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The Gathering

The Gathering [Kindle Edition]

Anne Enright
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


`A welcome return, for this writer, to novel form...fresh, sophisticated take on the ever-popular dysfunctional family saga' -- Irish Times

'A compassionate, unflinching gaze...She beautifully describes the way hurt can be inherited...witty, original and inventive...Utterly compelling' -- Daily Mail

`Anne Enright has all she needs in terms of imagination and technique and she's a tremendous phrase maker' -- Observer

'A welcome update of the genre... unremittingly gruelling' -- Telegraph

'Enright ambushes as memory does, drawing you into an event and
then questioning it's reality' -- Sunday Telegraph

`A fresh, sophisticated take on the ever-popular dysfunctional
family saga' -- The Irish Times

`Discomfiting comedy, flab-free prose render her book far more of a dark delight than it's bleak reputation would allow.' -- The Independent

`It is clearly the product of a remarkable intelligence, combined
with a gift for observation and deduction' -- Guardian

`Lyrical, unsettling and beautifully written' -- The Gloss

`She beautifully describes the way hurt can be inherited... a
daring writer - witty, original and inventive...Utterly compelling' -- Daily Mail


`It is clearly the product of a remarkable intelligence, combined
with a gift for observation and deduction'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 351 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0802170390
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (14 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LLIEC0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,927 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Slightly Confusing 18 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was chosen as a book club read. I felt that the writing was clever, however i was at times dissapointed in how the book failed to deliver on the story- at times i wasn't sure what was true what was not of the character's experiences- the book jumped around alot between time zones. It was quite shocking in places in description of sexual act and language used.

The story revolves around a character who is haveing a hard time dealing with the suicide of her brother and is reflective and resentful of the things which happenned during her childhood. It is a very dark book i feel and not a light read as a group i think we all felt the same. Haveing said that it is quite thought provoking and wouldn't put me off reading more of Anne Enright's work.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A short-story dragged beyond its natural length 17 Sep 2008
By Jack
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Booker Prize is known as much for its occasional mis-fires as it is for recognising and rewarding brilliance. One thing's for sure; this 2007 winner is unlikely to trouble future compilers of 'Best of Booker' lists. In some ways it is surprising that it won simply because it is so close in its central themes to the winner two years before, John Banville's The Sea, which also deals with dysfunctional relationships, childhood memories, and the guilt and grief felt after a family death. But while Banville's book is a must-read masterpiece and worthy prize-winner; The Gathering is not...

This reader's frustration with The Gathering was amplified by the fact that it starts wonderfully and raises expectations to a level that it ultimately disappoints. There's no doubting Enright's 'technical' writing skills, and she has a particular way with metaphor, and a dark humour runs through her work. The opening chapter, only two pages long, is brilliant, setting the scene, establishing intrigue and a sense of dread - what memories, however uncertain, will the narrator invoke?

The novel reaches its high-point in Chapter 2 as the narrator goes to break the news of her brother's death to her sainted mother, and this big, brawling Irish family's history begins to spill out and show its cracks. But from here, as Enright has her narrator imagining - in endless detail - the lives and thoughts of her grandparents' generation and the hazy memories from her own childhood, in order to bring sense to her own situation now, the book begins to suffer seriously from being over-written and a complete loss of narrative momentum. At only 250 pages, the book feels twice as long, and comes across as a good short-story that's been stretched un-naturally to fit a novel's form.
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Worst 24 Nov 2008
One of the pleasures of being in a book group is that you find yourself forced to read books you never would have otherwise tried, and as a result, sometimes discover a wonderful work (one such example in my case is Jose Saramago's Blindness). However, the evil twin of that pleasure is the unmitigated pain of wasting precious time slogging through something you can't stand. Unfortunately, not only does this Booker Prize-winner stand firmly in that second category, it is the champion of it: the most hated book of the 70+ I've read for my bookclub, and the least enjoyable work of fiction I've read this year (out of roughly 100 or so books).

Unlike many other haters of this tedious book, I didn't find it particularly difficult reading. The unannounced shifts back and forth in time and place didn't leave me adrift so much as amazed at their clumsiness. Then again, the book is essentially a monologue of remembrance, and human memories are messy things, so I was willing to conditionally accept that messiness as part and parcel of the protagonist. Speaking of the protagonist (middle-aged Veronica Hegerty), many haters seem to focus on her unlikability as the source of the book's problems. Personally, I don't think that a protagonist needs to be likable in any way -- just interesting. But she's not interesting in the slightest, just (like the book itself), annoyingly self-indulgent. I suppose this could be construed as a kind of commentary on her yuppiesh generation, but that seems like grasping at straws. Moreover, there are no other characters to connect with. The entire story takes place within Veronica's head, and even though it's populated with various family members who allegedly mean so much to her (in a love/hate way), the reader never gets a sense of any of them.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A definite no-no! 9 Sep 2008
Oh dear ... what can one say about this book (that hasn't already been said by other reviewers certainly). I read this book for my book group and after the first 15 pages or so found myself thinking - right, let's get this book over and done with and get on to something interesting! The central premise was obviously the gathering of the relatives for Liam's funeral but Veronica (the narrator of the story) meandered from thought to thought and appeared to be obsessed with sex which become very tedious and boring after a while. The chapters and asides about Ada the grandmother seemed totally unnecessary and very odd and apart from the abuse part with Lambert Nugent could easily have been left out - except that would have made the book thinner than it was and was presumably just padding.

There was no real story to this book I found and although I could empathise with some of Veronica's feelings concerning her children and her siblings the whole thing was just a bit too odd and strange to make it a worthwhile read.

Can't think how it did win the Booker prize - who nobbled the judges!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought it dealt with the pain of grieving for the loss of a loved...
A rather long first half to the story but it improves as it goes on. I thought it dealt with the pain of grieving for the loss of a loved one very poignantly. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Anne Rose W
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 12 days ago by Josephine Elizabeth Hamer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Anne Enright
A book of great insight into family life.Cannot understand such poor reviews!!Read it in 3 sittings and enjoyed every chapter.
Published 8 months ago by Winnie Neary
3.0 out of 5 stars More to this than meets the eye
This was another book club read. I was really looking forward to this as we were just about to have a family Gathering in Eire. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bernadette
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up on this one
I found the story telling difficult to relate to and boring, so gave up on it. Not my type of story.
Published 14 months ago by Lally
4.0 out of 5 stars Have not read this one yet.
I am keeping this one for my holidays in September. When I get through it by all means get in contact and I will let you know what I thought
Published 16 months ago by Alexandra Irwin
1.0 out of 5 stars Agony for (almost) everybody
Some Booker prize judges appear to have loved it but the rest of us divide pretty equally between those who feel it's right to say something nice and the rest of us who say,... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A_liberal_mind
2.0 out of 5 stars This won the Man Booker?
While Enright is a decent writer, this family saga fizzles out after the first few chapters. I found I had little sympathy for any of the characters, not the least the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Diskjam
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't tell Mammy.
Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, an ex-employee of RTE and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Craobh Rua
2.0 out of 5 stars A Marmite book
You either love this book or hate it! I spent the whole time moaning to friends about it. Although strangely, it then gripped me and I had to read it to the end. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mrs K Durkin
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