‘The Immortalists’ – Chloe Benjamin

Ibiza, July 2018


In 1969, the four Gold children visit a psychic who can tell people the date of their death. Each is given a date, which they eventually share with each other years later on the evening of their father’s shiva. Following each Gold child from that moment to the ends of their individual stories, travelling through the AIDS outbreak, circus tricks, career drama and and the insides of an animal research unit, as each of the children struggles to live alongside knowledge of their deaths.


I’d expected something less literary and was al little disappointed when I finished it. However, the story and charters have stayed with me, particularly those of Simon and Klara. Benjamin’s writing takes its time (but in a good way) and overall the tone is haunting. Daniel’s story, in particular, plays with the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy.


‘She could not recall [the meaning of the prayer words] but she knew that they connected the dead…to the living…In the words of the prayer, no one was missing. In the words of the prayer, the Golds gathered together.’

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