A Prayer for Owen Meany

by John Irving | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0345361792 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 4/13/2004
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Yes it is the US edition, picked up from Felixstowe sunday market. Loads of BookCrossers of good standing love this. I started this and gave it up years ago, so I think its needs another chance...

(14/05) phew, finished, its been emotional! Review to follow

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, May 17, 2004
First things first, apologies in advance to anyone (you know who you are!) who loves everything about this book. My views are personal, critical, but fair (I believe), so don’t come around and beat me up ;-)

I almost didn’t finish this, again. I couldn’t really settle down and enjoy the book because of the other-worldliness surrounding Owen Meany; the seriousness of his religious conviction, his unflinching confidence in his dream and ‘knowledge’ of the future, his IRRITATING FIRST PERSON VOICE. Is it just me that can’t read OM dialogue without thinking they are shouted speeches – maybe that’s deliberate on John Irving’s part?

I couldn’t engage with OM, and the narrator John Wheelright is fairly unlikeable, especially with his anti-American vitriol & quite pathetic post-Meany existence. Everyone else, more or less, struggles to hold centre stage – sometimes literally – with the ‘granite mouse’, they are reduced to stereotypes or merely foils in this one man show. I must concede that Owen Meany must be the most unique & unforgettable character in fiction.

There’s a quote (which I must find the source of) that; life but can only be understood in reverse, but has to be lived forwards. This will make sense to anyone who has struggled through the 600+ pages of ‘A Prayer’. Despite some very funny set pieces, including the car on stage, and the nativity, I found this book far too rich a diet. I’m talking about too much fat, too many trimmings; very American (despite the anti-American sentiments), very bloated & self-important, very fin de siecle.

BUT, all that said, the whole thing is very cleverly done. The last chapter, even the incredible cinematic last 10 pages alone, make the whole thing worthwhile. See I was quite fair and balanced in the end :-))

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan at on Thursday, May 20, 2004
Released on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at to another bookcrosser in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

RABCK to ziggythecat for you and DH to re-read. Promise me you'll write review journals here. Enjoy (again) :)

Journal Entry 4 by ziggythecat from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 22, 2004
Thanks Bookgroupman you've made my DH a very happy man. Will definitely post reviews as soon as we reread this book. Looking forward to future discussions ;o)

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