M.D.'s Reviews > The Gathering

The Gathering by Anne Enright
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's review
Apr 09, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: set-aside

I started reading this book and was amazed at the richness of the language and some of the imagery. I even put post-it notes beside some sections to re-read them because I thought them beautiful. And they are.

Halfway through the book, I was saturated. Reading The Gathering is like swimming in mud: it feels nice and cool at first but eventually you become exhausted trying to keep your head above the breathing line.

The Gathering is a tiring exercise in false memories and where the memories fail, in imagining memories, none of them flattering or happy. It may be the Irish culture poking through, where happiness equals guilt, but in the end the reader is left with angst.

So there it is. I'll never know how it ends, but from what I've read, there probably isn't an ending.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Hoare Interesting that a book that started out very impressive should have become a chore to read halfway through. I'm guessing all the author's effort was devoted to language with nothing left over for story-craft and plot.

Perhaps the feelings of hopelessness and futility that stopped me reading "Angela's Ashes" two thirds of the way through was a similar reaction. One can only take so much Irish self-pity.


M.D. Yes! that's it. She fell in love with her own words. Added to the Irish thing, it's like eating raspberry jam by the spoonful. The first one might be tasty but after a while, you taste only the sugar.

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