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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2007

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather together in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam. It wasn't the drink that killed him -although that certainly helped - it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother's house, in the winter of 1968.

Tracing the line of hurt and redemption through three generations, this is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

©2007 Anne Enright (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A fresh, sophisticated take on the ever-popular dysfunctional family saga." ( The Irish Times)
"She beautifully describes the way hurt can be inherited....a daring writer-witty, original and inventive....Utterly compelling." ( Daily Mail)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr
  • 12-13-11

Family funerals reveal families to themselves

If you could sum up The Gathering in three words, what would they be?

Death reveals Life

Would you recommend The Gathering to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes

Which scene was your favorite?

The funeral gathering

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

The Gathering by Ann Enright comes with considerable credentials. The novel won the Booker prize in 2007 and the Best Irish Novel in 2008. It is undoubtedly a novel of great distinction. The story concerns the gathering of all the family members to the funeral of their brother, an alcoholic who died by drowning. It touches on many themes which frequently recur in Ann Enright's novels of which this one was her fourth. The themes are family relationships, parenthood, the catholic faith and sexuality. It is quintessentially modern Ireland and the writing is given extraordinary vitality by the wonderful reading of Fiona Shaw. This combination is certainly one to watch for the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 05-24-10

Not even worth 1/2 a star

(But the won't let you leave the stars empty)
This book is BORING, Veronica flits from character to character, slips in and out of reality, and is overall not very nice. The author has the main charcter constantly whining and then uses a whole lot or random vulgar language that DOESN"T FIT with the book. This was the first book by this author I have ever read, if she has anymore out there, as soon as I see her name I will walk away. Someone should have been honest with this author on how bad the book was and stopped her from ever writing it. Don't waste your money - if this was paper I would use it at the bottom of the litterbox!!!

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 05-04-10

superbly crafted novel

I am reading this book again after barely finishing it the first time as there was so much nuance and detail that I need to re-immerse myself immediately.
Superficially, it?s a story of a woman whose brother commits suicide and how she and her family cope, but so much more than that. We get to see her marriage and her family history in small, bright glimpses that took me back to forgotten parts of my childhood - sewing the ends of my fingers together by using a needle and thread between the dead and living layers.
I choose this book because it won the Booker and I can see why the judges chose it.
If I could give it six stars I would.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Deirdre
  • 08-05-12

the gathering

finding it a bit hard to get through really, theres quite a bit of sex in it which i didnt realise and dont think it adds to the story, also kind of drawn out but then it is a booker prize winner :( narrator is good tho but am wishing i got something else

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Keith
  • 08-06-18

Superb

A sumptuous novel that explores a family at a time of grief and mourning. Enright spoke in an interview about ensuring that a novel was not too concerned with plot at the expense of character development or engaging with a distinct voice. This very much achieves that aim and does so with, in fairness, an hilarious voice. Great stuff. Fiona Shaw provides a stellar read.

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  • Louise
  • 05-27-18

Wanted to like it - but just couldn’t in the end.

I really wanted to read - and enjoy, this Booker Prize winning story. After trying (again - maybe I’ll enjoy this book this time? - my fourth attempt and each time making it a little farther. But no.. I really am not able to move beyond the melancholy, coarse language and tone and utter despair & hinted-at depravity. 

I wanted to like this book & there IS something strangely (though unpleasantly) compelling about the author’s style which urges you to WANT to keep going.. but alas. Having assuaged my feeling (akin to guilt) for not at all enjoying this, by reading a few other reviews by those who felt similarly torn between their desire and their actual experience, I will now close this book forever & (hopefully) not look back a fifth time. I am however, intrigued by those who love it and somehow wish I could. Perhaps I need to dispose of it to prevent myself from ever trying again.

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  • Brian Hollywood
  • 11-02-16

What a sensational book

Stunning. A beautiful, heart rending, sometimes hilarious, always insightful book. Enright is a wonder. And Fiona Shaw's superb reading of this book does it a great service

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  • Sennichi
  • 01-06-15

Outstanding book

What made the experience of listening to The Gathering the most enjoyable?

Fiona Shaw read with real depth and understanding.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Liam because he was so understandable and human

What does Fiona Shaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She read it as if she had written it herself

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Families eh?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful