- Publisher: Black Swan
- Format: Paperback | 960 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 198mm x 46mm | 560g
- Publication date: 1 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0552773123
- ISBN 13: 9780552773126
- Sales rank: 202,674
'According to his mother, Jack Burns was an actor before he was an actor, but Jack's most vivid memories of childhood were those moments when he felt compelled to hold his mother's hand. He wasn't acting then.' Jack Burns' mother, Alice, is a tattoo artist in search of the boy's father, a virtuoso organist named William who has fled America to Europe. To fund her journey, she plies her trade in the seaports of the Baltic coast. But her four-year-old son's errant father can't be found, and soon even Jack's memories of that perplexing time are called into question. It is only when he becomes a Hollywood actor in later life that what he has experienced in the past comes into telling play in his present...
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John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.
By Penny Cunningham 28 May 2011
I found this book way too long, which was a real disappointment because I usually enjoy John Irvings stuff. It started out well, with John Burns and his mother looking for William his father. It had the usual amount of eccentric behavior from the main characters, including a tattoo artist, wrestlers and some very odd people!! but about half way through it started dragging on and on with way too much sex for a little boy to see and experience and behaviour that was weird to say the least.
Not one of my favourites I am afraid.
"John Irving has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger, but is arguably more inventive than either. Wry, laconic, he sketches his characters with an economy that springs from a feeling for words and a mastery of his craft" The Times "Irving writes with a lapidary directness that is unsurpassed by any living writer" Sunday Telegraph "It is very satisfying to read a book that is hard to put down, and if this were a more valued criterion, Irving would no doubt by now have received the official accolades he deserves" Financial Times "Vivid, eccentric, memorable" Independent "Irving's popularity is not too difficult to understand. His world really is the world according to everyone" Time