The Gathering by Anne Enright

So I am trying to read a Man Booker Prize 2007 winner, The Gathering: A Novel, by Anne Enright and I'm not getting it. The narrative jumps are not merely enigmatic, or provocative in a reader-brings-meaning sort of way, but merely random. It reminds me of James Joyce, whose own dear wife asked him why he couldn't write "sensible books that people can understand."

I wanted to continue, as the characters were interesting. Here one says,

I think I will die of unfairness; I think I will be written on my death certificate.

I could like this person. I would like to know what happens to her. But I just got too confused.

And this:

And what amazes me as I hit the motorway is not the fact that everyone loses someone,but that everyone loves someone. It seems like such a massive waste of energy -- and we all do it, all the people beetling along between the white lines, merging, converging, overtaking. We each love someone, even though they will die. And we keep loving them, even when they are not there to love any more. And there is no logic or use to any of this, that I can see.

That is interesting. I try to carry on, but the story doesn't hold together for me.

I put the book down; I glance at the back cover: Enright is from Dublin too. What is it with the Irish?

Have you read this book? Do you read James Joyce? Can you give me a clue?

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2 much appreciated comments :

PAPA said...


kate said...

I know I started it...but I think I, quite literally, "lost the plot". Either that or I don't remember the plot...


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Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

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