Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Gathering by Anne Enright

I was very disappointed in this. It was disjointed, confusing, depressing, meandering, and unpleasant. It’s filled with suffering and populated by nasty characters. I read about half of it, then skimmed to the end, hoping against hope I would find some redeeming feature, but I did not.

Why did this book win the 2007 Man Booker Prize? I will admit it contains flashes of interesting prose, but for me that hardly counteracts all the weirdness of both subject and style.

(Book 23, 2008)


Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with you. I've read some acclaimed books that are too violent or depressing for my taste. I personally don't enjoy this kind of literature.

I'd recommend you instead something completely different I've just read: "The Island of Eternal Love" by Daína Chaviano. This is her first novel translated into English, although she is a worldwide translated Cuban author. I read she has been leaving in Florida for some years now.

The novel is a mixture of fantasy with reality, with a little bit of many things. I personally love this kind of genre-mixing. If you want to know what this novel is about, check out the book trailer I recently found on youtube, while searching her name:

Anonymous said...

I heard that was a dark tale of a dysfunctional family. But, then, a lot of the big winners in fiction are precisely that. I find myself looking for something more, too. I don't mind bad things happening in a book as long as I can like the main character. However, when s/he is mean-spirited, that just blows it for me.

Just read quite a good novel, though, that I recommend to you: "Starting Out in the Evening" by Brian Morton. I was prompted to pick it up after we rented the movie (with Frank Langella and really a quiet but excellent little film). The book is even better -- about the Jewish intellectuals of the 1950s and what became of them, about whether it's better to dedicate your life to art or to living, about academic ambition, oh, all kinds of things. Worth your time when you're backstage bandaging babes.

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