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The Gathering Wins Man Booker, But…

29 November, 2007

Today I finished Anne Enright’s novel, The Gathering.

It pipped Mr Pip at the post for the Man Booker Prize. I can’t understand the judges’ decision.

The odds-on favourite, Lloyd Jones’s Mr Pip, is a great story. Another favoured contender, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, is also an absorbing story. The difference between these two and the winner is the style and structure. Both McEwan and Jones create a fairly straightforward story, albeit with great depth. Enright creates a fragmented story, where readers have to juggle the pieces to see what to make of the facts and conjectures raised by the story’s events and characters.

When I finished The Gathering, I felt only relief rather than the uplift of having been immersed in an imaginative and moving fictional world. Very disappointing.

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