3.73 (4,056 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, Caribbean & Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award; Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish, but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon. Though Judah is a shocking addition, the town of Paradise Deep is already full of unusual characters. King-me Sellers, self-appointed patriarch, has it in for an inscrutable woman known only as Devine's Widow, with whom he has a decades-old feud. Her granddaughter, Mary Tryphena, is just a child when Judah washes ashore, but finds herself tied to him all her life in ways she never expects. Galore is the story of the saga that develops between these families, full of bitterness and love, spanning two centuries.
With Paradise Deep, award-winning novelist Michael Crummey imagines a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to discern. Sprawling and intimate, stark and fantastical, Galore is a novel about the power of stories to shape and sustain us.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 338 pages
  • 140 x 208 x 30mm | 399.16g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1590514343
  • 9781590514344
  • 195,122

Review quote

"[An] expansive lilting prose." --The New Yorker "This is the book that will win Crummey a permanent place in American readers' hearts. With Galore he has done something much more besides writing a compulsively readable book. He has created an unforgettable place of the imagination. Paradise Deep belongs on the same literary map as Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha and Garcia Marquez's Macondo." --The Boston Globe

"Like the two-faced ocean they pull their living from, Crummey's characters in this multi-generational unwinding are icy and surprising. The denizens of Paradise Deep and its neighboring town, the Gut, end up as twisted as the wind-tortured trees, making for a quirky quilt of personalities that might remind a reader of Annie Proulx's The Shipping News." --The Washington Post

"A glittering, fabulist tale...reminiscent of the work of Jean Giono, particularly Joy of Man's Desiring, and Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, Galore is a tale in which humans are confronted with the miraculous." --Los Angeles Times "In grand language and colorful storytelling, Michael Crummey traces through several generations the fortunes of two families from the outport of Paradise Deep in Newfoundland...This is a book to savor. You won't want to miss any of its delights: the tightly braided narrative skeins, the pathos and humor of the characters, the exotic flavor of a long ago time and place." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"In the annals of memorable family feuds, the Devines and the Sellerses deserve to be added to the Capulets and the Montagues and the Hatfields and McCoys...There's also something Faulknerian in Crummey's small-town myth-crafting." --Christian Science Monitor "Distinctive and unforgettable...It's a compelling, haunting portrait of hard lives in a hard place, and for American readers in particular, Crummey's Newfoundland may prove the definitive version." --Rain Taxi Review of Books "Mythic and gorgeous...Crummey lovingly carves out the privation and inner intricacies that mark his characters' lives with folkloric embellishments and the precision of the finest scrimshaw." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Newfoundland author Crummey's award-winning third novel...affirms that our lives are always astonishing. It's been justly compared to Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. It also calls to mind Graham Swift's Waterland and Alexis Wright's Carpentaria, as well as William Faulkner's epic Compson novels, and will appeal to readers who enjoyed those works." --Library Journal (starred review) "Ghosts, gangsters, mermen and a Christ-like healer who emerges from the belly of a beached whale are among the attractions in a boisterous, one-of-a-kind folk epic about feuding intermarried clans in Newfoundland...A lively, eccentric, mythmaking novel inspired by 200 years of Canadian history." --Kirkus Reviews

"A dense, sprawling tale of two families bound together by love, secrets, fate, and a mysterious stranger... Spanning two centuries of Canadian history and presented in Garcia Marquez-inspired magical realism fashion, Crummey's ambitious story of immigrant settlement, family alliances and clashes, heroism and failure is deeply moving and disquieting, sure to make some waves." --Booklist "Gratitude galore for Galore, a book so alive with enchantment I should not be surprised if it crawled right out of my hands and into the sea. Truly, a fantastic read." --Kate Bernheimer, author of The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold and editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me "Michael Crummey is a passionate storyteller. His world is intensely imagined and starkly real. Life leaps off the pages of Galore." --Jane Mendelsohn, author of I Was Amelia Earhart and American Music

"Michael Crummey's Galore is a fabulous, fable-filled ball of yarns such as I've never encountered before. Tall, but plausible tales, odd, eccentric but weirdly familiar characters, dialogue straight out of the mouths of outport Newfoundlanders, historicized fiction, fictionalized history--it has, as its title suggests, a super-abundance of good things. This is art, but not art full of solemn, self-importance. Galore is artfully, and seriously, entertaining." --Wayne Johnston, author of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

"It's an incredibly difficult task to make characters such as these work as human beings as well as elements of folklore, and Crummey does it with as much skill and grace as Gabriel Garcia Márquez does in One Hundred Years of Solitude." --The Globe and Mail "Pitch-perfect, boisterous...Galore is an endearing romp. For the language alone -- and there is so much more -- I loved the book." --National Post

"Michael Crummey's third novel injects an element of magic realism to convey an otherworldly quality ... a dense, intricate, and absorbing tale, rich in the nuances of human relationships." --Quill & Quire

"This economically told epic is masterful, written by a man with enough confidence to let his readers interpolate the meaning not only of certain words, but entire character arcs." --Toronto Star "Galore is an absolute pleasure. In Crummey's capable hands, the setting breeds magic... A complex narrative that feels effortless, yet is woven so tightly that the magnificent artistry of its creator cannot be ignored." --The Walrus

"In a sweeping story of several generations, Galore reveals the lives of the Irish and West Country English in rugged Newfoundland...Capturing the speech and temper of a primitive world, and communicating it perfectly, the writer delivers a masterpiece." --ForeWord Reviews
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About Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey is a poet and storyteller, and the author of the critically acclaimed novels River Thieves and The Wreckage and the short story collection Flesh and Blood. He has been nominated for the Giller Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Award, and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Canada for Galore. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
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Rating details

4,056 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,099)
4 36% (1,443)
3 24% (979)
2 10% (392)
1 4% (143)

Our customer reviews

Judah arrives in Paradise Deep, Newfoundland in the belly of a whale. He is cut out of the whale and joins a community full of unique characters. The story follows the families through multi-generations and many changes. This book screamed literature. It seemed like the type of book taught in advanced high school English classes. It had a dreamy mist about it that kept me from becoming immersed in the story. I felt a step removed the entire time I was reading it. The characters were definitely unique. And yet they seemed quintessionally Newfoundlander. Full of love and loyalty for the sea, and their special rock. The story reminded me of The Old Man and The Sea. I'm not sure how accurate the comparison is since I haven't read it since high school over 10 years ago, but within the first 20 pages, this is what I immediately thought. If anyone has read both stories more recently, perhaps you could tell me if my comparison makes sense. Overall, this was a very interesting read. It was a vast overview of life starting from the 1800s and progressing through several generations. The characters and families intertwine so complexly, and yet still make sense. I just wish I could have felt closer to the more
by Sarah Merchant
This is a wonderful, multi-generational tale of Newfoundland and it's inhabitants. It starts with a most extraordinary occurrence. As a whale is gutted on the beach, a human head emerges, followed by the rest of him. As the corpse is being carried away, it begins coughing. And we meet Judah, an albino who doesn't speak, with a body that continually reeks of a fish-smell. We also meet the myriad inhabitants of Paradise District, a fishing community, and follow their families through hopes, lost loves, betrayals, superstition, feuds, and secrets. We see the cutthroat competition of various churches as they arrive and attempt to recruit more members to their flock. We see the rise and fall of the Fishermen's Protective Union. We witness the hardship and nitty-gritty life brought on by a bad fishing season and a cutthroat merchant who determines what the fruits of the men's labor is worth. There is harsh poverty, injustice, intolerance and intrigue, and a hardy stock of people with the inner strength to triumph in spite of it all. This sweeping tale will pull you right in, and, just as in real life, the good guys don't always win. My only quibble with this is that I'd hoped for a different ending, but after I thought about it, I realized that the ending was actually fitting and true to the rest of the novel. A marvelous, epic, horizon-broadening tale, Galore is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction, drama, and the bonds of family and friends. QUOTES (from an eGalley; may be different in final copy): She took to leaving him in charge if she was called away from the school until the morning she came back to find a row of boys standing with their pants around their ankles and James Woundy measuring their hairless pecker with her wooden ruler. The girls writing numbers in careful rows on their slates as James called them out. It was the end of James Woundy's academic career and Ann Hope felt compelled to burn the ruler in the fireplace. The old woman was suffering the advanced stages of senility and she spent the meal cursing a long-dead husband who haunted her still. The entire household seemed quietly lunatic. Book Rating: 5 out of 5 starsshow more
by Julie Smith
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