Kate's Reviews > A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
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's review
Jul 16, 2010

it was amazing
Read from November 01 to December 01, 2010

Oh, this book. As I learned from the first Irving book I read, "Until I Find You", his books take patience. Patience because they are long, they are wordy and descriptive in a way that is almost irritating until you remember that every detail in an Irving book matters. Every supposedly unimportant tidbit will render itself monumentally important by the end. Which is one of the things I loved about Owen Meany. Much like THE VOICE himself proclaims, everything happens for a reason, and in this book it is especially true.

Although it took me the better part of 2 months to read this book (mostly I'd just have half hour before bed each night, though by the end I was devoting a few hours at a time to figure everything out!), I enjoyed nearly every word. The only parts I found irrelevant were the 'present-day' ravings of the narrator about late 1980s politics in America. I think the book would be even richer without these unimportant tangents. The rest of the story, I loved. I think there are so many monumental themes here that even in a 20-year old novel are surfacing again now. Towards the end where Owen Meany laments the state of society in the U.S. by noting that the scariest thing is when people are 'so sure that they are right.' Isn't that happening again? And it is scary.

The most resounding theme in 'A Prayer for Owen Meany', though, is faith. Owen makes so many great arguments to have belief in things that we can't begin to understand, and hearing these lessons from this small boy made them even more poignant. A stronger, wiser, more heart-breaking or memorable character than Owen Meany I think you'd be hard-pressed to find.
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Comments (showing 1-5)

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Jules My favorite!

Kate Yeah! Picked this up at a bookstore while in Victoria, BC for the ferry ride home... but haven't started it yet. As soon as I finish 'The Grapes of Wrath' it's next on my list!

message 3: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Hipp I haven't read this book in years, I just remember loving it. You need to let me know what you think, I may need to re-read it if you love it!

Kate Awesome, Erin! Yeah I'm really enjoying it so far - only about 1/5 of the way through though! Irving's books are slow going for me for some reason, even though I find them relatively easy to read. I'll let you know when I finish!

message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I knew you'd love this one...definitely one of my favorites of Irving's long list of titles. Wasn't the reason for all the basketball practice so AMAZING?

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