Customer Reviews for

A Gathering of Old Men

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A Gathering of Old Men By:Ernest J. Gaines

This story begins on the Marshall Plantation in Bayonne, Louisiana. Beau Bauton has just been murdered. He was the plantation¿s Cajun boss. Bauton¿s body was discovered near Mathu¿s house by Candy Marshall, the partial owner of the plantation. Candy suspects that Mathu...
This story begins on the Marshall Plantation in Bayonne, Louisiana. Beau Bauton has just been murdered. He was the plantation¿s Cajun boss. Bauton¿s body was discovered near Mathu¿s house by Candy Marshall, the partial owner of the plantation. Candy suspects that Mathu did murder Beau Bauton, but she wants to protect him. Mathu took care of Candy when she was a child and is somewhat like a father to her, so she tries to protect him. Everyone on the plantation is called to meet at Mathu¿s house. Candy confesses to the murder, but no one believes her. About eighteen black men are gathered to the scene of the crime with twelve gauge shotguns and empty shells. With everyone confessing to the crime, Candy hopes that the local sheriff cannot solve the crime.

Not only do the people expect the sheriff to appear, they also fear that Fix Bauton
will also come. Fix is a local Cajun that is known for leading lynch mobs against the blacks in that area. Everyone expects him to come to seek revenge, especially because Beau is his son. Lou Dimes, Candy¿s boyfriend, and Sheriff Mapes appear on the plantation. Lou Dimes is a well educated journalist from Baton Rouge that tries to help with the situation. He is kind of an outcast since he is the only one that received a formal education. As soon as the sheriff arrives, he orders his deputies to find Fix and keep him off the plantation. Then, he questions each man differently and uses physical force during the interrogation. He is surprised to see that each man is committed to confess to the murder. The story continues with more men confessing and the arrival of some other people. Many events also occur toward the end of the novel.

I enjoyed reading this book because it gave me a sense of historical reference. There was and still is prejudice and racism present in our world today. The book also had suspense to it and other things that I did not expect. Most stories are predictable but this one kept the reader wondering what would happen next. It was very interesting to see how the story unfolded.

posted by Jonath0n on December 7, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Just Right

Ernest J. Gaines did it this time with a Gathering of Old Men. A murder mystery about racial tensions over the death of a Cajun farmer. As blacks fight to save their own. The whites fight to seek vengence for the murder of their own. Gaines makes you sit on the egde of...
Ernest J. Gaines did it this time with a Gathering of Old Men. A murder mystery about racial tensions over the death of a Cajun farmer. As blacks fight to save their own. The whites fight to seek vengence for the murder of their own. Gaines makes you sit on the egde of your sit,wondering about whats going to happen next. Cliffhanger after Cliffhanger. Gaines make's you feel as if your sitting with the characters down in the quarters. His characters are like real people and talk real talk. A Gathering is a riviting novel that will keep you asking for more.

posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2001

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2001

    A Stellar Novel

    In Ernest Gaines' novel, A Gathering of Old Men, the author presents a cast of aging Southern black men who, after a life of subordination and intimidation, make a defiant stand against injustices. The story takes place on an Lousiana sugar cane plantation in the 1970's. The novel tells of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer, who has supposedly been killed at the hands of a black man, Mathu. Mathu must face the repercussions of killing a white man, and, at the same time, being black. That repercussion is to be lynched. All of the residents, who are predominantly black, take a stand to help their fellow neighbor. With the help of one white woman, Candy, who was raised by Mathu, they take a stand to end the injustices of segregation. This is a great novel to read. The book will shock and move you with its tremendous array of characters, as you get to know the characters' sides of the story, and the different conflicts that are raised. Those conflicts are presented as you walk in the characters' shoes. This novel was outstanding and deserves all five stars. It will surely have you at the edge of your seat, not wanting to quit reading until you've reached the end, where you'll be in for a suprise as the story takes a sudden twist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2000

    I loved it, you will too!

    I am a ninth grader from Poulsbo Junior High and for my Honors English class we had to read a book and write an essay on it. One of the choices was 'A Gathering of Old Men'. At once I was pulled into the realistic story and the life of the characters. This book shows how prejudice white people really were against black people in the 1970's, set in a rural town. If you like American History during and after slavery then you will really enjoy this book, and if not...then you should try it anyways because you might like it! I loved it and I am sure most anyone who reads it will love it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    Sit And Read On !!

    Not an often reader of books, but a first time hit with this one. A 2000 summer reading project for my last year in highschool has opened me up to a great book. The format in wich Mr. Gaines has writen this story, really makes you feel like your next to the character talking to them as you've known them for years, a story to feel involved and one to touch your heart. To tall thumbs up ( if you have time to put the book down).

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    Posted August 5, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted June 26, 2009

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