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The Gimmicks

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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Gimmicks is a gorgeous epic that astounds with its scope and beauty. With empathy and humor, McCormick unravels the ties between brotherhood and betrayal, love and abandonment, and the fictions we create to live with the pain of the past. This novel will blow you away.”—Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers

Set in the waning years of the Cold
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ebook, 368 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Harper
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Angela M
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the heart of the story is the Armenian Genocide, although we don’t see it happen, the underlying thing that keeps the story moving is fighting for acknowledgement by Turkey who even to this day denies it. I first became aware of the Armenian Genocide after reading Chris Bohjalian’s beautifully written novel The Sandcastle Girls. I wondered then, why I hadn’t know about before. I don’t recall this being taught in school when learning about WWI. Even today, it’s still being not just denied by ...more
Bandit
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a book. It’s unthinkable that there are no reviews for it and I’m the first one. Is no one reading it? It is a tough sell? I mean, the country seems to care about Armenians (provided they are Kardashians) and wrestling pretty much unilaterally, although, to be fair, this novel is as much about wrestling as Kardashians are about being Armenians. But really I’m trying to say that this is a stunning book, a terrific book and I can only hope my review can bring some much deserved attention ...more
Susan
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure I would enjoy this but I was pleasantly surprised how engaged I became. The characters are fully developed and you follow them thru all the ups and downs of their lives. I knew nothing about the frictions with Turkey and Russia so this was interesting aspect of the boik.I would recommend this book.
Mandy Weeks
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Gimmicks is a gorgeous epic that astounds with its scope and beauty. With empathy and humor, McCormick unravels the ties between brotherhood and betrayal, love and abandonment, and the fictions we create to live with the pain of the past. This novel will blow you away.”—Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers

Set in the waning years of the Cold War, a stunning debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern
...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't know where to start. This is a tale of three people, cousins Avo and Ruben, and their friend/love interest Mina from the 1970s to 1989, It's also a tale of immigrants, wrestling, and backgammon. Most importantly, however, it's the story of how the Armenian genocide has echoed down the years. It starts in the Armenian SSR, where Avo and Ruben conspire for Ruben to replace Mina in a backgammon tournament in Paris, where he joins an Armenian liberation about and disappears into the mist, ...more
Dayna
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise alone pulled me in, & in the end I absolutely loved this book. It's a lovely story presented through the repercussions of history - both personal & national - & wrestling. The narrative refines its own gimmick in making the characters so convincing & intriguing. If you enjoyed Atom Egoyan's Ararat, you must read this book. If you force yourself to stay up late to watch old Santo movies, no matter how cheesy the monsters, you must read this book. I am a very grateful ...more
Jacqueline
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those epic novels spanning countries & decades & full of classic novel themes--betrayal, separation, love, "justice," & the illusions we present to ourselves. I found the background of the Armenian genocide & the trauma that reverberated throughout generations fascinating. I got really attached to the characters (AVO!!! :( ) & was sad when this book ended. It also made me think real hard about the gimmicks I've tricked myself into living.
James Beggarly
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a brilliant epic featuring an Armenian love triangle that spans decades, travels through France, Greece and the roads of America. It also includes competitive backgammon, American wrestling and follows an illegal group that are attacking the Turks in various ways to try and get them to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. All of this is told through some of the most interesting characters I’ve read all year.
D.J. Desmond
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an odd read for me. I am a fan of pro wrestling, and I read this pretty quickly (which would indicate some engagement). But as far as takeaways or anything like that, the main thing I liked was the backgammon comparison to life - other than that, I am not sure what to say. It was written well, but the plot was not that engaging
Mandy Haynes
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book. I was drawn in from the first page and couldn't wait to get to the next. Chris McCormick is a great storyteller and you will find yourself hanging on to the last page.
Des
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad. Needed more wrestling.
Shawna
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Love, family and brotherhood with the Armenian culture.
Julia Kardon
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE GIMMICKS is a startlingly good, precisely plotted novel about the lasting impact of trauma on generations of Armenians. As a meditation on friendship and love, on the American dream and even pro-wrestling, this gorgeously written novel was a delight to read. Chris McCormick is an immensely talented stylist and THE GIMMICKS reminded me deeply of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY.
Fayth Kakos
rated it it was ok
Jan 10, 2020
Scott
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Jan 16, 2020
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Jan 26, 2020
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