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Galore Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 11 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; Canadian First edition (Aug. 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385663145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385663144
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Beth C. on Aug. 11 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had occasion to read an Advance Reading Copy of Michael Crummey's third novel, Galore. It's the first Michael Crummey I've read, and I now know I need to read anything else by him I can get my hands on.

A multi-generational tale of community, Galore is set in a small fishing village in Newfoundland - exactly when and exactly where are not revealed. The story begins with the death of a whale, and a shocking discovery inside its belly.

It tracks generations of two families, the Sellers and the Devines, and their rivalries, grudging inter-dependence, secret romances and superstitions.

The village is entirely dependent on the mercy of the ocean - to provide their food, to return their sailors home safe, to not wash away their homes. Year after year, babies are born, people die, people marry, hopes are raised and dashed, and the ocean is there for it all, along with the mystery the dead whale brought.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. Galore is a treat to read, by turns dark and slippery, funny and quirky, heartbreaking and tragic, and the people feel real enough to touch. Their stories can't be put down. I recommend it highly.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lauren B. Davis on Sept. 26 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how I can say this any more clearly: BUY THIS BOOK!

Michael Crummey who is a friend and a writer I admire, I'll admit that off the bat, has done a remarkable job with this book.

Galore is a book inspired by the mythology of Newfoundland. I'm going to quote from the Globe and Mail review here because I simply can't say it any better:

"The novel opens with a group of people in the fictional Newfoundland outport of Paradise Deep, slaughtering a whale that has inexplicably beached itself. Young Mary Tryphena watches as the body of a man, pale and stinking, is cut from the whale's belly. Her grandmother, an old crone named Devine's Widow, defies the town oligarch, King-me Sellers, and has the man carried up the hill to prepare him for a proper burial.

"The man, it turns out, is in fact alive, though he cannot speak a word. In the spirit of compromise and illiteracy, he is given the name of Judah. He never does utter a word, and he never loses his stench, but his presence ignites a spark in Paradise Deep that sustains the story for multiple generations.

"Crummey's prose is flawless. He has a way with the colloquial that escapes many writers, an ability to make the idiosyncrasies of local speech an asset in creating an image in the reader's mind.

''They'd scaled the whale's back to drive a stake with a maul, hoping to strike some vital organ, and managed to set it bleeding steadily. They saw nothing for it then but to wait for God to do His work and they sat with their splitting knives and fish prongs, with their dip nets and axes and saws and barrels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Gray TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 19 2010
Format: Hardcover
I heard the author interviewed on CBC and thought the book sounded interesting. Interesting doesn't come near covering it. It was a totally mesmerizing and fantastic tale of the hardships and superstitions of life in a remote settlement of early Newfoundland. Crummey writes in a language that puts you right there in the midst of the community with all its beauty and its warts.

If I have any complaints at all, they would be two. First, though I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, I found his extensive use of foul language a bit unnecessary and took a bit of getting used to. I don't think it added any realism that the rest of the story didn't already have and the book would have been better if it had been toned down a little.

The second problem I had was with the sheer number of characters to follow. At times I found myself flipping back to see how this person was related to that person. With all the families involved, it became pretty complex.

The two problems were minor enough that I still highly reccommend the book to anyone with an interest in social dynamics of isolation, or even just an interest in early life in a remote area. A very powerful read that will keep you thinking about the characters and situations long after you have closed the back cover.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An incredible accomplishment. Worth the dizzying pace of fabulous names depicting generations of life in Newfoundland. A beautifully written and creative tale that tells the folklore stories from early settlers right to the turn of the 20th century. Outstanding research and just a great read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Sept. 14 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow - this fall has produced some fantastic novels by Canadian authors.

My latest discovery is Galore by Michael Crummey, released from Random House Canada.

Galore opens sometime in the past in rural Newfoundland. It is hard times and the locals are respectfully waiting for a whale to die before they butcher it. Devine's Widow slices open the belly and a naked man falls out. As they carry him to the graveyard, he suddenly awakes. Unknown to any of them, he cannot tell them who he is, as he is mute. They christen him Judah and his life is inevitably woven into the tapestry, lives and memories of the people of Paradise Deep.

Paradise Deep is an isolated fishing port, insulated from the rest of the country by geography and tradition. Populated by characters both unusual, yet captivating, Galore is a mesmerizing read. It traces the intertwined lives of the residents through many generations. There is a magical feel to the book. Devine's Widow placed a curse many years ago on King-Me Sellers and his descendants. She is feared, yet revered by many. The fact that it is she who takes in Judah further builds her legend. Galore is the story of these two families and their descendants.

There are supernatural elements introduced, many taken from Newfoundland folklore and legends that Crummey discovered while researching his book. Baptism by passing a child through the branches of an ancient apple tree, a ghost who is seen by many but refuses to leave, superstitions and traditions that are accepted as part of their lives.

Dr. Newman, an American who comes to Paradise Deep "felt at times he'd been transported to a medieval world that was still half fairy tale."

But it is also the story of a rugged land and the resilient people who populate it.
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