A prayer for Owen Meany

(69 Posts)
qo Wed 12-Sep-12 12:50:15

I'm halfway through so no spoilers please grin

I am really struggling with this book, it's sooo boring that I can only manage a few pages at a time, every little point is dragged out and a lot of it seems meaningless to the story. I want to finish it, as it's regarded as a modern classic, and that the book only comes together at the end.

Please tell me if it's worth perservering with?

moonblushtomato Fri 26-Oct-12 21:01:22

I second Cider House Rules as being perfection, wonderful wonderful book smile

BumgrapesofWrath Fri 26-Oct-12 09:22:49

Persevere OP! Took me several attempts to read it, but it was honestly worth it. The ending is amazing... I haven't read a book as good as this since.

shyandquiet Thu 25-Oct-12 23:59:07

I thought it was rubbish. Slow. I just didn't get the message. If there was one.

tipp2chicago Sat 20-Oct-12 18:51:44

I read this when I was 18, and have read it, on average, every two years since. I seem to remember having trouble finishing it the first time, but it turned me into a huge Irving fan, though I do find some of his earlier stuff fairly experimental. Mind you, I'm having trouble with the most recent one, but I'm hoping to get back to it soon.

XiCi Sat 20-Oct-12 18:42:06

I loved it. Agree that the ending just blows you away, I think I actually sat and sobbed yet the book is also incredibly funny in parts. Its one of those books that stays with you long after youve read it.

It seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate. Id have happily just turned back to the front and started reading it again as soon as Id finished it.

valiumredhead Wed 17-Oct-12 13:08:36

I am with you too OP - I have really tried on numerous occasions to get into this book and failed every time!

iseenodust Wed 17-Oct-12 11:13:12

I'm with you OP. It was slow, I didn't warm to the characters and frankly it was just all too contrived. I read it to the end as it was a bookclub choice but I've no intention of seeking out more Irving.

Roark Wed 17-Oct-12 10:53:55

It's a great pro-religion story, without forcing the ideas of faith and destiny down your throat. The characters are brilliant; Owen in particular is strange, pitiful, frightening yet funny, lovely and bizarrely cool.

It's desperately sad, too, as Owen's story gathers pace as he grows up, the narrator drops just enough details of the lives of those in Owen's shadow, including his own.

And I loved the tiny, deadpan throwaway humour that peppers almost every page .. it's just lovely.

KeithLeMonde Tue 16-Oct-12 18:15:38

The ending absolutely blew my mind, but I was about 15 when I read it and haven't re-read it since, so I don't know whether it would stand up to a more mature reading. I really didn't like World According to Garp but have enjoyed other of Irving's books (Widow for One Year sticks in my mind).

MadameCoco Mon 15-Oct-12 22:19:19

OP, I posted an almost identical message on here about this book a few years ago. I started it after I had heard/read rave reviews about it but really wish I hadn't bothered. I found the haphazard chronology INFURIATING - one minute the mother is dead, then she's alive, then she's dead again. I had no empathy with any of the characters and really didn't care how it all worked out for them (this is most unusual for me).
It took me months to read it and I was so RELIEVED when I finally reached the end. I say abandon it - life's too short and there are so many better books out there.

gillythekid Mon 15-Oct-12 22:02:24

I read this book about 5 years ago and I remember laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I was never bored reading it, although I struggled with Until I Find You. On the whole, I find Irving to be a really engaging writer.

qo Mon 24-Sep-12 15:21:53

I've just ordered a visit from the goon squad, I can see poor Owen getting shelved for a bit longer!

Hmm - not sure - I am a big Irving fan but Owen Meany is not my favourite.

Should I re read it?

StarLane Mon 24-Sep-12 13:33:04

A Prayer for Owen Meany has to be in my top 10. Don't forget your hanky!

MurielTheActor Mon 24-Sep-12 10:51:43

Signing up for the Owen Meaney fan Club grin
I do think, though, that you have to love John Irving, or even just get him, to enjoy it.
The ending is seriously haunting - so if you want to be haunted, stay with it.
However, I would have to say that my fave John Irving is The Cider House Rules.
Perfection.

Nigglenaggle Sun 23-Sep-12 07:37:32

But...but.... oh OP please finish reading so can add spoilers heehee

AlmostAGoldHipster Sat 22-Sep-12 21:23:52

Isn't it funny how some of us adore this book and some hate it? It is my favourite book of all time - I fell in love with Owen years ago. It's the only book I've ever read that's made me want to believe in God. Very moving.

Booboostoo Sat 22-Sep-12 21:17:51

One of my all time favourite books...but if you don't like it read something else, there's no obligation to finish a book you don't like and if you don't like it now the ending is not going to affect you either way.

LauraPashley Sat 22-Sep-12 20:50:05

I think a widow for one year was my favorite? But agree with whoever says it depends when you read it- I LOVED them late teens/early 20s. Re-read lots of them when living in new england and loved them again. Now I dont feel like I have the time for his ramblings?!! Is cider house rules John irvine too? That was fab.

ggirl Sat 22-Sep-12 20:45:46

I managed about 2/3s and lost the will to live.

Loved this book when I finished it but I always seem to struggle with John Irving books...have had Hotel New Hampshire on the go for years now!

FancyBread Sat 22-Sep-12 17:48:43

I really enjoyed this book. I found it an easy read which, considering I have the attention span of your average toddler, is saying something.
I enjoyed most it not all of his books.

Nigglenaggle Sat 22-Sep-12 17:35:31

I have read three of his books now and the only one I really enjoyed was Hotel New Hampshire (although so sad!) Took me ages to read all three. The ending to a Prayer for Owen Meany annoyed me because it was so so stupid. Pointless. Getting Angry Just Thinking About It. Hehe let us know what you think if you finish it

hackmum Sat 22-Sep-12 13:09:17

I read it years ago and loved it at the time - for a while John Irving was my favourite writer (though not any more). I think the capital letters take a bit of getting used to, but the story was gripping and the ending made everything else fall into place.

Each to their own, I guess:-)

nooka Sat 22-Sep-12 02:54:08

Oh, and I read it first in my early 20s, and last in my late 30s.

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