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A Prayer For Owen Meany - If I hate it 1/3 of the way through, I should just give up shouldnt I?

(27 Posts)
McBalls Sat 09-Feb-13 23:06:52

I have this ridiculous guilt about not finishing books, but its making me want to punch myself in the mouth.

I detest the creepy, manipulative little fucker that is Owen Meany. I detest the way practically all female characters are assessed on how sexually attractive they are - especially the way its done with faux-innocence.

So...tell me its ok to pack it in, even better, tell me you hated it too, I seem to be the only one not to regard it as one of the best novels ever written.

PS: I hate it.

hugoagogo Sat 23-Feb-13 18:18:54

I absolutely loved it, not many characters that Irving writes are completely likeable, but I love his books.

Which is weird because my top reason for not finishing a book is un-likeable characters. <looks at the casual vacancy>

FakePlasticLobsters Sat 23-Feb-13 10:10:21

I hated it and left it three times before I finally finished it on the fourth try, and that time I loved it. I did reread it later on as well and still loved it, but it's been a long time since then so I might have to give it another go and see how I feel about it now.

StrawberryMojito Mon 11-Feb-13 20:09:56

I read if about 12 years ago and I know I loved it. However, I cannot remember anything at all about it, even with all of you talking about it. I also know I loved The World According To Garp more.

Not very helpful I know but I thought I'd share.

TheSecondComing Mon 11-Feb-13 20:04:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsFiddymont Mon 11-Feb-13 20:02:58

mcballs well done for getting as far as you did. I was recommended this book time and time again but hated it. Tried Wolf Hall three, yes three, times and hated it.

Rule of thumb: subtract your age from 100 and that is the amount of pages you should read to see if the book is worth reading grin.

Agree re feeling annoyed! I felt cheated by it.

redlac Sun 10-Feb-13 21:35:41

Hated it. Ditched it about a third in

timidviper Sun 10-Feb-13 21:34:38

I loved it and I loved the ending, I was shock for about 3 days after I read it.

drjohnsonscat Sun 10-Feb-13 21:31:03

Yep, hated it. Makes me quite annoyed even now just thinking about it - prob 15 years later!

5Foot5 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:31:36

I loved this too - I think it is one of Irving's best - BUT if you have read that much of a book and still hate it then definitely ditch it. I am not one of those people who can slog through a book I am not enjoying. What's the point? (Well unless you have to study it for an exam or something) Reading is meant to be a pleasure.

carlajean Sun 10-Feb-13 08:57:16

I'd say chuck it. Dogged perseverence got me through, as I know so many people who love it. It was OK (and quite funny now and again) but it's too big to read it just for that, IMO.I was very disappointed by the ending as well.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 09-Feb-13 23:52:47

I've had Captain Correlli out from the library 3 times and never got through it. Also gave up on Robinson Crusoe after he spent 3 chapters explaining how he dried grapes then got through meeting and marrying his wife in ONE SENTENCE. Those are the only two though!

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 09-Feb-13 23:37:37

I loved it, but I have never finished Middlemarch - it is one of the only books I possess which does not have the cover as I have tried to read it some many times but cannot get past the second chapter. And I have never finished Captain Correlli's Mandolin.

There are too many books out there to stress about the ones you don't enjoy.

twentythirteen Sat 09-Feb-13 23:33:04

I didn't live the OM character, I think his name lets us know how unsavoury he is, but I did love the book, I really liked all of his early works!

McBalls Sat 09-Feb-13 23:31:14

He really is overly preoccupied by sex, isnt he?

Emerging sexuality in children can be written in a really insightful/funny/sweet way but I dont think Irving is capable of any such thing.

All his passages about Hester, the boys when very young, just come off as creepy. I cant buy into it as it just screams old-bloke's-weird-projections.

Greythorne Sat 09-Feb-13 23:26:27

The "big reveal" at the end is utterly crap.

Ditch it. It's really irritating and about 350 pages too long. Would have made a half decent short story but it's a failure as a novel imho.

And Irving is obsessed by sex - the constant bonking is sooooooooooooooooo boring.

McBalls Sat 09-Feb-13 23:23:31

Those of you who loved it, did you also love OM?

Have I got him wrong, or is he supposed to be so utterly hateful?

TheOldestCat Sat 09-Feb-13 23:22:00

I LOVED IT. But it you hate it, give up now.

McBalls Sat 09-Feb-13 23:21:30


Greythorne Sat 09-Feb-13 23:20:02

Ditch it.

It is a real Marmite book. If you hate it now, you'll hate it all the way through. And you'll never want to see another UPPER CASE SENTENCE.

TheFarSide Sat 09-Feb-13 23:19:07

There's no point continuing if you can't engage with the main character.

I wouldn't have described OM as creepy and manipulative, but it's one of my favourite books of all time and to me he is a wise and caring hero. I guess people will always have different interpretations.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 09-Feb-13 23:18:32

I loved it (but strangely have no desire to read it again) and DH hated it.

I think if you were going to love it you would know already!

McBalls Sat 09-Feb-13 23:12:49

Oh god, youll probably love it, everyone else does.

<Punches self>

Tbh the only thing that kept me oing was the hop that there would be some big unravelling and OM's odiousness would become apparent, I even googled for clues that this was the case but see nothing but praise for the book and fondness for the character.

aladdinsane Sat 09-Feb-13 23:11:40

I loved it but life is too short to stick with it if you hate it
Be your own person and ditch it

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