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Boring,
Slow,
Gloomy

4 reviews

The Gathering
by Anne Enright

Published: 2007-12-01
Kindle Edition : 276 pages
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18 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 4 members
Anne Enright is a dazzling writer of international stature and one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with ...
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Introduction

Anne Enright is a dazzling writer of international stature and one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him?something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. The Gathering is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is a novel about love and disappointment, about how memories warp and secrets fester, and how fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

Editorial Review

Amazon Significant Seven, November 2007: Pretty early on in The Gathering you realize that in her lingering portrait of the Hegarty clan (and this isn't hyperbole--they are a family of 12), Irish novelist Anne Enright will wrestle with all the giant literary tropes that have come before her. Family, of course, is the big one, but with equal intensity she explores death and dying, the sea and its siren song, sex, shame, secrecy, unreliable memories, madness, "the drink," and--always in the shadows--England. That said, it's not like any other novel about the Irish that I've read. The story of the Hegartys is indeed bleak, and hard, but it surges with tenderness and eloquent thought which, in the end, are the very things that help this family (or at least her narrator Veronica) survive. Through her eyes, and in Enright's skillful imagination, those small turning-point moments of life that we all know in some form or another--a petty fight, a careless word, an event witnessed--come together in an unshakeable vision of how you become the person you are. --Anne Bartholomew

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by krilljack (see profile) 07/04/20

 
  "A Unanimous Hate for this Book"by AvidReader82 (see profile) 06/05/10

None of us cared for it at all. I hated it so much, I brought notes on why. It's pointless, utterly dark and gloomy, and the big secret? Oh, please in this day and age it was a big nothing. The author... (read more)

 
  "The Gathering is not worth your time"by [email protected] (see profile) 04/22/10

Don't waste your time or your club's time. 5 Club members who regularly read the club's monthly selection found only 3 who managed to finished this read. There was no character development. The reader... (read more)

 
  "Interesting - honest"by wirtzv (see profile) 11/02/09

An honest look at grief. The style is a different from American authors, but felt that the author captured real emotions and was brave enough to share thoughts that are taboo.

 
  "We All Hated It"by livvyB (see profile) 04/27/09

If you want to spend your discussion bitching about the book, this is the one for you. 2 stars because all of us were rather heated in why we hated it, but hate it we did.

 
  "Seriously dark and depressing"by barntarfuss (see profile) 10/27/08

I felt that Anne led me down a dark depressing winding trails and at times through in painfully random "what ifs" with out ever really giving me reason to connect with the characters. Our wh... (read more)

 
  "Confusing and somewhat raunchy"by dborda (see profile) 09/29/08

I have nothing against Irish domestic drama fiction, but the detailed physical descriptions of bodily functions did nothing to draw me into the story, and my book club agreed that we were fairly repulsed.... (read more)

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