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The Forgotten Waltz Hardcover – 28 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First American Edition edition (28 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022408903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089036
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 489,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Then along comes a novel such as The Forgotten Waltz that blows the whole game right open again. Anne Enright picks up those bright, real-life splinters and blinds you with them. The Forgotten Waltz is an achingly brilliant piece of writing on passion and delusion. Comparisons to Madame Bovary are not overblown, not because it is a wry, clever, philosophical take on adultery - although it is - but because it makes you re-evaluate everything a novel can be. If anything more real is published this year, I will happily submit to a bungled club-foot operation...the garrulous narratorial voice is a joy: funny, companionable...this book is enough to restore your faith in the power of fiction' --The Independent, Viv Groskop, May 2011

`Where the novel compels is in the attendant disquisitions on memory and its rearrangements, both willed and unwilled; the blurring of boundaries, physical and temporal; the vivid presentation of all characters, major and minor; and its funny and forgiving commentary on middle-class aspirational family life in Ireland today'
--Literary Review, Elspeth Barker, May 2011

`This beautifully written, lyrical novel is a portrait of family tensions and the listless half-light in which a mistress must live.' --Sunday Express

'A beautifully observed novel'
--Psychologies

`This beautifully written, lyrical novel is a portrait of family tensions and the listless half-light in which a mistress must live.' --Sunday Express

'A beautifully observed novel' --Psychologies

`a simple tale of adultery, beautifully told...A shrewd and humorous writer...Dancing between humour and pethos, Enright glories in winkling out the truth of a situation and facing reality full on...Humming with naughtiness and warmth, Enrights novel should find a place in every woman's hand-luggage this summer break.'
--The Lady

`Enright has taken a simple plot and produced a touching novel that examines the cost - and the compensations - of love. The heroine is both plausible and sympathetic, while the supporting cast is marshalled with skill, tenderness and humour'
--Mail on Sunday

Book Description

A powerful, moving book of secrets, longing and loss, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Gina, thirty-four years old, married to Conor, embarks on an affair with Sean. He too is married and has one child, Evie a strange, problematic child who seems to have suffered from fits or seizures when very small. Gina is not attracted to Sean physically, describing him variously as “short-arsed”, a cocky little bastard, bald and paunchy, but for all that, there is something about him. He is infuriating, loving, hateful, loveable. This is the thing, that despite everyone else not seeing what there is about Sean, Gina loves him. Simple as that.

We don't know what Gina looks like, what her tastes are in music, books or food; we know she has a sister who is considered prettier than she...but I didn't feel any the less involved with the story for this lack of knowledge, quite the reverse. I think it would have got in the way.

Each chapter is a song title which fits appropriately the narrative of that chapter. Her phrasing and prose is absolutely wonderful, and although not Irish, and have never been to Ireland, I could hear Gina's voice telling me the story of how she met and fell in love with Sean and out of love with Conor. This novel makes the point that you cannot help who you fall in love with and that it's not necessarily physical attraction that matters. It's also about memory – how we recollect things differently at different times.

This is the first book by Anne Enright I've read, and it won't be the last – I absolutely loved it. She has such a delicious way of writing – sparky, edgy but subtle – a joy to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
This novel, in much the same way as her Man Booker Prizewinner was, is a book of the voice. You cannot but hear the voice of the main protagonist and it is every bit as hypnotically brilliant a trick to be pulling in this novel as it was in her prizewinner. In fact, in all of her novels, the voice is the same. I don't think she can write in any other way. Perhaps this is a fault, but I don't choose to see it like that. To my mind I am listening to the music of her voice - the clarity, the genuine depth of thought, the helplessness of her life - here characterised by her faithlessness in a marriage that fails, and in an affair that traps her just as easily within another set of obligations. To a child, to a man - and as she learns all too soon - to her family - as mystified and disturbed as she is herself.

But there is that voice at the centre. It is sharp, hard sometimes, it is also unremittingly brave and often very funny. It's like Ireland is talking. It's how Ireland should sound. I will read any number of books to hear this voice again. I absolutely loved it from page one to the end.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Set in modern day Dublin, Gina recalls the events that led to an affair that wrecks two marriages. Anne Enright's 2007 Booker prize winning "The Gathering" addressed the gloomy subjects of the three D's; death, depression and dysfunctional families. Her latest book, "The Forgotten Waltz", set in Dublin in 2009, sees her turning her attentions to a love affair. A more uplifting subject you might think. Well only up to a point. The affair in question you see is that of her narrator, Gina, who is already married to the generally good, if undynamic, Connor, while on the other end, the subject of the affair is the older, Seán, also married and neighbour of Gina's sister. In case your moral compass isn't stretched quite enough by this, Seán and his wife Aileen, also have a young daughter who suffers from epilepsy.

What Enright does so well is identify the little gestures. The story is told by Gina as a recollection of what happened and the narrator acknowledges that this memory is not always infallible. There's a very self-aware sense to Gina's voice and there's also plenty of wry humour about family and about what we might call the middle age crisis. Gina, we sense, knows she's in the wrong in both thought and deed, but her justification of her actions are endearing and it's hard not to sympathise with her, not least as we only get her view of things. But while Gina has her flaws, she acknowledges at least most of them and recognizes when she's being unfair or unreasonable, which makes it a more enjoyable read.

Another nice touch is that each relatively short chapter has a "love song" title, ranging from "Paper Roses" and "In These Shoes?" to "Money (That's What I Want)". Fittingly the final chapter is entitled "The Things We Do for Love".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Simpson on 2 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a tough one. For the first two chapters I thought I was in heaven, the writing is so beautiful, the observation so keen, the possibilities of a delectable novel to come more than hinted at.

But there's only so much you can cover with observation and disjointed phrases, only so much the reader can take without something more meaty to sustain interest, only so many times you can leap about with the time frame before admiration turns to annoyance.

The first third is pretty sublime with its hints of actions to come, but once the die is cast the writer seems to lose interest and the reader follows. The characters are poorly drawn and the coldness that pervades the book starts to matter more and more as you read on, desperately searching for something - anything. And then it all ends, as suddenly as it began.

Disappointing is an understatement.
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