Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Intro: The Gathering

I would like to write down what happened in my grandmother's house the summer I was eight or nine, but I am not sure if it really did happen. I need to bear witness to an uncertain event. I feel it roaring inside me - this thing that may not have taken place. I don't even know what name to put on it. I think you might call it a crime of the flesh, but the flesh is long fallen away and I am not sure what hurt may linger in the bones.
The Gathering 
by Anne Enright

I need to choose a book today. My plan was to begin The Gathering... and I do love that intro. It's ready to go on my kindle and I've enjoyed one or two of Enright's other novels. My only hesitation is that reviews of this particular book, despite winning the Mann Booker Prize in 2007, are somewhat mixed.

Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him—something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. The Gathering is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is a novel about love and disappointment, about how memories warp and secrets fester, and how fate is written in the body, not in the stars. 
Option #2 is Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo, a book I have been listening to for the past couple of weeks, but am still less than halfway through. My library ebook hold is available, so I could make it a read/listen combination and finish in a week. Otherwise, it may take the rest of the month.

Decisions, decisions...

Which would you choose?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

40 comments:

  1. Both novels are new to me. I do like the opening of the Gathering.

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    1. Pat - That opening makes it hard to stop reading. I read the entire first chapter as an opening!

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  2. I think either is a good choice, given the talents of the authors.

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    1. Catherine - My thoughts, too. Hard to go wrong with these two authors.

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  3. I haven't read either of these but they both sound intriguing! I think I would go with Everybody's Fool first just so I could mark it done and then read The Gathering.

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    1. Katherine - My inclination is to power through Everybody's Fool and then start a couple of new books.

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  4. I haven't read Enright...and have only read one book by Russo. But I did love the movie of the Russo book Nobody's Fool, which I know you read recently. I would probably choose to continue with this next book.

    But they both sound good! Enjoy! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - That's probably what I'll do. I may never finish the audio at the rate I'm going now, lol!

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  5. I'd go with The Gathering. It's an intriguing story and the first paragraph starts off nicely. Plus, stories set in Ireland are always special. Whichever one you choose, happy reading.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. I always enjoy stories set in Ireland, too. May have to break my rule and read more than one book at a time!

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  6. The Gathering! My two cents.

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    1. Care - My main concern is finishing them both before attempting Germinal!

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  7. That's a hard choice! I love Richard Russo's writing, and being that you've already begun listening his book, I would probably go with that one. I've heard mixed things about The Gathering, but I do love the intro you shared.

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    1. Wendy - I've read a little more in both books today. I rarely juggle books, but may have to make an exception!

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  8. I'd try the Gathering. Of course, I have no problem putting a book down if it doesn't interest me. Good luck. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - I'm getting better and better at bailing on a book that doesn't hold my interest. Just too many good ones out there!

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  9. I like the sound of The Gathering but as you've already started listening to one maybe you should pursue that one first?

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    1. Cleo - That's my inclination, too, but that intro almost forces me to keep reading!

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  10. Oh that's a good intro. I think I would give The Gathering a chance. I recently bought another book by Enright but it's on my shelf for now. Hope you enjoy whichever one you choose!

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    1. Iliana - That is a very powerful intro! I read Enright's The Forgotten Waltz and loved the writing. Here short stories are very good, too.

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  11. I owned The Gathering and ended up donating the book unread after reading several negative reviews. Hope you end up loving it.

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    1. Diane - Yes, those reviews are discouraging. Hope my experience is different.

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  12. I've never read anything by Enright, but that opening really piqued my curiosity. I might even have the book on one of my shelves... I would go with that since you just finished Nobody's Fool. That way, you can keep the two Russo books separate in you mind. If you read them back-to-back, it might be hard to remember what happened when. Maybe. :)

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    1. Les - I've read Enright's The Forgotten Waltz and was struck by the beauty of her writing. Have also read several of her stories. Hope this one is better than the reviews indicate.

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  13. Russo, just to get it finished, if nothing else. But I've also heard that he's well worth reading.

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    1. Debbie - Think I'm going to do that... I hate to go for such long periods of time without finishing a book.

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  14. No harm in DNFing a book if it's just not doing it for you. Maybe choose "Everybody's Fool" since you've started listening to it :)

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  15. I'd go with The Gathering, it sounds really good>

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    1. Vicki - I don't usually juggle two print books, but may do that for a little while now ;-)

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  16. I like the sound of this though the intro is a bit confusing. I would still keep reading.

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    1. Emma - That intro really makes me want to hear her story... whether it happened or not!

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  17. That's a toughie. For me I'd go with The gathering, the sound of old secrets is always a draw. But either way, enjoy! :)

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    1. Greg - Old secrets are a huge draw for me, too! I've read a little more of both books and think I'll be juggling this week :)

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  18. I must admit, I would pick Russo's book. I read The Gathering a few years back and didn't take to it. I found it hazy and vague. I have avoided Enright ever since. But then again you might have different opinions about it.

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    1. Susan - I read Enrigh'ts The Forgotten Waltz a few years ago and think hazy and vague are apt descriptions of her style, but I found her writing to be beautiful. I'm concentrating on Russo's book now, but have also read a bit more of The Gathering. Unusual for me since I typically read one book at a time.

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  19. I haven't read anything from either author, but that's a great first paragraph. How could you not want to know more after an opening like that?

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  20. I'd go with Russo and come to Enright later - she can be a tad depressing!
    Miss Cellany.

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    1. Miss Cellany - I did! Just finished the Russo. Now I'm having second thoughts about The Gathering... may be too depressing for summer.

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