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The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Gathering (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Anne Enright

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2,9811541,914 (3.04)325
Title:The Gathering
Authors:Anne Enright
Info:Vintage (2008), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:DOC - FRI
Tags:Ireland, read

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The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007)

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English (145)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
Genuinely incredible book. In the wake of the her brother's suicide a women remembers a terrible event from their childhood, an event that dislocates her from her life and her large family of brothers and sisters as well as her husband and two daughters. Her own memories and imagined events from her family's past intermingle with the return of her brother's body to Ireland for the funeral and the freefall fallout months later. Enright writes the heart out of this with painful fidelity to truth while wrestling with the difficulty, the impossibility, of truly knowing it, but also her compassion and insight into the frail and flawed humanity of her characters. This is a searing portrait of family in modern Ireland that hurts and haunts and gets under the skin. I found myself utterly caught up in Veronica's voice and life and perceptions, immersed in her memories and imaginings as she fights to make sense of the fear and pain and strange damage in her life and her brother's which may or may not spring from something awful that happened one summer in her grandmother's house. A book about damage that does its fair share in the mind and heart and psyche of the reader. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
A large Irish family loses a son to suicide, and the family gathers together to mourn his loss. In between, there is a lot of background information that the narrator, one of the sisters, reflects upon. This is not a happy book. There is a good bit of dysfunction within the family. I know that this is a prize winning novel, and I appreciate that, but the vagueness and veiled hints throughout the book make it a confusing read at times. Why do prize winning novels always have to be so "artsy"? I had to piece together the story between the lines. As an English major, I understand how to do this, but when I read for pleasure, I do not wish to work that hard. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Feb 22, 2015 |
I was dismayed on every level by this bleak and overwritten book. I love good writing, but in this case I felt like someone was holding my head and forcing me to look. The writing was constantly drawing attention to itself when I wanted to look away. The ebullient flood of words describing every moment, however inconsequential, made me feel vertiginous. Given that the narrator (as opposed to the author) of The Gathering is supposed to be unbearably bitter and emotionally shut down, it also rang false for this narrator to be so expressive in prose style.

Unpleasant all around. While I'm at it, let me mention that I'm also very tired of child abuse being exploited as a plot device. Cheap, cheap, cheap. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
This is a ok book its the story of Veronica Hegarty she is organising her brother Liams funeral in Dublin.
She has to retrieve his body from Brighton.
Liam was the black sheep of the family.
Only Veronica knows why he turned out the way he did. This is a sad book about the dynamics of this family. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Nov 30, 2014 |
Too rambling and disjointed for me - couldn't make myself finish. ( )
  srtsrt | Aug 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
At its best Enright's prose style is excitingly original, a blend of defensive social satire with extreme precision in evoking sounds, smells, and atmosphere and a great ability to make rapid and telling transitions from past to present, concrete to abstract, narrative to reflection. However, these qualities emerge for the most part in sections peripheral to the main story.... When, on the other hand, she slides into melodrama and literary formula, The Gathering does indeed sound like at least nine other writers and by no means the best.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Tim Parks (pay site) (Apr 17, 2008)
Her prose often ravishes and sometimes repels: reading her can be like staring into the lustrous surface of a lake, trying to discern the dangers lurking beneath. . . Bringing together the skills she has honed along the way, Enright carries off her illusions without props or dei ex machina, bravely engaging with the carnival horrors of everyday life.
added by lucyknows | editscis (pay site)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Enrightprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I would like to write down what happened in my grandmother's house the summer I was eight or nine, but I am not sure if it really did happen. I need to bear witness to an uncertain event. I feel it roaring inside me--this thing that may not have taken place. I don't even know what name to put on it. I think you might call it a crime of the flesh, but the flesh is long fallen away and I am not sure what hurt may linger in the bones.
…I was living my life in inverted commas. I could pick up my keys and go ‘home’ where I could ‘have sex’ with my ‘husband’ just like lots of other people did. That is what I had been doing for years. And I didn’t seem to mind the inverted commas, or even notice that I was living in them, until my brother died.
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This is The Gathering by Anne Enright. It should not be combined with The Gathering by Joseph Lidster.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802170390, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:48 -0400)

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As nine members of the Hegarty clan gather for the wake of their drowned brother Liam, his sister Veronica remembers the secret he shared with her about what happened in their grandmother's house thirty years ago, a betrayal that spans three generations. "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, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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