Picture of author.
39 Works 443 Membros 11 Críticas

About the Author

Anna Porter was born in Hungary and personally experienced the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. A celebrated former publisher in Canada, she is the author of five previous books, including The Storyteller, a memoir of her family through seven centuries of Hungarian history. She lives in Toronto.

Includes the name: Anna Porter

Image credit: Portrait on "Profile" page of author's official website


Obras por Anna Porter

The Bookfair Murders (1997) 41 exemplares
Gull Island: A Novel (2023) 40 exemplares
The Storyteller (2000) 31 exemplares
Mortal Sins (1987) 24 exemplares
Hidden Agenda (1985) 21 exemplares
The Appraisal (2017) 21 exemplares
Farewell to the '70s (1979) 6 exemplares
In My Family (2003) 5 exemplares
Bookfair Murders (1997) 5 exemplares
Eyes (2003) 5 exemplares
Our Favorite Food (2003) 4 exemplares
Animal Close-Ups (2003) 4 exemplares
Our Market (2003) 3 exemplares
Sharing the Environment (2007) 2 exemplares
Agenda oculta (1985) 2 exemplares
Tell Me a Story (2007) 2 exemplares
For my family 1 exemplar
Our Favourite Food 1 exemplar
A Moscow Diary 1 exemplar
Los ojos 1 exemplar
Cuidando A Chispa 1 exemplar
Going Swimming (2003) 1 exemplar
Lobos-paired books 1 exemplar
How Do Plants Grow Here? (2003) 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



This book was a major disappointment.

Jude Bogdan returns to her family’s cottage on a private island in Georgian Bay. Her mother, who is dealing with encroaching dementia, wants Jude to look for her father’s will after his mysterious disappearance a month earlier. Besides searching for the will, Jude also scours her memories and looks through old photos for evidence that she was loved. But all she finds and remembers is a dysfunctional family with a distant mother, a cruel father, a jealous sister, and her mother’s mysterious friend Eve.

It becomes clear early on that Jude is an unreliable narrator. She spends most of her time operating in a fog of alcohol so her memories are clouded. She drinks so much she doesn’t remember how much she drinks and even experiences blackouts. While at the cottage, she has to contend with solitude, darkness, and wildlife. The crows and gulls seem hostile, and she keeps hearing strange noises and encountering foul odours. The reader cannot but wonder what is real and what are just overwrought imaginings or inebriated hallucinations. Jude even questions her own sanity.

And things are complicated by the fact that we are given only Jude’s point of view: we are privy only to her version of events and her perception of what is happening. In the present, she never interacts with anyone; only in flashbacks is there any direct dialogue. Since no one else is present, the reader has no way of gauging the accuracy of Jude’s reactions to what she sees and hears. Jude’s narration often goes in circles as she returns to objects or events, but the reader is left to try and determine if these repetitions have deeper meaning or implications.

I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters. They are all unlikeable. Mother never hugged Jude; her sister Gina saw her son William only as a burden; and Father can only be described as a monster. Actually Murray Bogdan is almost a cartoon villain; he’s unfeeling, self-centred, and emotionally and physically abusive. He’s involved in unsavoury business dealings and enjoys killing animals. Of course, everything we learn about him is through Jude so the reader must be cautious of her vilifications.

Jude discovers some facts about her past and her family members while she is at the cottage. I don’t know whether these discoveries were intended to be shocking, but they’re not. What she learns about her birth, Scoop’s death, William’s death, and her father’s illegal business transactions are obvious almost from the beginning.

The one surprise is the ending. It is abrupt and will undoubtedly leave the reader confused. I understand what Jude did and why, but . . . there are many unanswered questions. Normally, I’d go back and re-read the book to see what clues I’d missed, but I was so bored while reading it that I am not going to repeat the drudgery.

I cannot recommend this book. It’s very slow. Jude is frightened by noises she hears, and I assume these are supposed to create suspense. I found, however, that because they are mentioned so often, they just become annoying. Maybe if I were to read it while alone on a remote island I might have a different reaction.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).
… (mais)
Schatje | 2 outras críticas | Dec 28, 2023 |
Gull Island is Anna Porter's new novel.
Jude's father has not been seen in almost a month. Him disappearing is not unusual, but Jude's mother wants her to look anyway. One of the last places left to look is Gull Island, a private island and home to the family cottages. It's early in the season still with snow still on the ground. She doesn't think he'll be there, but her mother has also asked her to look for some documents.

The lead characters is of course Jude. Everything we see and hear is from her view and perceptions. With every new picture she finds or a treasure found from her younger days, memories of her childhood are remembered and inspected.

Is what she remembers the truth? Has she covered up the ugliness and hidden it away all these years? As a reader, can I believe what she is saying and seeing? Why? Well, Jude is a (very) unreliable narrator, for a number of reasons. She's a raging alcoholic for one. But what about the noises she's hearing? This uncertainty kept me turning pages to the final chapter. I had to know what the truth was. Porter teases the reader, dropping foreshadowing many times and alluding to what happened in the past.

"My dreams were leeching into my consciousness, making it hard to know what was real. That's all. I had to focus."

Porter has given us a detailed setting for the novel. I was able to easily build the island in my mind.

Gull Island is a slow burning read, one that takes the reader through a disturbing exploration of a dysfunctional family
… (mais)
Twink | 2 outras críticas | Sep 8, 2023 |
Premise & setting were both unique compared to what I normally read, which I appreciated. Story itself was intriguing & made me want to continue reading more. However, the writing style & quantity of characters made the story difficult to follow at times. Ending also seemed a bit rushed. However, I enjoyed this book overall.
brp6kk | Dec 10, 2021 |
This book is about Anna Porter's life in book publishing in Canada. It is too impersonal to call a memoir as it doesn't talk much about her personal life....just a bit ....but does go into some detail about the publishing trade and the authors she's worked with. It's a veritable who's who of Canadian writing and, as a major fan of Canadian literature and political writing, I really enjoyed it.

And now, I have more than a few more titles on my TBR list!
LynnB | 1 outra crítica | May 7, 2019 |


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