Review: The Gathering by Anne Enright

I’d like to state up front and unequivocally: Anne Enright is a brilliant writer. The Green Road is excellent, but The Gathering is overwrought and pretentious. It’s a hybrid of Gilead and Written on the Body with a curious fixation on genitalia. The book jacket makes it sound more interesting:

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, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester. As in all Enright’s work, her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction, and gives it back to us in a new unforgettable light.

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Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of those classics that everyone knows even if they’ve never read it. If you’ve been pushing it down your queue because you think you know enough about it—stop pushing! Even when you know the premise—that Dorian Gray retains his youthful, innocent appearance while his portrait ages and withers in his stead—it’s compulsively readable. The writing is sharp and descriptive, riddled with the kinds of one-liners that have made Oscar Wilde so quotable. read more

Review: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

At school, reading assignments could be likened to a game of Bingo: I noted whichever passages fit the professor’s lecture, then dug for a theme to tie a paper together. Reading the classics is almost fun again now. I say almost because Gulliver’s Travels goes on too long after making its points, but the first two sections are brilliant. The Writing and Style are very dated, but the Reader will adjust within a Chapter or two. read more

Reading Ireland Month 2017: Sign Up

Hooray! It’s time for the Reading Ireland Month 2017 challenge hosted by 746 Books and Raging Fluff. I really enjoy this challenge since it pushes me to read new authors and it’s wonderfully laid back without frantic check-ins or that horrible sense of “falling behind.” Blogging is supposed to be fun, right? 😛 If you’d like to join in, take a look at Cathy’s announcement on 746 Books for more information and an enticing list of Irish authors. read more