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Shall We Gather at the River by Peter Murphy
  

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Focused around 9 unconnected suicides in a flooded small town in Ireland, Shall We Gather at the River is a rich, dark and unexpectedly comic novel. Charismatic Enoch O’Reilly is a preacher but he also communes with Elvis although he’s our protagonist this is an exquisitely interwoven narrative of many lives and many stories, brilliantly executed.

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Synopsis

Shall We Gather at the River by Peter Murphy

Shall We Gather At The River tells the story of Enoch O'Reilly, the great flood that afflicts his small town, and the rash of mysterious suicides that accompany it. Charlatan, Presleyite and local radiovangelist, O'Reilly is a man haunted by the childhood ghosts of his father's sinister radio set...a false prophet destined for a terrible consummation with that old, evil river. A suicide mystery and a rich patchwork narrative of legend, myth, occult inheritance, eco-conspiracy, viral obsession, airwaves, water and death, Shall We Gather At The River is a spellbinding piece of work, marked by prose that is by turns haunting, poetic and blackly humourous. With shades of Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, of Twin Peaks and Wisconsin Death Trip, Shall We Gather At The River is a novel that will further cement Murphy's reputation as one of the most original and exciting novelists to emerge in recent years.

Reviews

At its best, the book operates almost like a collection of linked short stories, and there are sections that stand alone as absorbing performances in their own right. The prose is both evocative and slippery, characterised by a kind of evasive bombas ... the effect of the book is, quite appropriately, like that of listening to a shortwave radio being flicked up and down the frequencies ... there are enough moments of poignancy and lyrical force to make tuning in a worthwhile endeavour. -- Mark O'Connell Sunday Business Post

Murphy's rural Ireland feels thrillingly unpredictable, if not downright malevolent ... Murphy rightly eschews easy answers when it comes to explaining the tragedy and, at its best, his prose is as eerily hypnotic as the river of the book's title. -- Daragh Reddin Metro

About the Author

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy is a senior writer for Dublin's Hot Press, and has contributed to Rolling Stone and Music Week. He is also a regular guest on RTE's arts review show The View, and has contributed liner notes to the forthcoming remastered edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music. He lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd April 2014

Author

Peter Murphy

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Author's Website

mrpetermurphy.com/about/

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Publisher

Faber & Faber

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780571286768

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