Michelle's Reviews > A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
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Sep 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, 2012
Read in September, 2012

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice..."

I read this book in high school and it changed everything for me. It turned me into a reader and a writer (albeit fledgling-my agent swears this one will sell!) and it changed the way I look at everything. A Prayer for Owen Meany is everything that’s good about literature. It’s a story that sucks you in with characters so complex and awesome you wonder how they can’t be real. I have two daughters but any boys would’ve been named Owen for sure. I just love everything about this character, his small stature, his gigantic personality. He is also insanely funny. Really, I love all the characters. They are flawed but believable and multi-dimensional. Perfection.

To be honest I was nervous to read this again. I consider it my favorite book of all time but it’s been over a decade since I last picked it up. I’ve read probably 1,500-2,000 books since then so maybe my tastes have changed or I’m a more critical reader. Hell, Maeve Binchy used to be my definition of quality fiction so what would I think of my oft-proclaimed “all-time favorite”? Not to mention the last few John Irving books have been somewhat disappointing (though not bad!) and almost satirical in their John Irving-ness. I was afraid I’d read this and be like okay there’s a bear, check, and a severed body part, check, and the list goes on. Though the hallmark Irving-isms were present and accounted for I adored every moment of this and even at page 600 was not ready for it to end. Long live Owen Meany.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Geraldine (new) - added it

Geraldine Tsaftarides i loved the 2 john irving books, so after reading your review i am totally adding this to may "to read" list


message 2: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Rose I adore this book, too! I actually hid behind it while getting stitches. Finished the book that way -- a nice distraction.

2010's Newbery winner, WHEN YOU REACH ME, reminds me of a kid-version of Owen Meany. If you ever read it, please tell me what you think.


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda It's weird that I've never read this so I started it today.


Michelle Caroline - I looooooved When You Reach Me! Loved it!


message 5: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Rose Michelle wrote: "Caroline - I looooooved When You Reach Me! Loved it!"

Did you see the connection I did?


Michelle I did not! Now I feel remiss. I was thinking Westing Game when I read it.


message 7: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Rose Michelle wrote: "I did not! Now I feel remiss. I was thinking Westing Game when I read it."

It's been a while, but the whole idea of being in the world for a specific purpose felt very Owen-ish to me.


Michelle Good point!


Alexis I am curious what you'll think about his newest book. I just finished it (won't sway your opinion)


Susan Sorenson This book was also life changing for me...I read it, I suppose, about 15 years ago. I appreciate your review because you love the book and so do I, even all these many years later. I look forward to reading more of your reviews and recommendations.


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