Garrett's Reviews > Last Night in Twisted River

Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: recommended
Read in February, 2011

I am disappointed that I waited so long to read this book, because I absolutely loved it. I guess I should confess up front that it's probably totally parochial of me to love a book about characters from Northern New Hampshire, set largely in New England. But even though I do have oddly romantic memories of playing hockey in the town of Berlin, NH, where the smell of the paper mills on the Androscoggin River used to permeate for miles, I don't think that's why I liked this book so much.

At least four of the characters in Irving's story of a father-son pair on the run from a small-town sheriff, will stick with me the way T.S. Garp and Owen Meany have from his other books. Weaving its way across the US from the 50s to the present day, the story paints a generous picture of the people and cultures it deals with, from Northern New Hampshire, Boston's North End, Iowa City and Rural Vermont.

There were a few things that I didn't enjoy -- things that might on reflection make me turn this 5-star rating into a 4-star rating some day -- including the political overtones that permeate the discussion of the present-day United States, written without enough elapsed time to match his treatment of the Vietnam War.

Overall, my favorite of the (still early) year so far. Highly recommended as a fun, quick read that (I think) will stick with you for a while after the last page is finished.
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