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Customer Reviews for

The Gathering

Average Rating 3
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(31)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Self-indulgent drivel

You would think that with eleven Irish brothers and sisters, the narrator would insert some lovely bits of humor to provide a touch of comic relief to this tale of a dysfunctional family, but the mood is unrelentingly morose (even Hamlet had the grave digger to make one...
You would think that with eleven Irish brothers and sisters, the narrator would insert some lovely bits of humor to provide a touch of comic relief to this tale of a dysfunctional family, but the mood is unrelentingly morose (even Hamlet had the grave digger to make one laugh). After about fifty pages, as the narrator engages in endless self-pitying analysis, she ceases to be a sympathetic character and becomes quite tiresome. I miss the good old novels where characters reacted to difficulties with strength and selflessness rather than impotence and self-absorption.

posted by Capitalist on July 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

The Gathering is one of the WORST books I have ever had the misfortune to read. I bought the book based upon the rave reviews on the back of the book and now will have trouble trusting reviews again. It is rambling, morose, and it goes nowhere, it

just goes and goes and goes and it is PAINFUL, it has no redeeming value at all. So, it is good as an example of what you do not want to visit. I like a good story, and this would NOT BE IT.

posted by MARYALICEMQ on March 20, 2010

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    The Gathering is one of the WORST books I have ever had the misfortune to read. I bought the book based upon the rave reviews on the back of the book and now will have trouble trusting reviews again. It is rambling, morose, and it goes nowhere, it

    just goes and goes and goes and it is PAINFUL, it has no redeeming value at all. So, it is good as an example of what you do not want to visit. I like a good story, and this would NOT BE IT.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So bad.

    I wish I had read the reviews before my book club picked this book. It is very disturbing, and not in a good way!!! There is so much description, it takes 5 pages to say someone may or may not have done something or nothing (confusing? just trying to give a bit of insight on what it is like to read this book). Perhaps for those who like very different writing, this would be a great find. I like to think I am pretty open about books and writing styles, but this leaves much to be desired. For the first time in my life, I dread my quiet reading time. I can't wait to be done so that I can start the books I have piled up while trying to get through this one. If it wasn't chosen by the club, I would probably have actually stopped reading this one...something I just don't do.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2009

    Self-indulgent drivel

    You would think that with eleven Irish brothers and sisters, the narrator would insert some lovely bits of humor to provide a touch of comic relief to this tale of a dysfunctional family, but the mood is unrelentingly morose (even Hamlet had the grave digger to make one laugh). After about fifty pages, as the narrator engages in endless self-pitying analysis, she ceases to be a sympathetic character and becomes quite tiresome. I miss the good old novels where characters reacted to difficulties with strength and selflessness rather than impotence and self-absorption.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I don't know if I can finish this book.

    The first few pages seemed interesting and caught my attention, but then ... the author loses me, the writing style is sloppy and drunk-feeling, there seems to be too many characters with too many issues, the point-of-view is unjustified and I'm halfway through and still not sure why I'm supposed to care (or who I'm supposed to care about) and I don't know if I'll even finish the book so I can figure out the reason for the plot.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Thankfully I didn't buy it

    I checked this out of our library because the jacket lured me into think I had found a treasure. I got so far as page 50 and could NOT see any plot nor any point. I had no idea what she was thinking other than some morbid conjecture, where I did not want to go. If you are looking for a great UK author try Lionel Shriver!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    Disappointed

    I bought the book based on what was written on the back cover and was very disappointed. It is rare that I do not finish a book that I purchase but could not get through it. The book seemed so dark and morbid. By the time I stopped reading it, I had my fill of hearing about all the people that had died, how Liam looked lying the mortuary on the table, selecting a coffin, etc., etc. I prefer something more uplifting.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Man Booker Prize Winner? Huh?

    I thought the book would be intriguing, and kept reading thinking there would be a climax. I was extremely disappointed, and wonder what I should have gotten out of the book. When I think of the books I will read in my life, I am sorry I wasted time on this one.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    Serious Grieving

    This book is pure genius for those that are confused or in a state of transition in their lives. I picked up this book expecting one perspective and was thrown a completely different one. Throughout the book, details are given in such a random and non-sensical fashion that towards the end, the reader realizes the sparcity of concrete facts is just what the author intended. I will admit that towards the middle the story doesn't seem to end, but when it does, the meaning is so profound you find yourself falling just like the narrator. I would not recommend this to any one faint of heart or looking for an easy read. Enright, however, has delivered a most complex yet satisfying glimpse into on the darkest episodes on one woman's life.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Brilliant Piece of Writing

    At times I was overwhelmed with the depth of thought and observation that went into writing this novel. I found myself going back to certain sentences over and over again extracting new interpretations of what the author was saying. At times heartbreaking and brimming with anger, rarely does a book feel so real.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    Most disappointing piece of literature.

    Worst book read in a long time. Struggled to finish it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    Gave up half way through

    I will finish just about any book due to my curiosity regarding plot development. This book joins precious few that I've given up on. If there is a plot, it is so deeply hidden under all the anger and oddball character development that I missed it. The cover synopsis led me to expect more of a story, but what I found was a lot of introspection and reminiscing. Way too much navel-gazing for me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    Boring

    Would not recommend

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    Skip this one

    Talk about sexually repressed Irish Catholic! Who in their right mind wants to imagine their grandmother's sex life!? Writing was wordy and story line depressing and insane. This book makes one wonder about who decides book award winners. Will not waste time reading any other work by this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Griffinstar

    Is sparrow ok.?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2012

    I kept waiting for this book to become something memorable. It

    I kept waiting for this book to become something memorable. It moved so
    slowly and the characters were simply not ones I wanted to know more
    about. I finished it but what a struggle

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    hesitantly recommend

    I wonder why this book got an award as the the plot went all over the place right from the beginning. If I had not read a review somewhere else I would have had no idea what this book was about Poor character development. The child abuse her dead brother suffered should have been revealed much earlier in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    Beautiful, Brilliant Writing! So I just read the 'get a sample'

    Beautiful, Brilliant Writing!
    So I just read the 'get a sample' as I was afraid to purchase the book due to all the negative reviews. I do not see what the others are getting at. I think the book is wonderfully written. I look forward to seeing what happens with Veronica and her family. Its ok to read a not-so-sunny-happy-ending book once in a while. I loved it and I'm sure I will love the rest, she has such an interesting way of telling a story with feeling.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Stream-of-conciousness = yawnsville

    Okay -- I finished it so that's something. I believe the author was trying for the technique of writing that Virginia Woolf perfected -- stream-of-conciousness; you feel like you're easedropping into someone's internal thoughts. It can be quite boring. Woolf's books can be that way, but Woolf was a much better writer than this woman. And guess what? Woolf killed herself by walking into a river with her pockets full of stones. I would not recommend this novel, but I give it at least 2 stars because I did finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    Ugh

    I read books really quickly, and usually average 1 per day. I started this book on October 20th. It's November 7th, and I'm still only at page 50. This book is soooooooooooooo boring that I haven't been able to finish it. I never do that! Eventually I will finish it, someday, and if there are any redeeming qualities, I'll come back here and let you know, but right now... ugh.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    boring!

    I tried 3 times to get into this book. The premise seemed interesting. very wordy and tedious.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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