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John Irving Message Board 1/26/2006 4:41:32 PM
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Author Irving's Book Reviews

A Prayer for Owen Meaney
Owen Meany spends his life searching for the meaning of religion. Owen and his best friend, John Wheelwright, grow up in New Hampshire in the 1960's. Owen is an instrument in John's mother's death, and Owen spends his entire, short life trying to figure things out....
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Adult teacher John Wheelwright recalls the accidental death of his mother at the hands of his childhood best friend, Owen Meany - a physically disabled boy who believes he is God's instrument. John recounts their subsequent upbringing and friendship over the course of the next 20+ years, unravelling the mystery of his mother's life, his friend's death, and his own paternal heritage, in explanation of his religious faith. ...
A Son of the Circus
Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla, an Indian orthopedic doctor, living in Canada, revisits his native land periodically to work with crippled children. He also has a secret life as the screen writer for the Inspector Dhar movie series. Twenty years before the novel's start, Dr. Daruwalla had attended to the bodies of two murder victims in Goa. The murderer, a transvestite about to become a transsexual was never caught. Murders have continued marked by the same m....
A Widow For One Year
Ruth Cole is a little girl when the first section of this book, set in 1958, opens. Her father is an author world famous for his children's book. But he really doesn't like to write - what he really likes to do is draw. And what he really likes to draw is young mothers, women whom he seduces one after another. Her mother knows about his affairs - which obviously anger her. Still, she is preoccupied with the couple's two sons, who were killed several...

Irving booklist

Imaginary Girlfriend
In this memoir, bestselling author John Irving intersperses stories of his wrestling career (he both wrestled as a student and coached wrestling) with stories about teaching and writing. An undiagnosed dyslexic, Irving struggled through his private high school. In the Imaginary Girlfriend, he talks about why wrestling was satisfying for him and how it prepared him for later life. One thing he talks about is how little talent actually had to do wit...
The 158 Pound Marriage
Four people enter into a swingers relationship where they swap partners, but jealousy and pettiness cause problems. The main character is an unnamed college professor who writes unsuccessful historical novels on the side. The narrator's wife is called Utchka, or Utch. She is from a small Austrian village. When she was a girl the russians invaded her town during world war two and rapped and killed her mother whilst she hid inside the corpse of a cow. ...
The Cider House Rules
Homer Wells is an orphan. He has been adopted several times, but he always returns back to the orphanage. He is raised by Dr. Larch, the doctor of the orphanage. When Homer gets older he feels a need to experience the world, he leaves the orphanage and starts a life of his own. The novel follows Homers life as he grows to be a man....
The Fourth Hand
Random House, Jul 2001, 26.95, 316 pp. ISBN: 9375506276 Drop dead gorgeous hunk Patrick Wallingford is covering the Great Ganesg Circus in Junagadh, India following up on the death of a male trapeze artist and the fight over using safety nets. When the lions begin roaring, Patrick takes his microphone and sticks it inside the cage only to have a hungry beast sever his left hand and wrist while on international TV. Patrick knows that h...
The Hotel New Hampshire
The Hotel New Hampshire takes place in hotels, in New England and in Vienna, during the Nazi era. The novel features the Berry family: father Win Berry and his wife, and their children Franny, John, Frank, Lily and Egg, and is told from the point of view of John. Each of these chracters is extremely quirky, and the cause or victim of exceedingly odd circumstances. Win is an often absentee father obsessed with his motorcycle and his bear, State of Ma...
The World According to Garp
The World According to Garp is often billed as a coming-of-age novel, but in fact spans T.S. Garp's entire life, beginning with his unconventional conception by his feminist mother, Jenny Fields, and his father, a brain-damaged, dying World War II fighter plane gunner. Much of the novel does focus on his upbringing by his mother, a nurse who later becomes a controversial feminist writer & icon. Jenny's influence is evident in every aspect of the novel;...

John Irving list of books

Until I Find You
Jack Burns begins life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His mother is a tattoo artist and his father is an "ink addict", meaning that he wants to have every inch of his skin tattooed. His father quickly leaves the family. Jack and his mother move to Toronto. He goes to school at a mostly all girls school. He excels at drama, but usually plays women's parts. When he grows up, he becomes an actor. His specialty is transvestite roles. He is unhappy because ...


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