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Libertà per gli orsi

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,045 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
Il libro che ha segnato l'esordio narrativo e il genio di John Irving.
Un romanzo indimenticabile per la felicità dell'invenzione, l'abilità narrativa, la ricostruzione di ambienti, luoghi e situazioni e che, pur nella sua apparente semplicità, è anche un grande elogio alla libertà. Due giovani studenti universitari, Siggy e Graff, che lasciano Vienna - in perfetto stile "E
Paperback, I Grandi Tascabili - Best seller #500, 334 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Bompiani (first published 1968)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Like many people, I have read and enjoyed some of John Irving's novels. My particular favourites were: A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp and A Son Of The Circus.

Perhaps not as well known is his debut novel, Setting Free the Bears.

Disaffected student Hannes Graff hooks up with free-wheeling motorcycle enthusiast Siegfried (Siggy) Javotnik and they embark on a picaresque jaunt across Austria, encountering many odd individuals, both human and otherwise, along the way. Javotnik h
Jan 13, 2012 Noce rated it liked it
Autocertificazione di sana e robusta costituzione letteraria.

Salve a tutti.

Sono “Libertà per gli orsi”. Sì, il libro di Irving, proprio quello, sono io.

Sono approdato in casa di questa tipa con la testa un po’ per aria, che in Internet pretende di farsi chiamare Noce Moscata, quando io l’avrei chiamata invece Prezzemolo, data la continuità con cui me la trovo tra i piedi e la costanza con cui ha preteso negli ultimi giorni di essere accompagnata dappertutto: dal dentista, in una stanzetta d’atte
Mar 30, 2010 Caleb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I quit on this book. The first hundred pages, which involve an adventure through Austria by two young lads on a motorcycle is enjoyable, if a little vapid. The remaining 250 pages, which changes dramatically in tone and format, is excerpts from a diary of one of those two guys and is painfully dull to read. I struggled through 100+ pages of this, wanting to get back to the narrative but it didn't come and so I quit. There are too many good books around to waste your time on something as unremark ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The perversion and absurdity of this story could only possibly mean one thing. That is is an Irving tale.

'Setting Free the Bears' was entertaining for exactly the same reasons that I have enjoyed everything I have ever read by Irving since first picking up Owen Meany in highschool (middleschool?).

The long, rather drawn out tale of Siggy's 'pre-history' as found in his notebook is, well, rather long and drawn out. Though it is tough to get through, this point is acknowledged by the author as part
Dec 06, 2008 Wendy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book because I've loved everything else by John Irving. This book is bad, really bad. It was so bad I couldn't even finish it.
Jim Ruiz
May 07, 2010 Jim Ruiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Irving is my favorite author. This may be surprising to some because I am not what I consider the L.L. Bean, preppy type, in my opinion anyway. I decided to read his first book after giving up on his last one. I decided why not start at the very beginning and start over again.
John Irving has some reoccurring themes in his books, bears, accidents, strange sexual behavior. There is a good illustrative graph if you Wiki John Irving. This book is no exception except for one theme, which is MOT
It's been more than 20 years since I first read this book and I'm happy I did the re-read.

This is John Irving's debut novel, and right from the start it's clear he is a major talent. His inventiveness, his ability to engage the reader, and his ability to bring the reader into the characters' world is amazing.

Hannes and Siggy start out on a late-60's motorcycle road trip, leaving Vienna behind, but somewhat obsessed about the plight of the animals in the Vienna Zoo. After a few misadventures, Sig
Carmen Daza Márquez
Esta fue la primera novela que escribió y publicó John Irving y también sin duda uno de sus peores libros. Pero a diferencia de sus libros malos de solemnidad como La cuarta mano, Libertad para los osos peca sobre todo del exceso y la falta de mesura que caracterizará a su producción posterior pero que en este libro el autor aún no es capaz de controlar y convertir en materia literaria, de manera que termina ahogando toda la trama narrativa.

El tema de la excentricidad personal como única forma d
Thomas Strömquist
Irving's first shows signs of great storytelling to come, but is awkward and silly at times. Recommended for completeists.
Mar 15, 2013 Marjatta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Varmaankin hieno klassikkoteos,mutta enpä ole typerämpää kirjaa lukenut pitkään aikaan.Kyllä meni aika hukkaan,ihan harmittaa.
Nov 08, 2014 Luke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was about 14. It seemed amazing back then, as it was an excursion into history and kinda-sorta sex and the road and motorcycles and that whole enthusiastic, Dickens-hipster thing. Yeah, daddy-o.

The problem about reading it with an older eye is that it hasn't aged particularly well. The text is clunky and overcomplex, the characters pretty one-dimensional - Gallen is basically a big-hipped R. Crumb figure with less intrigue - and the whole atmosphere is a little too
Aug 28, 2011 Gemski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I'm gutted! I love John Irving. He is in my top three authors, undoubtably. So,I was excited about reading this, his first novel. However, after plodding away at it for weeks with some determination, I've had to give up on it, and I NEVER abandon books! I don't know if I'm just not in the right frame of mind or if I've not set aside enough long sessions to sit and absorb myself in this book, but I just can't get on with it! To be honest, I can't quite figure out what is going on half the time! I ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Christopher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
For me the form of this novel is more interesting than the content; short scenes, almost vignettes with names like “Fine Tuning” and “The Beast Beneath Me” that are self-referential and also used as direct lines in earlier and later passages. Woven together. Brief (bad) poems appear, and also little half-truth phrases such as:

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”

The middle of book is interleafed notebooks of Siggy, one being “Highly Selective Autobiography” and other being “Zoo Watch”.
Erica Toews
Jun 14, 2015 Erica Toews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first John Irving book. I read The World According to Garp later and didn’t like it as much. Takes place in Vienna one generation after World War II. Written in three parts.

I. Graff meets Siggy, and they leave Vienna on a motorcycle to travel without a plan. They visit a zoo, and Siggy gets the notion to set free all the animals. They continue on their journey and meet a girl named Gallen. Graff burns himself on the motorcycle and has to stay in Gallen’s aunt’s hotel to recover, where he fall
Glen Engel-Cox
The bears of the title are in the Heitzinger Zoo in Vienna, which is why I read this first novel of John Irving's. Giving a choice of his novels to begin with, I probably would have selected The World According to Garp or A Prayer for Owen Meany. But in preparation for our trip to Austria, this novel popped up as having a tenuous tie, and due to the fact that we were not finding much to go on, tenuous was better than nothing.

If you take the middle section, called ''The Notebook," and remove the
Sep 21, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love John Irving. I'm catching up on his earlier books (before Garth) and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed with this one, his debut novel. The story line was engaging, and in typical Irving style, his characters come alive, becoming real -- if eccentric -- people. It was a compelling read, two university students setting out on a motorcycle with no plans in front of them. ("No plans" is a central theme of the book. With no plans, where does our life end up? In strange & unexpected ...more
Christopher Sutch
This book has the distinction of being one of the most inauspicious debuts of anyone I have read who went on to become a major literary figure. The set-up and denoument sections are excruciatingly flat and dull. The characters, although quirky, are unsympathetic, the things they do are (therefore) boring or mundane. Things really don't begin to happen until about page 75, and even then a sort of mini-climax occurs that stops the narrative flow in its tracks. The good part about that is, however, ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Late Finnish publication of the John Irving's first novel.

I this had been the first Irving I read I would most likely have liked this even more. Now The World according to Garp remains simply the best - and I presume it's just due the fact that it introduced Irving's unique writing to me and left a permanent impression. Of course I was much younger then and more favourable for permanent impressions :)

Anyway also this deserves at least three and a half stars rounded up to four. My worry of this b
Robert C.
Started out as interesting because it's about people and relationships and stuff, then there was some stuff about the war, which was pretty dull for me, then there was more about relationships and stuff that got me interested right up until the end; at which point we learn why the book is titled so.

Ever since I read, and totally enjoyed A Widow for One Year, I've been collecting John Irving books so that I could read them in the same order they were written, one after the other. This one was the
Melissa Namba
Not my favorite John Irving novel. I really enjoyed the first and last sections where you follow what is going on with the boys, but the second section, covering the scouting of the zoo and the pre-history of Siegfried, really tried my patience and attention span. What is interesting, is that the narrator comments on how Seigfried's notebook doesn't mix the two together but that he elected to do so because it was boring without the break ups. I would have rather read them in one big chunk. They ...more
Jan 14, 2016 Shelby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started and stopped this book three times before I picked it up a fourth time and finally finished it. I love John Irving, but I'm starting to feel like I've read everything good he's written so far. It was a huge struggle to finish this book, and I had an even harder time deciding what to rate it. I feel like 3 stars would have been too generous, but it's not a terrible novel. It's not good, but it's not terrible. I'd recommend reading it only to those that are hardcore Irving fans. It was ve ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
Being an Irving Fan and having previously read every single one of his books but this, his first, it was high time to complete my Irving experience.
I am not sure how much I would have become his fan if I had started my Irving experience with this book. The beginning is even longer than what I am used to until you start getting into the characters. The plot is maybe the weirdest and less coherent of them all. I liked none of the characters particularly, which made it sometimes hard for me to keep
Dec 30, 2012 C.E. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have an interesting relationship with this book. Since I first picked it up nearly a quarter-century ago, I've wanted to love it. The problem is, after going gaga for the first 75 pages or so, I failed to finish it on at least three occasions. While happy to report that I've finally finished it, I can't really recommend it with too much enthusiasm. It tries a little too hard to mean something--but ultimately, there's no real reason to care too deeply about the characters.

The novel's first sect
Mar 13, 2011 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irving-john
Setting Free the Bears, by John Irving
good read. part I, meet siggy and graff and the beast, a motorcycle. they are in need of perpetual motion, perpetual emotion, living as they do w/o a war. this is the story of "How Hannes Graff was rendered inert."

too, others are rendered inert and then some. a fear of inertia, mayhap

"What worse awareness is there than to know there would have been a better outcome if you’d never done anything at all? That all small mammals would have been better off if you’
Sep 24, 2010 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karl Marx S.T.
I don’t remember if I’ve stated in one of my book reviews that John Irving is one of my most favorite writers in the long list of the authors I read. Having established his literary career after the publication of his fourth novel, the phenomenal The World According to Garp in 1978, one starts to get interested in his earlier masterpieces. Setting Free The Bears has this simple but interesting and original premise, to set free the animals in an Austrian zoo. I fondly remember having visited a lo ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, irving, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adrian Buck
Mar 14, 2013 Adrian Buck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Suprisingly good first novel, and unlike many reveiwers I found the middle section - The Notebook - the most satisfying. It's been some time since I last read an Irving novel, but I'm sure that even when I was regularly reading both writers, I never thought of comparing Irving with Thomas Pynchon yet this middle section had elements that reminded me of Gravity's Rainbow: the tinpie plate eagle, the WWII setting, even the technical writing about motorcycle maintenance. This set me thinking about ...more
Adam O'leary
I had never read a John Irving novel before, but I gathered that he was a writer of great repute and I decided where better to start than with his first book. Setting Free the Bears is a quirky and entertaining story with an interesting structure. Written as a series of small scenes that link together into a greater narrative, as told by the hero, Hannes Graff. Graff befriends a fellow oddball, Siegfried Javotnik, and the two go on a road trip and hatch a hair brained scheme to free the animals ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This was Irving's first novel, written in 1967. Unless you have read several other Irving novels or are comfortable with a modernist style of writing, I wouldn't recommend you start with this novel. In some ways, this novel seems like Irving woke up from a non-sensical dream and then spends the whole day trying to describe what happened in his strange dream. It's somewhat the story of two young men of college age who set off on a motorcycle journey across the Austrian countryside when they obser ...more
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JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven.
Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. He received an O. Henry Award
More about John Irving...

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“Isn't it amazing? The Americans have so many good afterthoughts!” 2 likes
“What worse awareness is there than to know there would have been a better outcome if you'd never done anything at all?” 2 likes
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