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Galore

by
3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  3,868 Ratings  ·  631 Reviews
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Caribbean & Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award; Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award

When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of th
...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Other Press (first published August 11th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Alex
Nov 18, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"100 Years of Solitude in Newfoundland" is probably how everyone describes this book, because that's what it is. Same magical realism; same complex, circling family trees. Same mythic feel; same epic, frustrating refusal to commit to one story. It's a little bit easier to read - when it zooms in on one story or another it zooms with a vengeance, gaining a sense of immediacy that Marquez's book almost never hits. And it's like half as long.

Here is Newfoundland:


There's a Yeats thing happening here
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Jeff
Jun 22, 2012 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is my Amazon review:

There are those who enjoy books with undeveloped characters, major plot threads picked up and dropped, hypocritical religionists with no contrasting genuine heroism and morality, bleak setting, and ultimately pointless story, but I am not one of these people. If the book itself doesn't take its own story seriously (did Judah really come from a whale? Did they really harvest all that squid?), then why on earth should we readers? When I read the reviews of this book, I tho
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Callie
Apr 20, 2011 Callie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, audio
Two parts history and one part fairy tale, Galore takes place on the isolated island of Newfoundland, where the lines between reality and fantasy, and between superstition and happenstance all get a bit blurry. While at the beginning, I would find myself questioning how any of this could actually happen, by the end I freely accepted the idea that the reason a girl would be born with webbed fingers could be traced to an affair her great-grandfather had had with a mermaid decades earlier.

The quali
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Kathy Chumley
Every so often I finish a book, and can't start another one because I'm still thinking about the book I just finished. Galore is one of those books.

Galore pulled me in from the start. Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and part multi-generational family saga. Witchcraft and modern (for its time) medicine. Two feuding families. The haves vs. the have-nots. Religion. Ghosts. Galore has it all. Stories Galore. There is abundance every so often, and there are hard times more often. The p
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Felice
Jan 22, 2011 Felice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Galore is a swallow you whole kind of novel. Speaking of which when the story begins the townspeople of Paradise Deep pull a man out of a whale. I have to suspect that even in the great whaling times of the early 19th century you just didn't see that every day. The whale has beached itself on the shore of this remote village in Newfoundland. When it dies the citizens come together to butcher the whale and gather the blubber for lamp oil. Then just like Uncle Jed's bubblin' crude out from the wha ...more
Rachel Ford
Jun 06, 2011 Rachel Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading Galore and I was carried off my own feet in my small apartment in Nepal, carried to a cold and difficult island off the east coast of Canada. Carried so effectively that it didn't matter whether or not I previously thought of Newfoundland as such a barren, unwelcoming place, what mattered was that I believed it. I believed that a man could be cut from a whale and smell of fish ever after, that he could pass the trait to his son, that he could be mute and white and magical. I be ...more
Friederike Knabe
Jan 30, 2011 Friederike Knabe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-lit
Michael Crummey opens his new novel with Judah, "wilderness on two legs, mute and unknowable, a blankness that could drown a man", sitting in a "makeshift asylum cell, shut away with the profligate stink of fish that clung to him all his days." Only Mary Tryphena Devine comes near him these days, urging him to take a little food... Judah's story is the primary, yet not the only otherworldly theme that glides through this multigenerational chronicle, set in one of Newfoundland's wild and rough ea ...more
Bandit
Apr 09, 2014 Bandit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book the seemed impossible not to like. The sheer amount of awards and accolades it had gathered, the Best of 2009 lists it was on. And yet the main reason I read it all the way through was my OCD style commitment to finishing books and I was happy to have it over and done with. What makes this particular experience odd is that it was such a well written book, Crummey really has a way with language and some turns of phrase were simply stunning, but it simply wasn't enough to carry th ...more
Linda Robinson
Jan 22, 2011 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of such potency, it feels alive in your hands, fills your head with its characters, the names whispering in dreams in the middle of the night. Devine's Widow. Jabez Trim. Mary Tryphena. Judah Devine. Doubting Thomas Trass. Reverend Dodge. King-me Sellers. Obediah and Azariah. The triplets who are so identical, even they all think they're Alphonse. And the places they live! Paradise Deep. The Gut. Selina's House. The story is intricate, like a labyrinth but one the reader can walk ...more
Stacia
Nov 10, 2014 Stacia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, north-america
A glorious read even though it loses a little bit of its steam in the second half of the book. Still, it is a wonderful read, a mix of generational family tales, folklore, & history. Loved the way Crummey also showcased the cyclical nature of life & of the generations of the families.

(If you read & enjoy this book, I think you'd also really enjoy Mink River by Brian Doyle.)
Debbie
Sep 17, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Crummey was born & raised in Newfoundland, lives there still, and has set all of his meticulously researched novels & collections of short stories thus far in this beautiful, windswept, and harshly-demanding Canadian province.

is set in the outport villages of Paradise Deep and The Gut, joined by the Tolt Road over the headland between them, in an undefined period that covers most of the nineteenth century and the first few years of the twentieth. The novel chronicles the lives of
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Bonnie
Sep 19, 2011 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know what just happened to me. I was minding my own business, my February reads already planned and stacked up on a shelf, when suddenly I was overcome by the desire for a spontaneous read, something that has been sitting on my shelves for a long time, something I haven’t given a second thought to since I placed it on my shelf. Hello Galore! Nice to meet you. And just like that I was sucked into a fantastical world like none I’ve been in before. Part fable, part myth, part old fashioned ...more
Sarah
May 30, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My Maternal Grandmother was born and raised on Bonne Bay in Woody Point. This is a very special place, extremely dear to my heart, which should be a testament to this beautiful and wild island's powers since I've only been privileged enough to visit there twice. Hence, my interest in this book, and I hate to say it, but it just wasn't for me.

I'm very glad to see that so many have enjoyed a Newfie writer. Truly. However, if this had been my one and only exposure to the island and it's people, I m
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Chris
Apr 24, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chabon fans
Recommended to Chris by: CBC
So there is this albino who gets swallowed by a fish and then . . .


Well, the then is a bit complicted, kinda like life. You have religious battles, you have a sex addicted priest, you got witch women, you have ghosts, you have adultry.

There is even fish!

Galore is one of those fantasy novels that people who say they don't read fantasy, read and don't know it's fantasy. It makes me want to visit Newfoundland.


While not the deep structue of say A.S. Byatt, this book is one of those family sagas, an
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Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

Historical fiction and a multi-generational tale, set in the freezing Newfoundland seaside town of Paradise Deep. Layered with snippets of the resident’s lives containing a touch of myth and small tastes of paranormal.

About: Galore is a complex and page-turning book, set in an area and time where living is bleak – a frigid seaside town in the mid 1800’s. Sadly the locals are starving, so when a dying whale swims into the harbor the town folk eagerly wa
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Dana Stabenow
I come from a small coastal fishing community, so a lot of the themes in this novel resonated pretty strongly. Isolation, insulation, privation, these are memes shared by all remote communities who sell what they catch, wind up eating it if they can't sell it, and starve if they don't catch anything. And they always yearn after the plenty of fishing seasons past:

They spoke of the days of plenty with a wistful exaggeration, as if it was an ancient time they knew only through stories generations o
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Bill
Nov 21, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is an old fashioned multi-generational novel with a bit of fantasy thoughtfully thrown in. It won numerous Canadian and Commonwealth literary prizes.
The setting begins with a whale stranded on a Newfoundland beach in the late 1700 or early 1800s. As the villagers are stripping the whale for blubber and oil they pull a man from the whale’s stomach. He is barely alive, very white and stinks. They are somewhat religious but there only source of instruction is a Bible recovered from a shipwreck
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Krista
Mar 30, 2013 Krista rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, can-con, maritimes
They spoke of the days of plenty with a wistful exaggeration, as if it was an ancient time they knew only through stories generations old. My Jesus, the cod, the cod, the cod, that Crusade army of the North Atlantic, that irresistible undersea current of flesh, there was fish in galore one time. Boats run aground on a school swarming so thick beneath them a man could walk upon the very water but for fear of losing his shoes to the indiscriminate appetite of the fish.


ga•lore

[guh-lawr, -lohr]
adve
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Sean the Bookonaut
I have friends who are enamoured of this book, I bought it at the Adelaide Writers Festival after hearing Crummey read an excerpt during an interview with Margo Lanagan.

If authors want to sell books, develop some public reading skills and choose your passages wisely. Crummey reeled me in hook, line and sinker.

He read (in a faint Newfoundland accent if I recall) a selection of pages from near the beginning of the novel; a dying whale washes up on the shore and the townsfolk set about harvesting i
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Jerry Auld
Hmmmm. Well, started this after wanting to for so long, and really amazed by Crummy's writing - his evocation of the people and the coves and the ghost, oh, especially the ghosts, is really something.
I could read for chapter after chapter. And watch the town of people (never really defined by census, just that there were lots more when needed, and many more than the one who starved to death), just pass the time in exquisite detail.

But.

And this "but" stopped me cold at the half-way point, betwee
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Ben
Sep 11, 2011 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a sentence by sentence level, Galore is very well written, the plot is full of interesting twists, strange and uncanny moments that somehow feel both plausible and magical - a spin on Jonah, a sex-obsessed ghost, a magical tree, a mechanical dolphin - good stuff. The characters are solid, but at times they are also intentionally flatten - as though they do exist but on a Sunday school felt-board or within a rather droll Biblical/steam punk role playing game. Setting-wise, Galore is a regional ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Judah arrives in Paradise Deep, Newfoundland in the belly of a whale. He is cut out of the whale and joins a community full of unique characters. The story follows the families through multi-generations and many changes.

This book screamed literature. It seemed like the type of book taught in advanced high school English classes. It had a dreamy mist about it that kept me from becoming immersed in the story. I felt a step removed the entire time I was reading it.

The characters were definitely uni
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This novel has a lot of elements that pretty much guarantee an enjoyable read for me - a bleak, cold-weather island setting; embedded superstitions and magical realism; religious conflict; quirky characters... this is my "type." Readers who enjoyed The Shipping News or Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer would probably enjoy this.

I did get a bit bogged down in the discussion of the fisherman's union, although surely that was timely in the period this is set. That and a frustration with how the secon
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Ann
Jun 20, 2016 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 A novel about Newfoundland by a Canadian author from Newfoundland (an island province off the easternmost coast of Canada). Situated in an isolated coastal settlement, centers around two families and their descendants, and encompasses about 200 years.
This book captivated me: the characters, the setting, and the folkloric tales/stories.
I was born in a small coastal town in Cape Breton that evolved from a fishing village - as a small child I remember hearing many similar folkloric tales told
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Evi
Sep 22, 2015 Evi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say it any better than Linda Robinson:

"This is a book of such potency, it feels alive in your hands, fills your head with its characters, the names whispering in dreams in the middle of the night. Devine's Widow. Jabez Trim. Mary Tryphena. Judah Devine. Doubting Thomas Trass. Reverend Dodge. King-me Sellers. Obediah and Azariah. The triplets who are so identical, even they all think they're Alphonse.

And the places they live! Paradise Deep. The Gut. Selina's House. The story is intricat
...more
Tuck
Winner of the Canadian best novel award. This novel compared to garcia marquez "100 years of solitude", takes place on the mean shores of newfoundland, where abject poverty and hard ass work are the norm. The starving fisher folk get a prize when a whale beaches itself at their town. While they are cutting it open they find a man inside, alive. He marries into the "tribe" and moer intrigue and backbiting ensue. Lots of local color, good research into lifestyle back then, dirt floors, starving co ...more
Mary
Sep 15, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started this book last night and can't wait to read more!! Starts off with a beached whale that when cut open reveals a living man. There are names like Devine's Widow and King-me. A baby called Lazarus, who survives death, but sleeps in his coffin which is turned into a cradle. All about Newfoundland and Labrador. Multi-generational. Even a family tree at the beginning. What more could I ask???

Enjoyed this book very much. Learned about Newfoundland --lots of myths, great tales.
Cheryl
Great. 8 1/2, maybe 9. At first, before I read it, I wondered if it would be too fantastical for my tastes. But no. He pulled it off. The magical or the legendary bits were just part of it. He smoothly integrated it so you feel, you know that they live this way of thinking. That even the un-real is real.
Kelley
Aug 31, 2011 Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kelley by: Jennifer
Shelves: book-club, 2013
Thank you, Jennifer, for this wonderful book!
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The ending 4 59 Jan 03, 2012 10:13AM  
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Born in Buchans, Newfoundland, Crummey grew up there and in Wabush, Labrador, where he moved with his family in the late 1970s. He went to university with no idea what to do with his life and, to make matters worse, started writing poems in his first year. Just before graduating with a BA in English he won the Gregory Power Poetry Award. First prize was three hundred dollars (big bucks back in 198 ...more
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“He wasn’t a religious man but a vision of what Paradise might be came to him, a windowed room afloat on an endless sea, walls packed floor to ceiling with all the books ever written or dreamed of. It was nearly enough to make giving up the world bearable.” 7 likes
“From what I have seen of the world, Reverend, motherhood is a certainty, but fatherhood is a subject of debate.” 6 likes
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