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I have just read A Prayer For Owen Meany

(54 Posts)
HumphreyCobbler Tue 18-Aug-09 18:47:35

What a brilliant book it is.

I chose it as it has been mentioned so much on here, so thanks!

Apart from everything else, I loved it that it mentioned Robertson Davies with such insight and affection.

Really looking forward to reading some more of his now.

Rindercella Tue 18-Aug-09 18:50:23

It is a fantastic book. I read it ages ago and it has stayed with me. In fact, in it so fantastic that I must dig it out and read it again. smile

sayanything Tue 18-Aug-09 18:50:33

Ooooh I loved that book. I prefer John Irving's earlier books than his later ones - The World According to Garp, Hotel New Hampshire and The Cider House Rules.

BreevandercampLGJ Tue 18-Aug-09 18:53:47

His early stuff is his best, avoid his later stuff, I am a fully paid up member of the John Irving fan club and I am here to tell you it is a pile of poo.

Portofino Tue 18-Aug-09 18:55:30

I re-read it recently and thought it was even better than before. Maybe the wisdom of age wink. I love the Cider House Rules and Hotel New Hampshire too. Need to read more of them....

travellingwilbury Tue 18-Aug-09 18:55:45

I loved that book too , Hotel New Hampshire is a good one to try too .

HumphreyCobbler Tue 18-Aug-09 18:57:29

Thanks, Hotel New Hampshire it is then.

I am really looking forward to it smile

BreevandercampLGJ Tue 18-Aug-09 18:57:48


Setting Free the Bears (1968)

Water-Method Man, the (1972)

158-Pound Marriage, the (1974)

World According to Garp, the (1978)

Hotel New Hampshire, the (1981)

Cider House Rules, the (1985)

Prayer for Owen Meany, a (1989)

IMO after that it was all downhill.
Son of the Circus, a (1994)
Widow for One Year, a (1998)
Fourth Hand, the (2001)
Until I Find You (2005)

travellingwilbury Tue 18-Aug-09 18:59:15

I had forgotten World according to Garp , I loved that too

And I have to agree the later ones were pants

FrannyandZooey Tue 18-Aug-09 18:59:29

hotel new hampshire has my favourite franny in
in fact she is the reason i am franny in the first place

HumphreyCobbler Tue 18-Aug-09 19:04:45

cheers BreevandercampGJ, I would be gutted to read a crap one.

I am HumpreyCobbler after a character in a Robertson Davies novel he mentions in the book.

troutpout Tue 18-Aug-09 19:09:34

Fab book..i love Owen and Garp and Hotel New Hampshire and The cider House rules.
The early ones are 10 times better than the later ones..infact i gave up with 'until i find you'

BeckyBendyLegs Wed 19-Aug-09 07:33:19

Ooooh Prayer for Owen Meany is fab! As is Garp and Cider House. I agree that the early books are much more brilliant than the later ones. Garp would be in my top ten of books of all time. Bonky bit Garp! Garp bit Bonky! Love it.

HowlingCow Wed 19-Aug-09 20:41:06

My favourite bit is when Owen is dressed as baby Jesus and gets a little erection!!!!

sayanything Wed 19-Aug-09 21:20:25

Ok, you've made me dig it out of the shelf. I'm re-reading it now

"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice..."

CDMforever Wed 19-Aug-09 22:48:41

Breev, you are absolutely spot on - Irving's books really are rubbish after Meany. What went wrong. BTW my DS1's most special bear was named Winslow after Irving's middle name.

brimfull Wed 19-Aug-09 22:50:52

I read about 2/3s of it and got bored

FrannyandZooey Thu 20-Aug-09 18:36:17

god this thread is revelation
i thought it was me
am huge irving fan, have signed copy owen meany <gloat>
can't read his recent stuff, don't like it much at all

renaldo Thu 20-Aug-09 18:43:56

158 pound marraige is the best book on relationship dynamics between 2 couples that I have ever read
his current stuff is pants tho

deaconblue Fri 21-Aug-09 20:01:46

I loved it too. Had a huge John Irving phase in my early 20's. Garp was my first one of his and I thought it was amazing.

BelfastBloke Fri 21-Aug-09 20:53:48

Current stuff not pants. Is variable. Always worth sticking with.

deaddei Fri 21-Aug-09 21:47:59

Oh I love Owen Meany so much- and like most of you, Cider House Rules (good film- very weepy) and Hotel New Hampshire. I am going to re read it this weekend- sod the housework and family!!!

ttalloo Fri 21-Aug-09 21:59:07

You've all reminded me how much I love John Irving (and I so agree that his later books are a bit ropey), and must re-read Owen Meany, Garp, etc; I haven't read them in 15 years, and I don't know why - they're brilliant. I knew that he and I were made for each other when I read that he described The Heart of Darkness as the longest short novel ever written......

Maria2007 Sat 22-Aug-09 13:18:33

Like shoppingbagsundereyes I had a huge John Irving phase in my twenties. In fact, for a few years I went around saying Owen Meany was my favourite book ever. Strangely enough lots of other people I know have said the same: what is it about this book that makes people say not just 'I like it' but 'it's my favourite book ever'?!

Thinking back, I believe The world according to Garp was equally good. I also don't think I want to go back & reread these 2 books just in case they don't make such an effect now that I'm old & wise ;) (always horrible to be disappointed by a book you read in your childhood or 20s).

janeite Sat 22-Aug-09 13:23:23

I read my first Irving book last week on holiday, 'A Widow For One Year' - some of it I liked, especially the teenage boy's character (and as a man) but I thought it was far, far too long; had far too much sex in it (am not a prude but it all got a bit wearing) and I was disappointed by the ending.

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