Friday, April 12, 2013

...and all of the sudden, BAM! It's everwhere!

I have seen this book pop up a lot lately. It's on reading lists, displays at bookstores, and on blogs.

Here is the summary:
From bestselling author Meg Wolitzer a dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed.

In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding.

The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

Sounds interesting, but it makes me wonder ... why all the buzz? What sets this one apart? I would say it's advertising, product placement and promotion. For example, the New York Times Best Seller list reports book sales at stores specializing in selling books. That counts out WalMart, Sam's Club, and Costco, as well as other department stores which offer books. As another blogger points out, when it comes to pure sales in the short term, books that are well advertised and noticeable (i.e., placed in store windows or up front in separate book stands) have a much higher chance of landing on a bestseller list. Prominent book reviews (both good and bad) and the number of retailers involved in selling the book also determine its success.

The ultimate question is whether or not I will read it. Yes, probably. I am nothing if not a sucker for what's popular!

No comments:

Post a Comment