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The Gathering

Narrated by: Fiona Shaw
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

Non-member price: $51.25

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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2007

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. His sister Veronica was there then, as she is now: keeping the dead man company, just for another little while.

The Gathering is a family epic, condensed and clarified through the remarkable lens of Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is also a sexual history: tracing the line of hurt and redemption through three generations – starting with the grandmother, Ada Merriman – showing how memories warp and family secrets fester. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2007 Anne Enright (P)2008 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Gathering

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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story and beautifully read

What made the experience of listening to The Gathering the most enjoyable?

The performance was so good I just wanted it to go on for longer...but the story of bittersweet reminiscences of Irish life over the last century is magnificently compiled and its not hard to see why it won the Booker.

What about Fiona Shaw’s performance did you like?

Fiona Shaw was an excellent reader and able to give credibility to a wide range of characters in this beautiful story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was particularly moved by the narrator's relationship with her brother and her quest to find out the truth within her family.

Any additional comments?

Listen to it. I think this is one of those books better heard than read.

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  • Tom Tintin
  • 30-09-2017

This novel is work but it's worth it.

As always with Enright, I'm left dazzled with a wanting to go back and read some parts again. This one is dark, (post-)postmodern, sometimes outwardly gross. Full of (disturbing visions of) sex and bodies. Another Irish misery novel by the grandmaster herself, but one that (unlike The Forgotten Waltz) goes even deeper and I think asks questions about what it's like to be human - with the handling of and remembrance of trauma within a given community only being one. What I find striking, Enright observes stuff that would normally go unsaid and delivers it in her quick, witty prose which I fully enjoy. The story is spat out to the reader not merely to make the reader uncomfortable, I don't think. The whole thing's just close to real life - and if readers don't have the guts to face it, too bad. After all, dark stuff actually happens all around us daily. It's just here. And Enright writes way out of it for our enjoyment. Oh, and I didn't mind the voice!

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  • Shila
  • 11-06-2020

Raw, insightful and funny

The voice of the narrator is perfectly interpreted by Shaw whose performance is one of the best I’ve heard on Audible. Enright’s writing is glorious.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 19-04-2016

Anne Enright and Fiona Shaw a Killer Combination.

Would you listen to The Gathering again? Why?

Yes, it was funny and sad and painfully accurate when it came to families.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gathering?

I loved the memories of the interplay between the kids when they were little.

Which character – as performed by Fiona Shaw – was your favourite?

She was brilliant at them all, obviously.

Any additional comments?

This was the first time I have come across Anne Enright's writing, I have now gone straight on to The Green Road.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 15-10-2020

Brilliant novel

I started this months ago and gave up after a couple of chapters, it just didn't grab me. Trying to find something to listen to, I revisited it and this time, got into it straight away. What an amazing writer Anne Enright is! Initially feeling slightly squeamish about the regular earthy references to male anatomy, I told myself to grow up and go with it. The further into the story I got, the more engrossed I became. There are numerous laugh out loud moments and several times I had to stop and replay sections that were just so beautifully written they needed to be savoured. While the story itself is interesting in structure, the range of characters are fascinating and quirky - add wonderful writing to the mix and it's fabulous. I did not know if was a Booker prize winner, but can completely understand why! And finally, Fiona Shaw's reading is utterly perfect in every way.

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  • Mervyn T.
  • 19-09-2020

Excellent read

Beautifully written. So descriptive. Funny & sad! The performance by the narrator Fiona Shaw was outstanding!!!

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  • joshi
  • 12-03-2020

Incredible narration

Loved the book. Probably the best phenomenology of memory I‘ve encountered (sorry, Proust). The narration is truly remarkable.

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  • Miss C.
  • 06-02-2019

Rambling with style

This book got great mixed reviews and I can see why. Often leaving you with the feeling that you have missed a bit, it is worth persevering and getting to the sudden inconclusive end.