humor (something funny on nearly every page), there are great characters and a wry sensibility from start to ...
  • Jan
    Jul 06, 2018
    A page-turning read and an important novel of the AIDS crisis, thankfully set in Chicago rather than New York or San Francisco. There's a lot of plot going on here, and not all the various timelines and characters totally work, but the writing is smooth, the characters complex, and som...
  • Cheryl DeFranceschi
    Apr 13, 2018
    This may well end up being my favorite book this year. Gorgeous and generous and filled to the brim with a story that my heart just leapt into. Sigh. ...
  • 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, ...
  • Sara Leonard
    Jan 30, 2018
    How do we keep the stories of our loved ones alive, when we're the only ones around to share them? This is the question posed by Makkai's breathtaking novel, alternating between the AIDS crisis in 1985 Chicago and Paris in 2015. The novel focuses on Yale, a young man devastated by the ...
  • Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
    Jun 26, 2018
    [4.5 stars] Thank you to Viking Books and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book. The Great Believers is one of those ?issue? book that makes the issue an organic part of the characters? lives?and these are the types of ?issue? books that work for me. It?s ulti...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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). ...