A Prayer for Owen Meany
12 journalers for this copy...
1) the first copy is the Owen Meany Bookring and not only is it my favourite book ever, but it is my favourite ever copy of my favourite ever book.
2) The second copy of Owen Meany was purchased because all of the reviews for the bookring filled me with the urge for a re-read. The plan was to read this on the plane to Australia and then release it in Sydney. Well, I managed to release it in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney (from where it has since been journalled, and has finally given me my first ever catch!) but alas I hadn't managed to finish the book off. Ah well. I then needed to buy another copy in Sydney so that I could have something to read on the flight back.
This copy was bought in a lovely bookshop/coffee shop/2nd hand bookshop called Berkelouw on Oxford St in Sydney.
I've finally finished it, and it's off to Camis (who has promised me she will start a bookray with it, starting with WistfulDragon!). It is such a magical and original book. I could almost go right back to the beginning and read it all over again. For more details on what I think on this book, click on the link to the bookring copy above. What I will say here though is that John Irving thinks this is his finest opening sentence of any of his novels:
"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice - not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God: I am a christian because of Owen Meany."
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have, and I'm jealous of any of you who will be reading this for the first time. I look forward to your reviews.
Mailed out to Camis (who asked for this ages and ages ago - I promise it's worth the wait). Remember that you said you would start a ring/ray with this....!
And yes, I have remembered that I am going to offer this up for a ray once I have finished!!
Owen wasn't really what I would call a likeable character; to start with I couldn't take to him at all and found him annoying, but as his life unfolded, the reason for his personality became clearer.
Parts of the book were funny - the nativity play for example - and others very sad. It did take me until the end of the book to finally tie everything together - I'm not very good at spotting where a plot is heading - and when it happened there was a sense of satisfaction at how everything turned out.
Thank you SwissToni for sharing this - I am now starting up a ray as follows.
Posted out to Jords today.
I must admit, I was quite irritated with the use of capitals (when Owen speaks) at first too - I just couldn't understand it.... but it later becomes clear, and I found it quite acceptable then (funny how it didn't bug me anymore!)
There are some really funny moments in the book, especially the episode with moving the car and equally there are some really emotionally heart tugging moments too.
On the whole, I'm glad I've read the book. I've got more to say about it but need to organise my thoughts a bit more.... everytime I think about it I feel a bit perplexed.... which is kind of weird really! Will edit journal when thoughts are more together!
Off to Oblivious next - enjoy!
Sent to Angi612UK
The only thing that annoyed me were the capital letters whenever he spoke. For me they leapt out from the page and distracted me from the flow of the narrative.
Ready to travel to WistfulDragon.
As WistfulDragon isn`t ready for it yet, I`m sending to Weebly.
I am finding the book quite hard going though. I need quiet to read it or I find myself re-reading lines several times if I try reading while watching my kids swim or if they distract me. I am used to finished a book every 2-3 days and I have been reading this for 2 weeks now. I feel I want a change but I also want to know what happens so I am trying to read more often, but with Big Brother 5, and Wimbledon it is hard to increase reading hours. At least I have no interest in Euro 2004 since the Portugese knocked us out!
I will keep slogging on, and my aim is to finish the book in time for the National Meet in Birmingham, which I hope Rachels-Ratty will be attending - I must check with her!
I offered to post to Rachels-ratty - but as snowed under she suggested I wait the 2 weeks and pass the book on in person at the meet. My neice sandy is visiting this weeek - so I will let her read it so it doesn't lie lonely on the shelf.
Handing to rachels-ratty at the unconvention.
Owen's way of speaking (the capitals) was VERY annoying to begin with but it was amazing how quickly I settled into it and just didn't notice it anymore! He was a hard character to like at times but all the characterisations were very good, I had perfect pictures in my head of all of the main players.
Whilst I wouldn't say this was my 'read of the year' - sorry Tim (!), I am glad I sucumbed to the relentless pressure and signed up to it!
Now I have a problem. I can get no answer to PM's from either Tanis or oblivious...and I'm going away on Sunday. Apologies in advance if this remains stuck here for far longer than I ever intended :-( Ideas anyone?
I'm looking forward to this because Tim has raved about it so much and for so long and I like Tim, he's one of my favourite bookcrossers, so if this turns out to be a pile of tripe I shall rethink my own list.
It's looking a little the worse for wear now, page 18 is loose to the point of sluttishness.
Owen's caps didn't irritate me at all, they helped me remember to read in my idea of his voice. This is one of those books that stays with you all day while you are reading it and lingers when you've finished.
I loved the holidays with the cousins, no wonder Hester turned out so slappable, one of the best things about this book is that you don't see the stories coming, they all unfold gently and slowly and maybe I'm too thick to see the signs but I didn't see any of them coming.
It's winging it's way to WistfulDragon now. Sorry I kept it so long, I was trying to make it last.
I didn't mind the capitals at all, they certainly didn't detract from the story. And I'm glad they were used for excerpts from Owen's letters as well; I think they might have been written in capitals anyway, but if they weren't it was still the right way to show them, as who reads a letter from a friend without hearing their voice?
This is a very powerful book, for all its deceptive - well, whimsy almost. One boy tells it, as the story of his growing up as much as the story of his friend. Gradually bits of the first boy's current life creep in, but they merely serve to affirm the sort of person he grew into, and help to avoid that - often extremely irritating - passage at the end of the book that tells what happened to the characters 'afterwards'.
I have another of John Irving's books on my Toobie pile, which I'm really glad about now, despite its somewhat daunting size. I know I will find a book with well realised characters, a coherent story, with a theme that is hinted at from the first but is only fully revealed in the fullness of time. And this time I will know not to read the last few chapters on public transport, so that afterwards I don't have to worry about what the other passengers thought about the tears in my eyes.
Going to Skribble once I get the address. Thank you SwissToni!
I am feeling slightly anxious about this book both because the reviews appear to suggest it can be difficult to get into but worth it in the end (this worries me, although I'm not entirely sure why) and also because pages are begining to come away. I'm going to Moscow in a few weeks time and think I will read it then as I'll have long stretches of time to get into it, and will hopefully be able to do it justice!
There's lots of very entertaining sections of the book and some great characters (Owne Meany himself is an amazing creation - I love him!), but I found other bits quite boring. It's given me a fair bit to think about. Overall I feel a little dissatisfied with how the different characters, with the exceptions of Owen & Hester, were left in the end.
Will send it off on its next journey leg as soon as I have address from Glasgowgal
#3 on Mt. TBR.
Update 12.12.04: I'm starting this book today. Sorry for the delay in getting to this. My bookcrossing activities have had to take a back seat recently. However, I'll get through this as soon as I can and post a new journal entry once I'm done.
Update 12.01.05 - I'm still persevering with the book. I am so sorry for the delay in passing this on, but I really would like to finish this copy so I can journal it here. I will make a concerted effort to get it moving before the end of the month.
Update 20.01.05 - One week on and I've officially given up on this book. I'll write a proper journal entry for it.
I didn't connect to any of the characters in "A Prayer for Owen Meany" and thus, didn't really care what happens to any of them. People have said the book all comes together at the end, but I'm afraid, for me, that is 600 pages too late to get me hooked.
Apologies to everyone - especially SwissToni (please don't hate me forever!) - but thank you for sharing this book. I will now pass it on to Spike.
Released 16 yrs ago (1/28/2005 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sent to Spike1972
I'm starting to think that a *big* part of bookcrossing is receiving books on bookrings/rays that you'd completely forgotten you'd signed up for ;o)
However, I've recently had a few days 'offline' and this was, delibrately, the only book I had with me.
While I'd made a start previously, due to the aforementioned reasons, I hadn't got very far with it.
Now, however, I'm 150+ pages in so thought it was time to make a journal entry.
I'm not the best person for keeping a track of a plot, or characters for that matter, so I don't know if that is making this book more... challenging is the wrong word, but hopefully you know what I mean.
I too still find it annoying that Owen Meany's 'part' is ALL in capitals. Maybe it's because I/we're so used to capital letters in emails and/or text messages meaning that the person is 'shouting'? Or maybe that's the point? Is/was Owen Meany's voice *always* loud? (Perhaps to make up for his size?). He certainly seems to have a big character.
I can relate to the cousins in this book, but unfortunately not in a positive way ;os - me no likee!
Another problem, if it is a problem, is I think I keep forgetting how young the kids are - with their exploits I keep thinking that they are teenagers, and have to be reminded that they are not. Not yet anyway.
I admit that I'm a little daunted at the knowledge that this book is 600+ pages, but I think I'm interested enough by now to carry on, at least for the time being.
Another aspect of this book that bugs me a little is the religiousness(?)of the book/story, but that's just a personal matter. I know that it seems important to the book, and religion is certainly important to Owen Meany (one the memorable parts of the book so far is where he almost single-handedly took charge of, and made changes to, the nativity play - much to his teacher's annoyance ;oD).
Maybe if I'd realised that there was so much religion in this book I'd have skipped it - but at the same time that would have been the wrong thing to do and I'd have missed out on a good story. (One of the things that BC has taught me, and is still teaching me, is to be more open-minded in what I read).
Ok, for a short journal entry that was quite long, and no doubt some of you are asleep by now, so I'll go away for a while ;O)
Firstly, I'd like to begin with my customary apologies for keeping it sooo long, and then taking so long to read it. Part of the blame has to lay with myself though, not just the book. Having said that, the first half of the book was quite hard going, and I did wonder whether or not to carry on.
After a few "yes, keep going" messages from fellow BCukers I did and, now that I've finished it, I'm glad I did.
This truly is one of those books that only gets you hooked properly in the last third, and only really works everything out and ties up the loose ends, right at the very end. And by that I mean literally the last few pages. And I for one didn't see it coming, and certainly didn't see the relevance of a 'theme' that runs through the book. (I can't be more specific than that or I'll spoil it for anyone who reads this but hasn't yet read the book, but I know that others who've read it will know exactly what I mean).
I agree with camis in that at the beginning I struggled a bit to like Owen. I admired him, and his many 'sides', but I'm not sure I liked him. And I'm afraid I didn't get comfortable with the fact his words were always in BLOCK CAPITALS. I know he has a very distinct, unusual voice, but to me the caps just made him 'shout' when he spoke. I also agree that the nativity play, and how be pretty much commandeered it, was one of the best and funniest bits of the book. Again I'm like camis in that I don't always figure out where a plot is going - not always a bad thing - and I certainly didn't know where this one was going.
For varied reasons it took me to get over half-way in the book before I was hooked, before I actually wanted to read more to see what happened, but as I said at the start, that wasn't all the book's fault, part of that was just me being me.
I think all the characters were very well-defined (something I often have trouble with in books) and all likeable. Apart from Major Rawls that is. And I don't know why, but I just didn't like him. I didn't really care what happened to him, and what I *thought* might happen (and I suppose in a way I hoped would happen to him) at the very end, didn't happen. And in hindsight I'm glad of that too.
So, all-in-all I'm actually glad I persevered with this book, and would like to thank those who encouraged me to stick with it.
I'll pass this on to Cass01 soon.
Anyway, it's finally on its way to Cass01