The Great Believers

The Great Believers

Large Print - 2018 | Large print edition
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In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him, and one by one, his friends are dying. After his friend Nico's funeral, the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. -- adapted from publisher info
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2018
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781432859701 (large print)
1432859706 (large print)
Branch Call Number: LP FIC MAKKAI
Characteristics: 737 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print,rdafs


From the critics

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Sep 25, 2020

I think this book did a great job of depicting characters and the way they ebb and flow within their friendships with each other. It held my attention and had a decent story. But to be honest, I think the parallel story lines didn't make too much sense. Fiona's story barely intertwined with Yale's--and where it did, it was a weak connection. In my opinion, the book is a little too long--there are parts of Fiona's story that didn't need to be there (SPOILER: Like when she decided to hook up with the journalist on her flight). Overall, it's a decent book--one that tells a story of life from pre-AIDS pandemic to the remnants of a post-AIDS pandemic life.

Jun 17, 2020

This book is often praised for its presentation of how AIDS affects a group of people over a long period. But it’s ultimately an unrealistic portrayal of how individuals change and how that alters, or even ends, group friendships over time. For a superior and more moving effort, try Christodora by Tim Murphy. Murphy shines a harsher light on his flawed characters, but in the end that makes his work far more rewarding.

May 18, 2020

Finished reading on May 18, 2020. Story goes between 1985-86 in Chicago during AIDS epidemic, centers on Yale Tischman and his friends and relationships, and 2015 with main character Fiona, looking for her adult daughter in Paris, estranged for many years. Not the most uplifting book but well written with not too much detail. Many characters, took awhile to keep them all straight. Did not discuss at book club since covid 19 pandemic struck and libraries closed until May 18, 2020.

Jan 27, 2020

Great book

Aug 07, 2019

A beautiful story of a community of friends in 1980's Chicago ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. Yale Tishman is one of the most humane, relatable and realistically flawed characters I have come across lately. I particularly appreciated being able to access this tragic epidemic through this incredibly empathetic work of fiction.

Jun 13, 2019

Very good.

May 20, 2019

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It's not perfect and it does run parallel stories where one is way more interesting than the other and the characters are not all likeable. Such is life, though and for that reason I give it 5 solid stars. It's a novel. It's flawed. So are the people we know and love. Great job.

May 07, 2019


Mar 15, 2019

NYT 10 Best 2018

Hillsboro_EmilyS Mar 11, 2019

I never imagined that a novel about a tragic epidemic and art history would be such a page-turner, yet I simply could not put this haunting novel down!

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