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L'Épopée du buveur d'eau

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3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  10,257 Ratings  ·  282 Reviews
Fred " Bogus " Trumper, fumiste farfelu, a un problème : son canal urinaire est trop étroit. Pour cesser de souffrir pendant l'amour, un seul remède : boire des litres d'eau. Sa femme veut le plaquer, sa maîtresse souhaite un bébé, et, surtout, le réalisateur d'un documentaire sur l'échec tient absolument à s'inspirer de sa vie... Vaille que vaille, Bogus s'obstine à croir ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Seuil (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Edward Lorn
Jan 13, 2017 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of mature immature comedy
Shelves: paperbacks
I've spoken with several Irving aficionados concerning the finer points of reading John Irving. It is almost universally decided that his first three novels were the throwaways (the practice sessions, if you will) of an author trying to find his voice. Not terrible, unreadable drivel. But basic novels without a cemented voice. Having read Setting Free the Bears, I can almost see what my informants meant. Almost. While The Water-Method Man feels and reads nothing like Irving's debut novel, I can ...more
Sharon
Sep 10, 2007 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alltimefavorites
this book is so unique in that it's absolutely not what you would expect from john irving. It's only his second or third book, and you can see the beginnings of Garp in it, but it's so simple and streamlined compared to some of his later work. It's a sweet, funny story with extremely memorable characters - in fact, I can't believe it hasn't been made into a movie yet. I think it's crying out to be. A movie about a book about the making of a movie.
Also, it made me start going around flipping my
...more
Allie Riley
To be honest, I found this novel something of a confusing jumble. It flits between first and third person narrative, the places Vienna, Iowa, New York and Maine and is continually moving back and forward in time. The beginning is promising enough - PhD student Fred 'Bogus' Trumper consults renowned urologist Dr Jean Claude Vigneron about a particularly painful dose of "clap" with which he has been afflicted, so it would seem, since he was a teenager. Not being enthusiastic about a possible surgi ...more
Maggie
Sep 12, 2012 Maggie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Technically a 2.5 star rating.

I'm a big big fan of Irving's later books (Garp, Owen Meany, Cider House Rules, Until I Find You) so I was intrigued to read one of his earlier works. But, it was nowhere as good, which I should have expected. This was choppier and more uneven/inconsistent than I'm used to from Irving, and his storytelling skill is not nearly as good/compelling as it becomes.

Irving obviously naturally gravitates towards flawed, quirky characters, but in this book had not yet quite h
...more
Peter Boysen
Mar 11, 2012 Peter Boysen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When R.E.M. recently broke up, it occurred to me that I hadn't bought one of their CD's (or downloaded any of their songs for my iPod, now that CD's are passe), since "Automatic for the People" -- which was released in 1992. Everything else was from "Out of Time," "Green," "Document," or "Life's Rich Pageant" -- all released between 1986 and 1991. That means that their last seven albums never made it onto my radar.

Some of this has to do with the fact that I adopted many of my favorite songs betw
...more
christa
i want to read this because the main character has frequent urinary tract infections. but i cannot get into it.
Keri
Dec 07, 2008 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of his earlier books, and it is amazingly written. The first sentence alone still makes me shake my head in wonder.
Thomas Strömquist
The second book by Irving is a stumbling step forward (from Setting Free the Bears), but this is still for completistst only I think. Sex-obsessed and way to bizarro to be a truly enjoyable read.
Fred
May 06, 2009 Fred rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised in reading this early John Irving novel to find so many precursors of the documentary style I first encountered in The World According to Garp. In addition to both first-person and third-person passages of narrative, the book is filled with letters, bits of film scripts, translations of a supposed Nordic epic, and other bits of ephemera. Irving's liberal doses of humor, much of it morose if not actually dark, are also on display, as is his skill at creating memorable, ...more
Erin
Dec 20, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by The Water-Method Man, which is John Irving's second book. No agent would be able to sell this book today; the story is interesting, but the execution is weak. Irving's prose is confusing and inconsistent, with jumps from first to third person and seemingly random changes in POV. Furthermore, the narrative has so many flashbacks that it is difficult to follow what is happening now, versus one year ago, versus two, three or four years ago.

The main character, Fred "Bogus" Trum
...more
Daniel
Feb 28, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Water-Method is John Irving's second book, written when he was 29 years old, but it certainly doesn't sound like it. This is, in fact, one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. It isn't too hard for me to find a book that will make me smile, but it is a rare pleasure to find one that will make me laugh out loud.

The story follows the stalled and frustrated life of Fred Trumper (alternately known as Thump-Thump and Bogus), a 29 year-old graduate student who can't seem to pay bills, f
...more
Jaslo
Jun 22, 2010 Jaslo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Um. What a hot mess!! It started with an interesting narrative voice and Irving's usual brilliance with language but took a turn for the...dare I say it...BORING!! Talk about creative writing, my beloved Johnny went wild in this book...going from epistolary, to screen play script, to third person, to first, to bizarro collage. Too creative. The transitions from one time and place to another lost me. Am I in Maine or Vienna? Am I asleep or daydreaming or is this happening?? And certain lines feel ...more
Corinne
Not my favorite Irving novel, but what he does here with time management (as in handling plot lines that take place in two or three different time periods) and point of view shifts is fascinating to read as a writer. Flashbacks can be problematic in fiction - keeping track of what's happening when can get confusing quickly for readers - so Irving gets around that issue by separating them out into different chapters. The POV changes as well, but I had a harder time determining the system he'd set ...more
wally
May 31, 2011 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irving-john
1 Yogurt & Lots of Water
Her gynecologist recommended Dr. Jean Claude Vigneron to Fred “Bogus” Trumper, the eye-narrator of this story. Ralph Packer named him Thump-Thump. Tulpen calls him by his surname, Trumper. Urinary tract is a winding road…they are both 28. Merrill Overturf is still lost…lives w/Tulpen.
2 War-Built Things
This chapter t’would appear to take a 3rd-person look through…
Fred likes to remember Merrill Overturf, the diabetic, who called him Boggle. The Iowa phase. Biggie his w
...more
Robert C.
Oct 21, 2012 Robert C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third attempt to read a book that was so hard to get into that it took me more than 20 years to progress past page 34 (at which point I found the bookmark I'd left there on my second attempt).

Happily, this attempt was a success, mainly because I figured out (but not until page 105) that this book is supposed to be humorous! Once I realised that the story was written for laughs, rather than being a perverse attempt to utterly confuse the heck outta me, we got on 'like a house on fire'
...more
Andy Norris
It didn't take long to get into this one, but the character depth was a bit lacking. I never really felt too much for any of them, but maybe Irving intended to write a story about people who aren't especially good or bad. Just people.

The story follows Fred Trumper during a period of being rudderless through college. Becoming a hapless half of a pair of accidental parents. Feeling smothered. Leaving his wife and son and running off to Europe for an extended period seeking to reconnect with an old
...more
Rebecca Olson
After seeing "Cider House Rules" at Book-It this past season, I decided to revisit John Irving- I didn't realize how many of his books I hadn't read (he's quite a bit more prolific than I thought.) Water Method Man is one of his earlier novels, and while it was a good read, it wasn't *great.* It includes those recurring Irving obsessions with Vienna, big women, and uncomfortable sexual situations. There's even the compulsory mention of a character who used to wrestle (although it's not key to th ...more
Leila
Aug 10, 2012 Leila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most people would consider this a very light Irving book, and not one of his great ones. It was one of his first novels, written before "The World According to Garp." I certainly wouldn't put in it the same category with "Garp," "Hotel New Hampshire," or "Cider House Rules." But I have an enormous amount of affection for it.... It involves a graduate student who fakes his dissertation, in the most ridiculous way possible. I found this almost unbearably hilarious when in graduate school myself. N ...more
Katelynn Price
When I started "The Water Method Man" I was a little bit disappointed because it wasn't of the usual quality of Irving. However, as I progressed with the novel, Irving's writing quality improved and as his first official book written as a Grad student, I am astonished at his early talent for an American narration and the usual humor he adds to all of his novels. The first humor is seen when our protagonist is at a football game where he is selling gear and he tries to save face with one of his s ...more
Labijose
Apr 16, 2016 Labijose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Encontré la novela bastante confusa. No está ni mucho menos entre lo mejor que he leído de Irving, del cual destacaría “ Las normas de la casa de la sidra “. Empieza bien, pero luego se me hizo bastante tediosa. El estilo, mezclando entre primera y tercera persona, me resultó poco satisfactorio. Se salvan algunos pasajes cómicos, pero en su conjunto está lejos de figurar entre mis lecturas más estimulantes. Su época posterior es mucho más recomendable. Me costó bastante terminarla.
Beth
Apr 06, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best of John Irving's novels - absolutely hilarious. Wonderful, inventive story about a man with a urinary tract issue (among others).

Over the years whenever I was sad I read this book because it was sure to make me laugh!
Céline
Dec 31, 2009 Céline rated it did not like it
didn't event go through the second chapter
Ashley Thompson
Apr 26, 2010 Ashley Thompson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most random books I've ever read. It was my first John Irving novel...and my last.
Daneka
Nov 12, 2008 Daneka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely enough, I thought it was crude. I put it down.
Christina
Oct 15, 2009 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
I claim John Irving to be one of my favorite authors. That being said, I lack reading parts of his work and with this book, I’m trying to make up for it. Before reading this one, I haven’t read either of the two novels published before The World Accord to Garp gave Irving his huge break-through, so it’s interesting to see what Irving could do before that.

In this novel, some of the familiar themes in John Irving’s work are already present. As most of Irving’s novels, it takes place in part in New
...more
Robin
Feb 15, 2017 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second John Irving book I've read. I started collecting everything I came across by him after reading THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, which I loved. Either it's just been a long time since I read Cider House, or this book is just really different. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I did. The narrative is somewhat disjointed and bounces back and forth between first person and third person POV, and between the past and the present, so at times it was a little confusing. I didn't love it as ...more
Linda
Oct 14, 2016 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of John Irving's earlier novels and has all the elements I love about his books- the most truly inventive quirky characters - pre cursors to his more famous and classic The World According to Garp,The Hotel New Hampshire (Susie in a bear costume and thoughts on life-"Keep passing the open windows" ).Crazy character interactions and situations. Who else can make Bogus Trumper's twisted urinary tract humorous and a main part of the plot. The frequent flashbacks, Biggie the giant ski qu ...more
Godlarvae
Oct 02, 2016 Godlarvae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, novel
An engaging read although seemed reminiscent of an earlier work by Irving, "The Word According to Garp".
Julie
Můj druhý Irving a zatím velmi dobré a to jsem se ještě nedostala k jeho profláknutým románům. Pitná kúra k nim sice nepatří, ale tím nijak neztrácí na hodnotě. Naopak je neuvěřitelné, jak Irving umí kroutit s příběhem a vy se v tom vůbec neztrácíte. Těch necelých 400 stránek má rozhodně co nabídnout, od zásadních životních rozhodnutí po naprosto zkratkovité chování hlavních postav. Začínám tušit, že právě tohle je Irvingova deviza, všechny ty zpackané lidské povahy. Zalejzá mi tímhle čím dál ví ...more
Joseph Jr.
Feb 24, 2017 Joseph Jr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a child, this was my favorite book. I mean, when I was a spiritual child. No actual child should ever read this one. It's good fun for adults, who have not yet figured out what life is all about. But, it won't help you to figure anything out. It's kind of a "laugh with the sinners" experience. And, I wasted a lot of time laughing with sinners. What ever happened to Sprag? That is the best question this book answers! Read it and find out!
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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
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“I met him in the language lab. In a lull between lab sections, I was editing tapes for freshman German when this shuffling man of hair came in. Possibly twenty, or forty; possibly student, or faculty, Trotskyite or Amish farmer, human or animal; a theif lumbering out of a camera shop, laden with lenses and light meters; a bear who after a terrible and violent struggle ate a photographer. This beast approached me.” 4 likes
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