23 January 2008

The gathering - Anne Enright


The 2007 Booker winner. If pressed to come up with one word to describe the novel, I would immediately answer "haunting". Easily one of the best bookers, in terms of style, prose and mood. On the flip side, easily one of the worse bookers when it comes to plot.

In writing this review, I can't help but feel conceited and full of my literati self. Looking over reader's reviews at Amazon, it has scored many 1 stars and many 5 stars. I can't help but shouting at those reader's of 1 stars how simple minded and feeble of readers they are. This is not for John Grisham fans. If you picked up this book to get a quirky story like Life of Pi, you are out of luck. For it's lack of story and plot, I would simply rather not make a recommendation.

I personally think Enright's novel is pure genius. She is clearly a professional at the height of her craft, for which she deserves all the praise coming to her. Her prose is evocative, enthralling, dare I say sublimely persistent, even addictive.

As I am contractually obligated to do so, here is a summary of the plot. Victoria Hagerty is the middle child in an Irish family of 9. The novel opens with the death of her brother Liam - Victoria is in England to escort the body back to Dublin. The time sequence is anything but linear, but in the following 260 pages, the reader is brought along a time line of the Hagerty family's history, all the while being subject to Veronica's inner thoughts on her own marriage, family and life.

Because the world will never know what has happened to you, and what you carry around as a result of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did nothing for me. forgettable
When are we going to see another Booker with an epic story??