An Embarrassment of Riches

An Embarrassment of Riches

4.2 32
by Gerald Hansen
     
 

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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. ...The central figure is Ursula, whose husband had won the lottery and has since gambled away much of the winnings. Ursula's new (and fading) riches have strained many of her personal

Overview

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. ...The central figure is Ursula, whose husband had won the lottery and has since gambled away much of the winnings. Ursula's new (and fading) riches have strained many of her personal relationships, particularly with her sister-in-law, Fionnuala, a first-rate villain who concocts get-rich-quick schemes based on the misery of others. ...Once the vulgarity and shenanigans set in, the novel is as absorbing as it is hysterical."

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 measures 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.

"A Masterpiece!" --Colin Quinn, Comedian, SNL, Tough Crowd
"Wildly amusing...a cross between a roller-coaster and a carousel!" --Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson. Readerviews.com
"Clearly the work of a craftsman! (The characters) careen around Derry with the grace of a drunken and horny bull!" --Chris Gerrib, Podpeople.com
"Classic, I-can't-stop-reading literature!"- --Jonathan Henderson, Jonhenderscon.com
"Hansen does a wonderful job with this dark comedy...an excellent novel for anyone to read again and again!"--Ashley Merrill, Front Street Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781478196747
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
07/12/2014
Pages:
238
Sales rank:
825,463
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

Meet the Author

Best-selling 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, Hand In The Till came out in 2011, Fleeing The Jurisdiction in 2012, and Best Served Frozen in 2014. Gerald now lives in New York City.

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An Embarrassment Of Riches 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious tale of two women in Northern Ireland. Money, the root of all evils!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fun book! The Irish slang took me 20 pages to get into, but after that...hilarious!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book from cover to finish and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would love to see it produced as a movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what to think when I picked up this book. Then I started reading, and the laughter never stopped. The family in the book is so desperate and although the life they lead is so sad, you can't help but laugh at the things that go on. I feel so sorry for Ursula. I can't understand why she stays in the city. If I had people treating me like that, I would be on the first bus out of there! When I got to the end, I kept wanting to turn more pages. There's got to be a sequel! If there is, I will get it the very first day it comes out! Please, Gerald, write a sequel!!
Yellowdog1 More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book. I found that it was a waste of my time, but since I had started reading it I felt compelled to finish.