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The Gathering

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,357 ratings  ·  59 reviews
When Nat moves to Cheshunt, he hopes for a better life. However there is something wrong with the town, someone is controlling the population. Nat and his new friends feel compelled to oppose the strange power that dominates the place.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2001 by Barn Owl Books (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

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That's all I can say about this book.


I'll make it quite clear I did not choose to read this book. My school did.
To me, Isobelle Carmody's 'The Gathering' was like that episode of NCIS that insipired a double murder. Literally, that bad.
All I can say is there was only one character I liked in this novel, he had four legs and a tail. And he died.

R.I.P. the Tod.
Jill Smith
Natanial has moved yet again with his mother to a new town. Only this time he has a feeling of dread as they draw closer to Chestnut. It is a model town with crime almost eliminated from its streets but there is a sinister undercurrent in the town. The school Three North, looks like a concentration camp. The building is cold and the stench from the nearby slaughterhouse almost unbearable, although none of his fellow students or teachers seems to notice. Three North hides a terrible past where a ...more
I want to like Isobelle Carmody, I do. I've read quite a few of her books. I and loved Obernywton. But then not the rest of the series so much. So I read this book, thinking it was a fairly short stand alone novel. But I still didn't like it that much. I mean it was OKAY, but not great or even good. And I'm a bit disappointed.
I found the story very disjointed, as if things needed to be explained more, or there needed to be more background story. The thing with fantasy is to make a story believa
Kristen Rogers
I read this book when I was ten and it made such an impression that I completely forgot what it was called until someone in a facebook group reminded me today.

I did remember certain aspects of this book though: totems, slaughterhouses, evil principals, fire. I thought about this book after Inception came out because the totems used triggered a distant memory of this book. I thought about it again a few years later when I read The Devil in the White City (there aren't many slaughterhouses mention
I remember reading this book back in High School so many years ago & really loving it. Don't most of us feel like the 'outsider' in High School? I think alot of teens could relate to it.
After seeing it pop up again on a friend's list I think I'll give it a re-read! I really like Isobelle Carmody's writing style, but have not thought to read any of her books since school, I think it's time to track some down.
The idea of being an outsider in school has been done to death and done more skillfully than in this book. The idea of school being evil and some kind of gateway to hell has also been done and done better than in this book. The characters are all awkward young adults with a few twists to their personalities thrown in in order to create some facade of character depth. Not a fan.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I took this book on holiday with me one year (possibly 1996). As you can probably appreciate I could only take a limited number of books away with me, so it was especially galling when this one turned out to be completely shit. I could've packed two Sweet Valley High books for the suitcase room taken up by this thing.
An incredibly dark tale about young adults in, I'm assuming, and Australian town. It verges on the supernatural, and to me at least, seem to talk about personal strength and individual power against the majority. Multi-layered and complex, this is a story for a very mature teenager.

I read this as a kid, and was spell bound.
This book is one of my personal favourites. It is so captivating, scary and epic that I could not put it down. Don't worry, the cover does not do it justice. Isobelle Carmody is a genius and this book is one of her best.
★ Jess
A very smart, suspenseful and creepy book.
Worth the read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Such a disappointment. Nathaniel is an annoying character. He's supposedly smart but he misses really obvious stuff. And the concept is stupid, slow moving and boring. It's like an idea for a short story that has been forcibly lengthened into a book.
And the most annoying thing about it was that because it's Isobelle Carmody and I know she's so clever it made me hang on all the way to the end. Waste. Of. Time.
Maybe... I would have enjoyed it more if I was a teenager, but I wouldn't really want a
An odd book. I remember it kind of aggravating me during the time I read it. Explanations were too scarce, and the plot seemed to meander into an underwhelming climax - at least, this is what I remember. It's been years since I read it. And yet there's a lot about the book that's stuck in my mind since then, like the dog, and the special object found on the principles desk, and that moment when Nathaniel senses the undercurrent evil about the town when he goes for a run. These small moments were ...more
Past winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia - Older Readers. When Nathanial and his mother move to Cheshunt, he immediately senses something wrong. Violent gangs patrol the streets, feral dogs roam at night, and the oppressive stench from the abattior lingers over the school.
Soon Nathanial learns that his presence is no accident. As he uncovers the dark secrets of Cheshunt's past, events spiral desperately out of control. He and his new friends must confront phantoms from their past
Megan Hietala
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Great suspense
Such an enthralling read, one of those books you don't want to put down. I was worried because I just couldn't get into Obernewtyn at all, but this book was much better written and had more engaging characters in my opinion. I especially love that it read a bit like a mystery. The pieces would fall into place around the time I figured it out for myself.

I thought the ending went by a bit too quickly, but it didn't really matter because what needed to be said already had been. Overall, a great, e
Nov 03, 2012 Asavari rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: There are probably similar but better books
Recommended to Asavari by: Part of the course material for Young Adult Literature
Not sure if 3 stars, or 3.5, was written relatively well with a couple of repetitive nuances, just the type of story that it was wasn't my thing. Ugh, and Carmody tries to add in tonnes of these little themes like Seth's alcoholism, the supernatural, parental abuse etc, but none of them are explored and could have easily been cut out. I read this for school in Young Adult Literature (we had an Australian focus) and just studying it more makes me dislike it more, it is totally not worth studying.
I possibly wasn't in the right head space to read this dark horror novel so different to most other Isobelle novels. I found it interesting that the theme of internal darkness is repeated later in Alyzon Whitestarr, a novel of which I am very fond, but the violence and the gloom of this one wasn't for me. It's beautifully written and Nathanial is an appealing character. There is also a gentle YA mystery/thriller element. I think teens will devour this.
Aug 10, 2010 Katey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to Katey by: My High School
I had to read this book for my year 9 english class and from what I remember I really enjoyed it. Even though we only had to read it in class time, I would read it when I got home because I liked it so much and couldn’t wait to read only a small amount each class. The only part I hated was when the dog got burnt. I will definitely endeavour to read this again so I can give it a better review and see if I’m still anything like my 14 year old self.
I loved it so much, as I do all of Isobelle Carmody's stories. I loved the characters and how they developed with the help of each other and it is quite an uplifting yet grounding story. I found it very real in comparison to Carmody's other work and a lot more mature. But the quality certainly remains, especially within the haunting touch she gives the setting just through her language. Loved it. Would highly recommend it to anyone.
Unexpectedly, I really didn't like this story. Which is odd, because I REALLY liked others of this author's work. Maybe because there was a pet death scene in the story I found very offensive and shocking. At any rate, I got through the story, but think I'm done with her books. I'll just stick with the two that resonated with me and call it good.
Masha Toit
This was not the first time I've read The Gathering, but I enjoyed it more the first time round. I was unable to finish it this time.

Not a bad book, but it felt very removed from my reality. Maybe if I was younger and still at school? Maybe I've just read too many insert-number-here-kids-drawn-together-by-prophecy-save-world-from-THE-DARK ?

This book = No
This book is actually not that bad. It's well written with a good plot. Not really my thing, so I didn't overly enjoy it, but it is worth reading. Except for the part [SPOILER ALERT] when The Tod dies. It was so sad, and in extreme detail. All in all, it was okay. But I wouldn't willingly read it again.
A fast-moving book. Was definitely creepier when I was younger though, with the idea that teachers and police could be bad. Could have used a little trimming, but the kids versus evil and the final battle was well done. A rushed little clean-up of an ending, but it works since you can't always know everything.
Stef Rozitis
I love Isobelle Carmody. I will write more when I am a bit less reeling from my brother's death but this was a good (if a bit scary) book.
Amazing and creepy and chilling and wonderful Australian modern classic - read for year 8 English. The only part I couldn't abide was the animal cruelty, but on subsequent re-reads I simply skipped that chapter. And Nathanial perving on Nissa at the beach almost made up for it anyway...
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What's The Name o...: YA a boy's pet dog is set on fire? [s] 13 168 Nov 18, 2014 01:52AM  
Goodreads Librari...: pages 3 9 May 17, 2014 07:13AM  
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Isobelle Carmody began the first novel of her highly acclaimed Obernewtyn Chronicles while she was still in high school. The series has established her at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia.

In addition to her young-adult novels, such as the Obernewtyn Chronicles and Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle's published works include several middle-grade fantasies. Her still-unfinished Gateway Trilogy
More about Isobelle Carmody...
Obernewtyn (Obernewtyn Chronicles, #1) The Farseekers (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #2) Ashling (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #3) The Keeping Place (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #4) The Stone Key (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #5)

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“Strength without compassion is soulless and cruel. Weakness, too, has its place, for it brings understanding.” 0 likes
“At last, I came to the Lost Dog's Home which my map told me marked teh turnoff to Shelly Beach.

You could hear some of the dogs barking, calling out for their owners to come and get them away from there...

I hated going to those places because I always wanted to take all the dogs home or let them go free, even though I knew most of them would go straight out and be hit by a car or starve to death. I sometimes wished I could have a place where I could take those dogs and let them live. The Phantom had this sanctuary called Eden and all the animals there lived together, even tigers and baby deer, because they'd never learned it's kill or be killed. The maneaters ate fish out of the lagoon and the island was protected by the Bandar poison pygmies and by the piranha fish in the lagoon. I would have liked there to be such a place for pets who had been dumped of abandoned. They could feed the owners to the piranha.”
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