An Embarrassment of Riches

( 33 )

Overview

When Ursula Barnett and her husband Jed win the Irish lottery, they think their troubles are over. But they are just beginning.

Ursula coerces her Yank husband to retire in her hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland, hoping to atone for her youthful sins as a collaborator with the IRA in the 1970s. At the first sniff of Ursula's lotto win, however, her chronically greedy sister-in-law Fionnuala Flood rallies the family against Ursula.

Fionnuala's ...

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An Embarrassment of Riches

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Overview

When Ursula Barnett and her husband Jed win the Irish lottery, they think their troubles are over. But they are just beginning.

Ursula coerces her Yank husband to retire in her hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland, hoping to atone for her youthful sins as a collaborator with the IRA in the 1970s. At the first sniff of Ursula's lotto win, however, her chronically greedy sister-in-law Fionnuala Flood rallies the family against Ursula.

Fionnuala's life is a misery. She is married to a boozing fish-packing plant worker and raising seven seedy hooligans, from a convict son to an eight-year-old devil-daughter who will resort to desperate mesaures to secure the perfect Holy Communion gown. Between two part-time jobs, Fionnuala still finds the energy to put into motion plans which pit husbands against wives, daughters against mothers, the lawless against the law and Fionnuala against anyone fool enough to cross her path.

Family saga and black comedy, love story and courtroom drama, An Embarrassment of Riches will take you on a journey to Northern Ireland and beyond, where Protestants and Catholics wage battle daily, and where crossing family with finance leads to heartache and hilarity, passion and tragedy.

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Editorial Reviews

ReaderViews - Olivia Baumgartner-Jackson
"Gerald Hansen’s writing is smooth and appealing. With a cast of incredibly amusing, if not always charming characters, this book feels like a cross between a roller-coaster and a carousel. The plot moves on very quickly and it would be impossible not to get drawn in. While wildly amusing, this tale should also make you think of some important life issues, so I’d consider the time spent reading "An Embarrassment of Riches” well spent."
CompulsiveReader.com - PPO Kane
"This blackly comic novel, centring on a family feud between two frightful sisters, provides plenty of diverting shenanigans and riotous entertainment.An Embarrassment of Riches has an awful lot going for it. The characters are well-drawn – actually, lovingly depicted, though it would be incorrect to say that they are always pleasant or even civil – and the story is engaging and engrossing; as well as which, it elicited many a laugh-out-loud moment from your reviewer."
Burning Leaves - Riot --
"An Embarrassment...features comedy as pitch-black as the moors of the Emerald Isle itself. It’s an absolutely hysterical tale of the Flood family’s delirious pursuit of protagonist Ursula Barnett’s lottery winnings.Their epic avarice knows no boundaries, and the lot of them are entirely without shame or any sense of decorum and common decency. This...combined with Hansen’s dry, dark, and explosively ironic delivery makes them the most delightful aspect of the novel."
Front Stree Reviews - Ashley Merrill
"This is an excellent novel for anyone to enjoy and to read again and again. It gets you away from your everyday problems and makes you realize that maybe your family really isn’t so bad in comparison to the family that is portrayed in this story. Who knows, you may even learn some fantastic phrases that you can shock your friends with!"
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly -
"The Irish family at the heart of this hilarious novel is so tawdry and despicable, it's a wonder they don't kill off each other in the first few pages. Set in Northern Ireland, the central figure is Ursula, whose husband had won the lottery and has since gambled away much of the winnings. The Irish dialect and sprawling cast make the first few chapters difficult to read, but once the vulgarity and shenanigans set in, the novel is as absorbing as it is hysterical."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595447596
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/9/2007
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Hansen lived for years in his mother's hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland and attended Dublin City University. As a Navy brat, he grew up in California, Thailand, London, Iceland and Germany. His debut novel, An Embarrassment of Riches was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel semifinalist in 2010, and the second, Hand In The Till, came out in 2011. Gerald now lives in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Masterly crafted dialect make the novel a 10!

    Clearly one of the best novels I have ever read. The characters are well developed and balanced. The dialect is outstanding and was easy for me to read without the translations. By the end of the novel, I was even thinking and speaking in the Irish dialect. Hansen masterly crafts them together and finalizes the book with a surprise ending that even the best reader would not imagine. Plus, it leaves an opening for a possible sequel...which I cannot wait to read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    The most scathingly funny book I've read in over a year.

    Imagine walking down the streets of New York and trying to read a book at the same time. That was a feat I accomplished as I couldn't put this book aside and focus on my safety. Imagine laughing out loud on the subway and not caring what anyone thought as the book you're reading was too good to put down and couldn't wait until you got home. I think I finished Riches in less then two days and if a sequel is in the works I shall certainly jump for it. The Floods have to be the worst family imaginable. What makes them and the novel so perfect is that all the wounds are NOT healed. Not a book to be enjoyed for the whole family and I for one am grateful for it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Well written

    This book was so well written! I was very uncomfortable by this... disturbing novel. Am thinking the Irish be a feckin lot of slappers and horrible wanes!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    Loved it!

    Hilarious tale of two women in Northern Ireland. Money, the root of all evils!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    Wonderfully written, thoroughly enjoyable!

    This was one of those rare books that could make me laugh out loud, not only while reading a scene, but days later. While sometimes such outright humor can mean shallow characters, such is not the case here. The characters in this dark comedy are well developed and while outrageous, are still believable. The author made it hard for me to decide who I loved to hate, and who I hated to love! I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the author at a reading of his book and now have high hopes that we have not heard the last of the Flood and Barnett families...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Really fun. Loved it.

    I liked this one so much that I bought the next two in the series.
    The characters are very real and it is extremely well-written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Awesome

    A great story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Hilarious!

    I loved this book. I don't really write reviews, but I just wanted to say that my eBook version was fine. Perhaps the problems with the old EBook version were fixed? Anyway, a good, fun, fast read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    Love it, Love it!!

    What a fun book! The Irish slang took me 20 pages to get into, but after that...hilarious!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    it is OUTSTANDING

    one paragrapeh in...hooked. rarely happens.'wrong side of both fifty and if her family had their say...a row of prison bars' loosely quoted but close to the heart. all that needs to be said. read it, you will, love it, you will.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Is this My Family?

    Although set in Ireland with a difficult to understand, is it really english? dialogue the story and characters suck you in! We can all see how the characters and their motivations rule their actions and parallel people in our lives. What makes this such a fun and insightful read is the outlandish steps the characters go through for greed, lust, and of course money. You will laugh out loud and exclaim when they just go too far- poor grandma! Seriously if you want something unique and completely absorbing, read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    Love to read about crazy families....

    and am feeling like mine just might be normal after this read . I loved the setting, the characters never ceased to amuse and the dialect made it so much fun. Great read, please bring on a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    A great place to go to every night

    I got into the Irish slang and the colorful charaters so much so that I missed them during the day and looked forward to visiting them at night. I laughed and was shocked at the same time. The story got wild and I didn't want it to end. Hopefully there will be a sequel

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    Very entertaining and easy, fun reading!

    I read this book from cover to finish and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would love to see it produced as a movie!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    CAPTIVATING,ENTERTAINING READ

    Captivating style that makes you feel like you are there, as the crass,crazy characters come to life--hilarious moments had me laughing out loud. An entertaining read that vividly describes the realities of the culture with humor the Derry-Speak Dictionary ingeniously incorporated! Bravo! Mr. Hansen, 'thought ya was just away in the head but you written a flimmin wile craic book'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2007

    laughter follows horror

    sympathy for this storied family- hurling daggers of word and deed at each other- i have it though there's not one innocent among them. nine year olds selling exctasy at first holy communion. grandma gasping in the car with only a pet sized crack in a door. but i'm laughing. they all belong in dicken's dungeons but then there would be no new tales to tell. let the floods roam and trample as long as i get to read about it. soon please

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    A very clever and well written novel

    If the BBC had its version of The Jerry Springer Show, Fionnuala Flood and her family would be the best episode of the season! An Embarrassment of Riches is a non-stop entertaining Irish story that combines a wonderful balance of brilliant hilarity with sneaky greed and gives new meaning to the phrase 'survival of the fittest.' On the silver screen, this novel, without a doubt, would translate in one of the year's most amusing and compelling movies. The novel is considerably heavy in dialogue, which is excellent in that it achieves two significant points: 1. the dialogue exposes so much of each character's persona and 2. the fact that the Irish are a race of talkers. For the non-Irish reader, who might find the Irish/Derry dialect daunting, Hansen cleverly weaves a 'language key' into the story in the form of a Derry-Speak Dictionary early in the book -pg. 10- to help translate unfamiliar vernacular. The plot is action packed and fast moving as it takes the reader around the town of Derry, Northern Ireland from a prison to a cathedral a chip shop to a courtroom a pub to a hair salon and from a church confessional to the home of an IRA member -- to name a few. There's never a dull moment as the characters work hard to survive and obtain what they need. The topics of religion, greed and family are addressed both in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner in An Embarrassment of Riches. And although light is made of many situations, Hansen has captured the affect these topics play in the lives of his characters. If you only have time to read one book this year, or next, look no further ¿ this is it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2007

    Very funny , well written book.

    Being born and raised in Derry, I found this to be a very funny outrageous look at the Irish take on things. Even allowing for the poetic license, I must say I recognized a few of the characters and actions taken. My favorite part was when Ursula let go at the British Judges (Brilliant)Waitin for the sequel to see if Jed makes it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    Coming from Ireland, this book, although fictional, brings back many wonderful memories. The comedy is superb and the characters are very believable. If asked what my most enjoyable part of the book is, I must say it was the entire novel. I absolutely could not put the book down until I had it read. The ending leaves the reader with a cliff hanger, and I am anxiously awaiting a sequel, as I cannot wait to see what happens to the struggling characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    Great reading and humorous

    I deciced to read this book because I have some friends who were born in Derry, Ireland. I found that the author portraited the personalities of the characters as very much like the Irish. I laughed constantly at the outrageous things they did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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