- Publisher: Corgi Books
- Format: Paperback | 640 pages
- Dimensions: 107mm x 178mm x 38mm | 227g
- Publication date: 1 November 1989
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0552135399
- ISBN 13: 9780552135399
- Sales rank: 221,257
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John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, and he once admitted that he was a 'grim' child. Although he excelled in English at school and knew by the time he graduated that he wanted to write novels, it was not until he met a young Southern novelist named John Yount, at the University of New Hampshire, that he received encouragement. 'It was so simple,' he remembers. 'Yount was the first person to point out that anything I did except writing was going to be vaguely unsatisfying.' In 1963, Irving enrolled at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, and he later worked as a university lecturer. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, about a plot to release all the animals from the Vienna Zoo, was followed by The Water-Method Man, a comic tale of a man with a urinary complaint, and The 158-Pound Marriage, which exposes the complications of spouse-swapping. Irving achieved international recognition with The World According to Garp, which he hoped would 'cause a few smiles among the tough-minded and break a few softer hearts'. The Hotel New Hampshire is a startlingly original family saga, and The Cider House Rules is the story of Doctor Wilbur Larch - saint, obstetrician, founder of an orphanage, ether addict and abortionist - and of his favourite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted. A Prayer for Owen Meany features the most unforgettable character Irving has yet created. A Son of the Circus is an extraordinary evocation of modern day India. John Irving's latest and most ambitious novel is A Widow for One Year. A collection of John Irving's shorter writing, Trying to Save Piggy Sneed, was published in 1993. Irving has also written the screenplays for The Cider House Rules and A Son of the Circus, and wrote about his experiences in the world of movies in his memoir My Movie Business. Irving has had a life-long passion for wrestling, and he plays a wrestling referee in the film of The World According to Garp. In his memoir, The Imaginary Girlfriend, John Irving writes about his life as a wrestler, a novelist and as a wrestling coach. He now writes full-time, has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.
By Penny Cunningham 17 Jun 2010
I loved loved loved this book about Owen Meany a small but perfectly formed boy with an unusually distinctive high pithched voice that never breaks even as he gets older. The other children and women just can't help but touch him he is so perfect! He may be small but he has a HUGE personality and believes unequivocally that he was put here to do something big. He does not believe in accidents, but that everything happens for a reason. Even the fact that one day he hits a baseball so hard that it hits his best friends mother on the temple and she dies! He is devastated , as he loved his best friends mother even more than his own!!
His Best friend is John Wheelwright and the story is told by John about the 2 boys growing up during the 1960's, interspersed with accounts of him in the 80's after Owen has gone.
It is a heartwarming story that has you gripped with this friendship which is sometimes happy sometimes sad and mystifying.
There are other important issues throughtout the book,(one of which is the Vietnam war), that unfold as it goes along, sometimes we find out what has happened before it happens sometimes you are kept guessing.
There are some hilarious moments that had me cryign with laughter, John Irving's descriptions of some details in the book are sooo funny, but written in a very tongue in cheek way, one is the Natvity play and another is the event with the psychatrists car!! But the book is quite serious in its content too, as you will find out if you take the plunge and read it, as I sincerely hope you do.
I am so glad I read this book, I just loved it as I said earlier, and would give it 10 stars if I could. My reviewing skills just don't do this wonderful book justice.