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A Prayer for Owen Meany

(60 Posts)
Illhaveawhitewineplease Wed 17-Nov-10 20:38:55

My first post on MN and thought I would start here rather than the scary AIBU...
So, based on rave reviews and a personal recommendation, I started reading the above. Am now on page 132 and have so far not been drawn in.
I am finding the lack of chronology quite trying i.e. his mother was alive, then she was killed, then she was alive again, then there were a load of statistics about the Vietnam War, then it was back to the aftermath of the mother's death.
Is it like this all the way through? Why should I persevere?

thesecondcoming Wed 17-Nov-10 21:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iloveblue Wed 17-Nov-10 21:21:17

I also found it hard to get into but it is worth it, i promise.

Beamur Wed 17-Nov-10 21:21:45

Keep going a bit more...

dearprudence Wed 17-Nov-10 21:22:03

It's a long time since I read it. I remember it being odd in structure, but it's really an amazing book. It was one of those I kept thinking about for ages afterwards.


silverfrog Wed 17-Nov-10 21:25:48

it is utterly fabulous.

one of my most favourite books ever.

keep going a bit more, it really does get better

lalalonglegs Wed 17-Nov-10 21:37:07

Like prudence, it was a long time ago but I remember loving it (and reading several other Irving books after that one and not enjoying them less and less - got fed up with buxom women and German interludes).

bosch Wed 17-Nov-10 21:38:31

Heard it dramatised/serialised on radio, meant to read it after but forgot, thanks for the reminder. I LOVED it on the radio.

Rindercella Wed 17-Nov-10 21:42:46

A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my favourite books ever. It can be hard going at first, and Irving does get drawn into Vietnam stats, but despite this it is utterly, utterly brilliant.

I am finally, after a few years in baby madness book wilderness, ready to start reading again. I would love to re-read this before I read anything else.

FairyArmadillo Wed 17-Nov-10 21:43:18

Read this back in 2003 and loved it. Was my first experience of Irving. I couldn't get into his other stuff.

orangina Wed 17-Nov-10 21:47:03

LOVED it. One of my favourite books ever. Mind you, I didn't have to "persevere", I just loved it.

It made me cry.

ByTheSea Wed 17-Nov-10 21:49:22

I loved this book, read it eons ago. That said, I've been a big John Irving fan for over 30 years now.

smellyfeet Wed 17-Nov-10 21:55:48

I have been reading it for 3 years! I still cannot get into it.
When will it get going? Will I get to the end and then think back and like it, or is there a turning point?

AgentProvocateur Wed 17-Nov-10 22:14:43

You'll get to the end and go, "OMG! It all makes sense," and then you'll realise it's one of the best books you've ever read.

You'll then recommend it to all your friends, and you'll secretly go a wee bit off the ones that don't like it as much as you. wink

Hassled Wed 17-Nov-10 22:16:29

Oh persevere, please. It's a great, great book. And what Agent said.

Portofino Wed 17-Nov-10 22:19:03

Yes, it all seems a bit loopy in places, then as AgentP says, you think " Wow! Now I understand!" and have to read it again...

piratecat Wed 17-Nov-10 22:19:09

won't read the thread, but i picked it up just today in library, cos i'd heard it was 'someone's' fave book ever, sleb i like. Can't remember who.

will watch this thread and return!

Portofino Wed 17-Nov-10 22:20:35

I love how everyone is so drawn to Owen, even the girls, and spent ages trying to imagine what he might look like, and how his squeaky voice would sound.....

stainesmassif Wed 17-Nov-10 22:33:32

absolutely loved it, but i do think irving is a bit of an acquired taste.

having said that, owen is one of the greatest literary heroes of the 20th century.

i cried.

oricella Wed 17-Nov-10 23:02:17

because you'll never be able to see a nativity play without a secret smile on your face...

Portofino Wed 17-Nov-10 23:39:56


I cried too.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 18-Nov-10 09:25:50

Yes it is worth sticking with, it's a long time since I read it but I still have very fond memories! I liked the film too, although it's quite different from the book, as far as I remember only the characters are the same - the plot is totally different!

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Thu 18-Nov-10 13:41:37

The narrative structure is not that complicated is it? John in modern day, talking about his life now, alternated with what happened back then.

Owen is indeed a literary hero.
I re-read this book every couple of years, and have discovered some new aspect to it every time.

And yes, I cried.
In fact, the first time I finished it, I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

And yy to the nativity, utterly brilliant in every possible way

thesecondcoming Thu 18-Nov-10 15:36:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mountainmonkey Thu 18-Nov-10 16:10:33

One of my favourite books, though I haven't read it for years. Am making DP read it atm (he hardly ever reads novels)but he doesn't seem to be sharing my enthusiasm so maybe its not for everybody.

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