I am hesitant to read books that are hailed as tragic. I often feel I deal with enough of that in my own life, I don't want it in my books, which areI am hesitant to read books that are hailed as tragic. I often feel I deal with enough of that in my own life, I don't want it in my books, which are my escape. However, A Prayer for Owen Meany is also hailed as one of the best comedies. I hail it truly is a dark comedy worth the read. Some parts did bring me to tears, but most of them, after the fact, I also found myself laughing at or through.
I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book better than the final segment. During the first section, I found the book especially hard to put down. A lot of the story is dedicated to when Owen and John are 10 and 11. It is hard to imagine that over 200 pages could be devoted to such a short period in young boys' lives without losing its entertaining quality, but this was definitely a romping good time and my favorite part of the book. There are so many comical scenes and the factual tidbits I picked up about New Hampshire and Canada were great.
Overall, I really enjoyed A Prayer for Owen Meany and Irving's style. Irving's disclosing of information through transient time periods and the trickling of details was well planned and enjoyable. There were some inconsistencies in the book that gnawed at me. These in no way affected the plot of the story, just my slightly OCD personality. I also felt there was a lag before the final revelation that could have used some editing. I would have preferred less recalling of the previous events and details and some of the information and events seemed unnecessary. I went from dreading getting to the final event to wishing Irving would just get to it.
I definitely recommend this book! If a tragedy can be fun, this is it! And I already miss Owen....more
I made it about half-way through this book. There were parts that I adored and other parts that I had to cattle-prod myself to make it through. When II made it about half-way through this book. There were parts that I adored and other parts that I had to cattle-prod myself to make it through. When I purchased this book, I obstinately chose an unabridged version; however, I am thinking that perhaps I should have chose the abridged version. In essence I love this story and it is definitely one that I would like to return to, so much so that I might be willing to let someone edit out some parts for me - something that I generally despise. ...more
**spoiler alert** I was skeptical of this book as sadly I have not often found myself to be a fan of "classic" literature. However, this book was very**spoiler alert** I was skeptical of this book as sadly I have not often found myself to be a fan of "classic" literature. However, this book was very well written. The language does make it a difficult read in that even the most trivial of phrases feels heavy as if it needs contemplation and/or interpretation.
Throughout the novel we see the development of Pip from a young boy to an adult. As the story is told via first-person we are able to witness Pip's intellectual and emotional maturation as his external circumstances change.
In many ways this is a sad novel. Pip's pride and ambitions often get in the way of his developing the relationships that he ultimately discovers are his true treasures. However, it is these relationships that remain by his side in his times of trouble despite his shunning of them to increase his status in general and specifically in the eyes of Estella. It is for Estella that Pip initially develops ambitions and it is his pursuit of her that has him abandon his loved-ones and his known lifestyle.
When Pip learns who his benefactor is, it is Estella's opinion that he worries about. However, I believe that it is in caring for his benefactor that Pip learns what is truly important.
SPOILER: Yet, at the end of the novel, Pip once again leaves Joe and Biddy because they don't fit into the plans he had developed. I'm not sure Pip ever has an unconditional relationship with anyone. Herbert would be the closest.
At the end of the novel, Pip is finally able to say good-bye to Estella. Is it because he has seen her broken? Is it because of time? Is it because his new plan is to never wed? Or is it because he had finally learned what a real relationship should be? Does he choose not to marry because he doesn't believe he is capable of this type of relationship?
Overall a good book. I especially enjoyed the adult Pip's representations of the childhood Pip's thoughts. Although this is not an overly-long book, it did take longer for me to read due to the language and because, although it is a good and interesting rendering of relationships and individual development, I would not consider it a page-turner....more
As far as reading the classic Pride and Prejudice, this was a fun way to do it. The frivilousness of crafting mates while the area is being attacked bAs far as reading the classic Pride and Prejudice, this was a fun way to do it. The frivilousness of crafting mates while the area is being attacked by zombies is humorous. Grahame-Smith's writing is not on par with Austen's but it doesn't have to be as it's only meant to lend a laugh to the pre-existing novel. If the reader finds Austen dry to begin with, this won't completely alleviate that. But, the zombies do create a nice diversion. However, even these can get a little repetative as Grahame-Smith reuses his own material. The drawings make a nice touch and now I can finally understand all of the references to this novel that appear in other works of literature and movies....more
I read this book in high-school as a school assignment. It is probably one of the only books I was assigned that I didn't skip any parts of. Lee doesI read this book in high-school as a school assignment. It is probably one of the only books I was assigned that I didn't skip any parts of. Lee does an incredible job at bringing to life the time-period and the societal issues. I also felt a strong connection to Scout as I began reading before I started school. In Kindergarten my teacher sent a note home to my mom asking her to stop teaching me so that I wouldn't be ahead of the other kids. She kept teaching me, but told me we had to keep it a secret and I had to act surprised when we learned the letters in class....more
I would have liked to rate this book a 2.75. I listened to the audio version of this book, edited by Shannon Chappele and read by Bruce Johnson. The I would have liked to rate this book a 2.75. I listened to the audio version of this book, edited by Shannon Chappele and read by Bruce Johnson. The recording felt like a low-budget production. Johnson's voice didn't fit the adolescent voice of Finn who narrates the story. The voices of the other characters were also performed inconsistently. I found some elements of the robbery and murder enticing, but overall the recording was unenjoyable. I may have rated this book higher had I actually read it instead of listened to it....more