All Consuming

38 out of 57 people (66%) think this is worth consuming…

The Gathering
by Anne Enright
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127 people have consumed this.

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3 entries have been written about this.

A review of this — 6 years ago


I was torn. I didn’t enjoy the book, but less than I didn’t enjoy The Sea. It had some of the same problems – sentence and constructs designed to win awards (in my opinion) rather than to explain and entertain, although to a lesser degree. Also, I found that some of the passages were actually pretty, but these infrequent nuggets just weren’t enough to save the book for me. Also, after a time, the narrator’s unreliability eventually started to drag on me, and I just didn’t care for her as a person, which is a real problem for me, since with the parade of siblings and half-glimpsed ancestors, she’s the only person we’d have a hope of caring for, and if I don’t care about the people in the book, I generally end up not caring for the book. In the end, that’s what tipped me over into the “not worth consuming”.

A story about this — 6 years ago


I’ve been trying to read some award books lately, and I picked up the Booker Prize Winners list from Lists of Bests. I’ve found though, that I mostly don’t care for the ones I’ve read (Life of Pi being the notable exception). Also, after picking this book up at the library and seeing the comparisons made to other writes (including Banville), I was freaked out.

At just past the 1/3 mark, I’m not entirely hating it, although I find I’m enjoying the “present day” stories more than Tales from the Past.

Enright’s prose is often nice, although it sometimes falls in to the “writing to win an award” feeling I got from The Sea. When it’s not there, though, I enjoy it, and I like the idea of the unreliable narrator – having her misremember (and realize she’s misremembering) events from her past does make the tale a little more interesting. So anyhow, I’m sticking with it for now.

A review of this — 6 years ago


Emphatically Not Worth Consuming. The only people I can imagine enjoying this are very muddled self-absorbed later middle aged women who have a lot of middle class guilt. The plot rambles, but not with any purpose in mind. I felt no affinity for any of the characters- and indeed the only one you actually know anything about is the narrator, and she’s unbearably irritating. Large portions of the book are devoted to the erections of virtually every man she’s ever seen, from her husband to her grandfather to some guy sitting next to her on a train, while the actual plot (the “gathering” of the title) takes only about 10 pages of the book. I’m all for novels about character exploration and development, but when the only real character is as boring as the one here, the explorations mostly don’t make sense and the development is questionable. Don’t bother.

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