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NOVEMBER BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION THREAD - Tonight's discussion thread for The Gathering

78 replies

TillyBookClub · 29/11/2007 11:39

Hi all, this is the thread to use for tonight's bookclub session on The Gathering by Anne Enright - see you at 8pm, can't wait to hear what everyone thinks...

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TillyBookClub · 29/11/2007 21:57

Its definitely a book that divides people. There were more than a few literary bods who fell off their chaise-longues with amazement when it won the Booker...

As we're nearing the end, wanted say thanks everyone for coming, and also... I'm keen to do a Mumsnetter Recommends month, where everyone puts forward their top book that they'd like to see discussed in this club. Would you have a think and send me your recommendation? I will set up a thread for it tomorrow... We'll probably do it in March, there'd be a vote as usual, etc.

Would love to hear what your favourites are anyway - and if you're reading something particularly good right now.

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fryalot · 29/11/2007 21:59

will try to think of a book that I like enough to want to read again and discuss on here, but that I don't like enough to risk everyone else hating it and putting me off it forever

marimba · 29/11/2007 21:59

Thanks Tilly, I've really enjoyed tonight. I also admired the book without liking it, but I think much more highly of it after this discussion. I might even read it again & reappraise what I think did & diidn't happen!

chocoholic · 29/11/2007 22:00

Sorry for arriving so late. Perhaps next month I'll get the timing right for a change!

Nerdbomber · 29/11/2007 22:02

thanks, tilly! lot's of fun - look fwd to next month & hope to have someone watching the kids so i can participate more.

fryalot · 29/11/2007 22:02

thanks tilly.

wasn't sure if I would enjoy tonight as much as I did the last one, without the presence of the author, but I did

Not sure I would have admitted to not liking the book if she had been here though

Nerdbomber · 29/11/2007 22:04

oooh-duh. how about book on punctuation, or maybe how to type while nursing.

TillyBookClub · 29/11/2007 22:05

I thought Anne must have had ups and downs in her marriage, to have written this. Soemtimes the description of sex with her husband felt too raw to be made-up. And Annme has children, so I think the love for Veronica's daughters is very direct. I'm not sure what her own upbringing was like - I suppose she must have known families in Ireland with all sorts of secrets and relationships that she could draw on.

I think Booker judges look for something distinct. This book did make me feel I'd read something memorably different, whether I liked it or not.

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TillyBookClub · 29/11/2007 22:10

I've really enjoyed tonight too, I've got utterly different thoughts about the book after hearing everyone's opinions.

I'm heaving a giant sigh of relief Anne didn't join us - would have been toe-curlingly difficult to discuss it truthfully

See you soon everyone, thanks againx

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fryalot · 29/11/2007 22:10

although, if she had joined us, she maybe could have told us what actually happened

RobertSmithStoleMyLipstick · 29/11/2007 22:18

what is the next book?

Nerdbomber · 29/11/2007 22:18

one last thing - if you did like this and want something similar in terms of writing style, try joan didion (the toibin review on my book cover is right). her latest - entitled the year of magical thinking - is gut-wrenching, but written in a similar voice and 100% autiobiographical (no mysteries at all)

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 22:25

Bugger. Ive missed it. So sorry not to be in on the first one. I have read it. It haunts me and I dont know why as like most people on her I didnt get to like or admire or even hate any of the characters in the book.
If I could I would like to ask the author a few questions!
Whats the significance of the driving at night?
Why did V keep telling us that adas house/room opened up straight into the street?
Why did she hate her husband so much? She only thought he was having affairs, in a vague way.

RobertSmithStoleMyLipstick · 29/11/2007 22:27

long time no see nonics

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 22:39

HELLO robert smith is a naughty boy, dont say it was your fave! Who were you in my previous life? its very confusing to have such a massive break...

RobertSmithStoleMyLipstick · 29/11/2007 22:42

used to see you in tea shop

sorry, not meaning to be all elusive and cryptic - have just name changed

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 22:55

Are you the lovely Shosha? give us a clue, comawn...

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 22:59

robert Smith, you have made my day.Thank you!! Im away to my bed now.. cant pop in for a brew tomorrow as am away from poota..will I survive. xxx

MrsSpoon · 29/11/2007 23:04

I haven't read all the comments because I haven't finished the book (it has taken me the better part of the month to get 2/3 through ).

To be completely honest this book doesn't do it for me, I don't know whether to bother finishing. Although at times the observations are stunningly sharp it just appears a bit of a ramble to me and just as I think I am getting to grips with a part of the book it turns out it didn't happen, it is making me made, although I totally understand what the author is trying to achieve as we all remember events differently and particularly children end up with a skewed idea of what happened during childhood.

Bottom line, so far it doesn't work for me and I'm not sure if I can be bothered to finish it.

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 23:10

mrs spoon. I would finish it if I were you. Not that theres anything massivly revealing or spectacular, but it does meen you can give it away! If I dont finish a book it just sits on the shelf taunting me as the book I couldnt finish.....might be a bit ocd???just a thought

furcoatandnoknickers · 29/11/2007 23:10


MrsSpoon · 29/11/2007 23:21

LOL furcoatandnoknickers, the other option is to take it with me when I am away at the weekend with the intention of finishing it and leave it in the hotel?

RobertSmithStoleMyLipstick · 29/11/2007 23:42

not shohsa nonics, though she has spotted you

don't worry I haven't been in tea shop for ages but nice to know you can pop in whenever

MadamePlatypus · 30/11/2007 08:48

Finish it - its only short.

TillyBookClub · 30/11/2007 09:25

Well, I'm in the middle of talks with Anne's publicist to see if she can answer some questions for us via email. So furcoatnonics, I'll put your ones into my list - and add any others that anyone puts forward - post whatever you'd like to ask Anne here, and I'll let you know how we're progressing...

I am desperate to ask her if the abuse is meant to be a fact or not, but I have a suspicion she wouldn't answer that directly.

I also want to know if the husband was supposed to be unfaithful.

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