14,765 book reviews and counting...

Books in the Media Update

This website is no longer being updated; theBookseller.com is the home of all books related-content and will continue to be updated with regular articles about books featured in the media. Thank you for using this website, and we hope you join us on theBookseller.com.

The Great Believers Reviews

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai

5.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Fleet
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 5 Jul 2018
ISBN: 9780708899137

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

  • The New York TimesBest Book of the Year
5 stars out of 5
25 Jun 2018

"an absorbing and emotionally riveting story"

...a page turner about illness and mortality... both population and plots are ingeniously interwoven... Makkai’s own attempt is entirely admirable... Although I can’t help wishing the two stories had worked together more potently, that doesn’t detract from the deep emotional impact of “The Great Believers,” nor does it diminish Makkai’s accomplishment... In fact, it’s an antidote to our general urge to forget what we’d rather not remember, but it’s also — which is more important — an absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.


5 stars out of 5
20 Aug 2018

"a deeply affecting novel that is full of death, yet simultaneously spirited and hopeful"

Early in Rebecca Makkai’s stylish and ambitious new novel, one of her protagonists, Fiona, is pondering life in her 50s...  It feels fidgety in places, but thrillingly so... Indeed, there’s a lot going on in The Great Believers, and while Makkai doesn’t always manage to make all the plates spin perfectly, she remains thoughtful and consistent throughout about the importance of memory and legacy, and the pain that can come with survival... It’s a striking moment in a deeply affecting novel that is full of death, yet simultaneously spirited and hopeful about love and life.

5 stars out of 5
28 Jul 2018

"beautifully observed book... deeply sad and thoroughly absorbing"

The opening scene of Rebecca Makkai’s novel is a striking metaphor for the devastation that ripped through Chicago’s Boystown in the 1980s, snatching victims with bewildering impunity... Yet The Great Believers is not an unrelenting misery-fest. Makkai skilfully guides the quest elements of Yale’s and Fiona’s stories, rounds out her characters with affection and summons a sense of solidarity and defiance in the face of despair, all of which makes her beautifully observed book deeply sad and thoroughly absorbing.