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John Irving (1) (1942–)

Autor(a) de A Prayer for Owen Meany

Para outros autores com o nome John Irving, ver a página de desambiguação.

55+ Works 88,971 Membros 1,398 Críticas 673 Favorited

About the Author

John Irving published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Academy Award. (Publisher Provided) John Irving was mostrar mais born John Wallace Blunt, Jr. on March 2, 1942 in Exeter, New Hampshire. His named was changed to John Winslow Irving when his stepfather adopted him at the age of six. He was a dyslexic child and it took him five years to get through Exeter Academy, which is where his adoptive father taught Russian history. He received a B.A. (cum laude) from the University of New Hampshire in 1965 and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, in 1967, where he studied with Kurt Vonnegut Jr. His first novel was Setting Free the Bears (1969) but it wasn't until The World According to Garp was published in 1978, that he became a literary star. The novel spent six months on the bestseller list and won the American Book Award in 1980. It was also made into a movie in 1982 starring Robin Williams and costarring Glenn Close and John Lithgow. In 1981, he received an O. Henry Award for the short story Interior Space. Some of his other novels were also made into movies including The Hotel New Hampshire starring Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe; A Prayer for Owen Meany, which was titled Simon Birch starring Jim Carrey; and The Cider House Rules starring Michael Caine. He won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules in 2000. Irving also wrote two memoirs; one detailing his wrestling adventures entitled The Imaginary Girlfriend, and another concerning his novels made into Hollywood films entitled My Movie Business: A Memoir. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por John Irving

A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) 18,007 exemplares
The World According to Garp (1978) 15,097 exemplares
The Cider House Rules (1985) 11,603 exemplares
A Widow for One Year (1998) 8,317 exemplares
The Hotel New Hampshire (1981) 7,245 exemplares
The Fourth Hand (2001) 4,470 exemplares
Until I Find You (2005) 4,178 exemplares
A Son of the Circus (1994) 3,815 exemplares
Last Night in Twisted River (2009) 3,064 exemplares
The Water-Method Man (1972) 2,442 exemplares
The 158-Pound Marriage (1974) 1,991 exemplares
Setting Free the Bears (1968) 1,883 exemplares
In One Person (2012) 1,871 exemplares
Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (1993) 1,839 exemplares
Avenue of Mysteries (2015) 1,117 exemplares
The Imaginary Girlfriend (1996) 522 exemplares
My Movie Business: A Memoir (1999) 425 exemplares
The Last Chairlift (2022) 345 exemplares
3 by Irving (1968) 172 exemplares
The Cider House Rules [1999 film] (1999) — Screenwriter; Autor — 120 exemplares
The Hotel New Hampshire [1984 film] (1984) — Autor — 42 exemplares
Ruimte binnenshuis (1974) 24 exemplares
En bøn for Owen Meany / 1. bind (1992) 11 exemplares
La pensione Grillparzer (2009) 2 exemplares
In one person (Vol. 1 of 2) (2013) 1 exemplar
The Boston Review 1 exemplar
In one person (Vol. 2 of 2) (2013) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

A Christmas Carol | The Chimes | The Haunted Man (1995) — Introdução — 284 exemplares
Writers on Writing (1991) — Contribuidor — 90 exemplares
Simon Birch [1998 film] (1998) — Original book — 60 exemplares
How to Use the Power of the Printed Word (1985) — Autor — 29 exemplares
Cat and Mouse and Other Writings (German Library) (1994) — Prefácio — 28 exemplares
The Door in the Floor [2004 film] (2004) — Original book — 25 exemplares
Histoires à lire - huit nouvelles (1994) — Contribuidor — 24 exemplares
The Playboy Book of Short Stories (1995) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Liefde en bedrog: zeven hartstochtelijke verhalen — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Takes place in Amsterdam em Name that Book (Fevereiro 2013)
Group Read: The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving em 75 Books Challenge for 2012 (Julho 2012)
A Prayer for Owen Meany em Someone explain it to me... (Agosto 2011)
50 States Fiction and Nonfiction Reads em Fifty States Fiction (or Nonfiction) Challenge (Abril 2011)


It took me some time to think about why I loved this book so much. Parts of it were disturbing and hard to get through but in the end it was about an unconventional family that pulled each other through all of the things in life that they couldn't control, and managed to find happiness in their disfunction. I didn't love all of the characters but I loved their strengths and weaknesses and how they each identified with one another. Even though I sometimes find it hard to get through, I'm still a loyal John Irving fan :)… (mais)
jskeltz | 73 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
I've read ten of Irving's novels and this is the first one which I struggled reading. High expectations probably got in the way. I look forward to anything Irving writes and this was far from his best. It does have many features I've come to expect from an Irving novel. There's a doctor, a writer, a priest, an absent parent, fallen women, prostitutes, an Austrian connection, animals, contradictions, deformities, homosexuals, sex, Iowa, The University of Iowa, religion, reading, ruminating, and lots of imagery. Perhaps the most glaring omission is wrestling but there's lots of acrobats in the circus so maybe wrestling wasn't needed. The other thing missing is New England but there's some minimal action in Boston.

What sets this novel off from the rest of Irving's work is its location – India. While the main character claims to live in Toronto only a few pages of this 633 page tome are set in Canada. India is both the location and a character. In the forward Irving says he's only spent a month in India. Yet he writes like someone who is thoroughly familiar with the place. If he's off base I would never know. He sounds totally accurate in his description of the caste system, living conditions, religions, Gods, types of people, media, police, medical conditions, Bollywood obsession, etc.

A major aspect of this book is the circus. Irving portrays the circus as a safer place for kids than the mean streets on which they beg for their daily existence. He decides to rescue a boy and a girl by placing them with a circus which overlooks the basic problem of their total lack of talent and experience. There's a basic agreement. The circus will take these two on as long as they accept the rules and all the training they will need to be productive for the circus. One immediately opts out, she never really wanted this anyway. The boy buys in to the arrangement but falls victim to his desire to skywalk and overcome the limp from his foot having been stepped on long ago by an elephant. He falls to his death. So much for being a safer place.

Like most circuses there are dwarfs. The doctor believes by drawing the blood of the many dwarfs in the circus he may be able to locate a genetic marker which will predict the likelihood of a couple's offspring being a dwarf. The dwarf we follow through the book never permits his own blood being drawn but helps the doctor convince others to have their blood drawn. This independent dwarf has cars modified so he can drive them as taxis with hand controls. He and his wife wind up helping the Doctor throughout the story.

A surprising subplot is a murder mystery. We actually know who the murderer is early on so Iriving has to keep dropping new hints to keep this viable. One twist is that the murderer in the past twenty years has had a sex change operation so he's now a she. Interesting but this is really stretching credulity.

A more interesting subplot is the doctor's other side. He turns out to be a screenwriter of a series of movies starring his adopted son as a Detective that everyone loathes. Being loathed runs in the family. The Doctor's father was a famous surgeon and a staunch atheist with a propensity to challenge everyone. He made a slew of enemies. The father was assassinated.

Normally an Irving novel has at least a little eroticism. This one does but there's a twist. Instead of Irving composing his own erotic passages Irving has the Doctor and his wife go on a second honeymoon. It's low-key, they take their kids along. The Doctor discovers that the book his wife has brought along is a classic piece of 1960s erotica by a real author, James Slater. They decide to read passages from "A Sport and a Pastime" to each other with the desired effect. Seems like Irving's opted for erotica by proxy. It does virtually nothing to advance the plot but proves to be an interesting interruption.
… (mais)
Ed_Schneider | 38 outras críticas | Nov 21, 2023 |
En smått otrolig historia berättad med intensivt driv. En stor läsupplevelse
Humila | 192 outras críticas | Nov 6, 2023 |
Summary: The son of a former slalom skier tries to make sense of the ghosts he sees, the father he never knew, and the different ways people love, and fail to love.

John Irving has written a number of novels, at least several of which might be judged among the great American novels: Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and The World According to Garp. All of these were written in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Where does this, which Irving describes as his “last long novel” rank among these others? I’ll get to this by the end of this review.

This is definitely a long novel, 889 pages in my edition. It spans the lifetime of the narrator, Adam Brewster, from his conception in 1941 until 2021–eighty years. His mother, Rachel “Little Ray” Brewster was an off-the-podium slalom skier in the 1941 Olympics in Aspen. She comes away, not with a medal, but a pregnancy, after a brief affair with an attractive young boy hanging around the Jerome Hotel who she never contacts again. She describes Adam as her “one and only,” which has more than one meaning for her.

He’s raised mostly by his grandmother and increasingly demented grandfather, the “Diaper Man.” Little Ray is gone in the winter months, working as a ski instructor and living with Molly, a trail groomer. But she and Adam are close–in fact so close she sleeps with him into adolescence–including one instance with unconsummated sexual overtones.

An English teacher in town eventually becomes a mentor. Elliot Barlow coaches wrestling as well as Adam’s writing aspirations. He’s small, but strong not only physically but in other ways. Adam, who hates skiing, despite his mother, takes to snowshoeing with Elliot. Little Ray meets him and they fall for each other.

Their wedding is a series of bizarre incidents including everyone overhearing niece Nora and her companion, the mute Em as Em climaxes. The wedding is accompanied by a zithermeister. A storm hits and the Diaper Man is electrocuted. And Adam stumbles upon his mother and Molly in bed together. It turns out that the marriage of Little Ray and Elliot is cover for both, even though they really do love each other, but not as man and wife. Elliot wants to be a woman, and eventually transitions and becomes “she.”

Adam learns that there are many ways for people to love each other. And the book depicts many ways people have sex with each other, including Adam in his attic, along with the ghosts, which literally scare the crap out of one girlfriend. In fact, the book seems to describe the varieties of sexual relationship other than a reasonably healthy marital one (Adam’s son is conceived before his marriage). And we hear about it in several chapters set at the Gallows, a New York comedy club where Nora and Em have an act, Two Dykes, One Who Talks. Nora does the talking and Em mimes, off stage as well as on. It is an odd set of relationships and yet they all care deeply for each other, and especially for Adam.

I mentioned ghosts. Adam not only sees the ghost of the Diaper Man, who hangs about the house, but a group that hangs around the Jerome Hotel–miners, Mr. Jerome, a maid, and others including a small, young, early adolescent boy wearing an oversized sweater and girlish ski hat. Unlikely as it seems, he begins to wonder if this might be his father. Then he sees the work of screenwriter and actor Paul Goode, whose resemblance to both the boy and to Adam himself is striking. Adam wonders if his own growing talent as a writer and his screenwriting aspirations come from his father.

There are two climactic scenes at the Jerome, both marked with tragedy. Both are written as screenplays rather than regular text and in them Adam encounters Goode, all too briefly. More significantly, they mark a transition of Adam from a serial lover to a father, even as his own marriage is breaking up and he is transitioning to the most enduring, albeit, unusual relationship that lasts to the end of the book.

The last chairlift. Chairlifts are a place of death throughout this novel, one tragic and others where the last chairlift marks a fitting coda on the lives of those brought down the mountain for the last time. One wonders if Irving sees this story as a coda, a last chairlift in his life. He explores in unconventional ways the themes of love and death so basic to literature, the sexual politics of his (and my) generation including the neglect of the Reagan administration toward AIDs, as well as the search for a missing parent that haunts so many young.

So what do I make of this work? Overall, I felt it undisciplined and overlong. I wonder if it tries to do too much. It seemed at times like a series of short stories (or screenplays) written by the narrator stitched into a book relatively unedited. Yet Irving gives us memorable characters, humorous moments, and a complicated yet coherent plot arc. I don’t consider it among his greatest works yet it bears the marks of his skill and his sensibilities. And for many readers, that is reason enough to engage “this last long novel.”
… (mais)
BobonBooks | 16 outras críticas | Oct 9, 2023 |


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Oliver Stapleton Director of photography
Jabik Veenbaas Translator
Sjaak Commandeur Translator
David Watkin Cinematography
Tjadine Stheeman Translator
Susan Sontag Contributor
Yanik Teeuwisse Translator
Richard Russo Contributor
Judith Rossner Contributor
Piet Verhagen Translator
Alice Walker Contributor
Sue Miller Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
Bobbie Ann Mason Contributor
Mea Flothuis Translator
Parma van Loon Translator
Ann Beattie Contributor
Michael Chabon Contributor
L. Coutinho Translator
Pieter Cramer Translator
Michael Herr Contributor
Oscar Hijuelos Contributor
Alice Hoffman Contributor
Jamaica Kincaid Contributor
Carol Limonard Translator
Kristiina Rikman Translator
Nettie Vink Translator
Joe Barrett Narrator
Christopher Brown Cover artist
Jürgen Abel Übersetzer
Nikolaus Stingl Translator
Hans Hermann Translator
Irene Rumler Translator
Edith Nerke Translator
Jürgen Bauer Translator
Michael Walter Translator
Helmut Schneider Interviewer
Erich Haider Afterword


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