Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Similar in subject matter to Jonathon Franzen's Freedom but gentler and more fun, the Interestings is a book that describes a generation of privileged youngsters, slightly post boomer but pre Generation x that came of age in the 70's. It begins in a garden of Eden like summer camp and ends with the problems of middle age. It's a journey of forty years for a group of people who go through bohemianism, yuppie-ism, comparative poverty, parenthood, cult religion, mental illness, disabled sons, and disease. Sort of like us, but more privileged. They lived in Manhattan while we lived in Hoboken and Denver. They had wealthy, hip parents who sent them to the artsy Camp in the Woods while we went to Boy Scout Camp. I can't imagine my parents sending me to the Camp in the Woods.
The characters in the novel also are touched by celebrity. Ethan becomes a famous animator and Jonah's mother is a famous folksinger (my guess is someone like Sandy Denny) and is given drugs by someone like Don MacLean.
As a friend once said about Thirty Something, "it's sort of true to life but the women are better looking." So many of us tried to join the interesting crowd when we were young and this is how one lady managed to get into and thrive amongst the interestings. This may well be the novel that people in centuries to come will use to teach students in Twentieth Century Culture about the lives of a certain class and generation of young, now middle aged Caucasians. Wonder what the movie will be like.
Editor's note: When this blogger has nothing else to say, he may occasionally do a book review. We'll see how it goes.