Until I Find You

by John Irving | Romance |
ISBN: 0345492307 Global Overview for this book
Registered by samulli of Weimar, Thüringen Germany on 12/20/2005
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I used to love John Irving's books. Haven't read anything new by him in a while, so I just had to grab this one, when it caught my eye in the bookshop.

Journal Entry 2 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Amazon's review of the book:
Jack Burns' mother, Alice, is a tattoo artist in search of the boy's father, William, a virtuoso organist, who has fled America to Europe. To fund her journey, she plies her trade in the seaports of the North Sea as she tracks her four-year-old son's errant father. But Alice is a mystery, and William can't be found. And even Jack's memories are subject to doubt. Jack returns to the United States, and studies in Canada and New England, but his life is still shaped by the events of his childhood quest, in particular his relationships with older women. It is only when he becomes a Hollywood actor that what he has experienced in the past comes into telling play in his present...


Hm, this is certainly not my favorite book by John Irving. I took a long time to get into it, although I was quite fascinated by all the tattoo references. But Jack Burns for me is just not a very compelling character and whatever happened to him left me quite cold.
Maybe I'll try to start a bookring with it later to see if other people like him more.

Journal Entry 3 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Saturday, October 07, 2006
This is going out as a bookring. The list is closed now for the first round. Should there still be interest when (and if) the book has returned to me, I will start a second round then.

The list of participants:
<- asked to be skipped
CatWhitehouse <- couldn't be reached

pulcherrima (DEN)
Lilo37fee <- asked to be skipped
Mary-T (DE)

I already have soleille's address, so I will send the book off tomorrow.

ETA August 2011:
This bookring has reached its last participant safely. I have meanwhile decided that I don't want the book back, so whoever gets it after Mary-T is welcome to keep it or release it however he/she wants.

Journal Entry 4 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Thursday, October 12, 2006
I'm only 80 pages in and already LOVING it! While I really wonder why almost all Irving's young protagonists must stumble upon their mothers having sex with strangers LOL this looks definitely much more up my alley than his two latest books I read (Widow for a year and the really bad Fourth Hand) - it promises to be a return to "my" John Irving :o)

Journal Entry 5 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, October 20, 2006
Wow wow wow wow wow! I LOVED this book! That's just Irving as I like him, one of my very favourites so far. While I had been wondering how long 844 pages would take to read, starting on Tuesday afternoon and only being able to snatch little bits between classes, while travelling on the tram, before bed (just barely managing to put the book away before it would end up as a pillow) etc on Wednesday morning before my first class I arrived at the end...and wanted more! The end really came way too quick! The rest of the book was written at a great pace although it covers almost 40 years- the name-dropping in the Hollywood part in the middle was a bit much, but didn't kill the pleasure :O)
I'm fascinated by how Irving heaps one weirdness upon another without becoming ridiculous- I'm always struck by that when someone asks me to explain what the book is about. Apart from that, the book made me laugh out loud and cry with just a few pages between the two as every good Irving does. I love his characters (well, no...I do love their descriptions even if some of them are pretty revolting)

The very very very best thing in this book? The advice-givers!!! (you'll find out LOL)

This is now battling for first place among Irving books with: Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp
Right behind those are: Setting Free the Bears (a bit too flat), Cider House Rules (too bleak and not enough balanced by hilarity) and Owen Meany (the constant capital writing when Owen speaks annoyed me)
I didn't care too much for Widow for a Year (really loved some parts, but overall it was not that great) or Son of the Circus
and I loathed the Fourth Hand...his latest one, so it's doubly great to see him back at his best with Until I find you!!!!
Thanks soooooooo much for this ring!!!!!
Will travel on when I have spy-there's address :O)

Journal Entry 6 by spy-there from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, January 04, 2007
I have to chime in with Soleille: this is one extraordinary, stunning and stirring novel. It has been long ago since I’ve read a book with such a high demand for handkerchiefs (I'd assume that the paper-napkin industry owes him a lot ;)

It is said that the story is partly autobiographical. Indeed autobiographical is the "Oscar for the best adapted Screenplay" which Irving received 2000 for „My movie business“ and the need to tell things coherently and in chronological order as Jack's psychiatrist Dr. Garcia would ask. The author’s sudden leaps into the past or the future (though not as bad as in the "Son of a Circus") create sometimes unnecessary fussiness.

Irving lost me somewhere after Alice’s funeral. Couldn’t believe my own perception and started to re-read it; yet I’m still uncertain. He runs with a fast pace through the last third of the story, and it becomes somewhat bloated with exaggerated jokes (involving Mr. Schwarzenegger and Jack’s penis ... uch).
The insanity in the end seems a bit pathetic; the bizarre doctors and Jack’s father with his ape attacks, remind more of a Punch and Judy show than of a sanatorium. I also marveled over the one or the other “inaccurate" detail; e.g. why Jack’s practical sister Heather choosed - despite the lack of money - of all places the most expensive.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book. That's why I got so petty about minor flaws, because I thought it otherwise so well composed.

„Until I Find You“ is like an opera, Irving said in an interview. Well then: what else you await from an opera than a happy end ... with singing and dancing by construction workers? In spite of all queerness: it’s a wildly inventive, engrossing story which I easily could read twice. Twice with gusto =^.^=

Journal Entry 7 by Kemppu from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Monday, January 08, 2007
The book arrived today. What's better than getting a nice fat book delivered on your door, when you have a cold and are too tired to do anything but read?

Thanks for the bookring, samulli, and thanks to spy-there for sending this to me with a cool postcard! I'll begin reading this as soon as I finish another bookring book, which should be quick enough. :)

Journal Entry 8 by Kemppu from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, January 26, 2007
Managed to finish this one, then! And what can I say? This clearly isn't
one of Irving's best books, if you ask me. It's not BAD, but it wasn't
INTERESTING enough for such a thick book, and I think Jack Burns was too dull to be a good main character.
What I liked in the book was the whole tattoo thing - I don't think I've
ever read another book where one of the central characters is a tattoo artist. I
also liked the references to actual movies and actors. As a Finn I was
quite interested in reading the bits about Finland. They were okay, some
things even amused me (e.g. the unfriendly waitress). The most interesting parts of the book were Alice and Jack's trip to Europe, Jack in St. Hilda's school and Jack's own trip to
the same places where he had been with Alice. I also liked Emma.
What annoyed me was the excessive use of the word "penis" at times and the
fact that Irving couldn't keep wrestling out of this book either.
Like spy-there, I also wondered that if almost everybody knew Jack's father, why didn't anyone ever tell Jack anything about him? Not even accidentally?

In general, I have varying opinions of Irving's books. I like the weirdness
of them, the problematic characters and even the kind of sadness that is
always present, but I don't like the long describtions of sports or other
detailed information about subjects that don't interest me at all. I like
Irving's writing style, but it depends mostly on the subject(s) of the book
whether I like it or not. Hotel New Hampshire is one of my all-time
favourite books and I also liked A Prayer for Owen Meany a lot, but I
couldn't even finish Water-Method Man and Son of the Circus. The World
According to Garp
and Cider House Rules are somewhere in the middle: they
have great bits and characters, but also boring ones. Until I Find You
goes somewhere a bit below the middle: It could have been way better, but there
still was enough something in it for me to finish the book. So, thanks once
again for the opportunity to read this! When it comes to John Irving, I at
least give his books a try.

I have Karenlea's address and I'll post the book on Monday.

Journal Entry 9 by Kemppu from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Monday, January 29, 2007
Sent to Karenlea.

Journal Entry 10 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Friday, February 16, 2007
Caught!!! I have a few rings/ray ahead of it, but I should be able to start it very soon. Thank you for sharing!!!

Journal Entry 11 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Well, I managed to get two hundred pages in and I realized that I just can't read this book right now. I don't know if it's because I am too distracted with other things in my life or if the book just isn't that good. Irving is really hit and miss with me. "The Cider House Rules" is one of my all time favorite books, but I have found other novels of his to be unreadable. I am not sure where this falls. In any case, I am going to give up on it and pass it along to the next reader.

Thank you to Samulli for sharing this book. I am mailing it off to -psyche- tomorrow morning.

Journal Entry 12 by -Psyche- on Tuesday, May 15, 2007
It has arrived! I will read and pass along shortly! :)

aunt-sophie asked to be skipped, so I am PMing next in line.

Journal Entry 13 by -Psyche- at A fellow bookcrosser in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, October 18, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (10/18/2007 UTC) at A fellow bookcrosser in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Finally! Off into the wide world, across the pond!

Journal Entry 14 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Sunday, November 25, 2007
The book arrived here yesterday, thanks for sending it on to me -psyche- (thanks also to samulli for letting me join the ring). I'm snowed under with work for university at the moment but it's almost the Xmas holidays so I should get more time for reading then! I'll journal it again when I've read it.

Journal Entry 15 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I started reading this book weeks ago but I just can't seem to get into it. I'm really aware of the fact that I've now had this book here for over three months so I've decided to pass it on unread. I'll PM the next person on the list now and will send it on as soon as I hear back from them. Sorry for holding things up. :o(

Journal Entry 16 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Friday, March 21, 2008
I've PM'd CatWhitehouse twice now but have had no reply. I know that PMs are notoriously unreliable so I've also posted an ISO in the forums. I've had no response from that either so will now try and contact the next person on the list. As soon as I get an address I'll send this book on.

Journal Entry 17 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Thursday, May 08, 2008
I'm sorry that this book is still with me. I've now managed to get an address for RonOren and will post the book on as soon as I can. Please accept my apologies for holding this bookring up. I've been ill and it's difficult for me to get to a Post Office.

Journal Entry 18 by sunflowergirl from Carlisle, Cumbria United Kingdom on Friday, May 23, 2008
I'll be posting this book to RonOren this afternoon. I am so sorry for holding this book up for such a long time; real life hasn't been kind recently. Thanks for bearing with me though.

Journal Entry 19 by RonOren from Balham, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, May 29, 2008
Arrived yesterday, after I'd completely forgotten I was supposed to get this one. Always nice to have a surprise in the mail! I'll start on it as the alternative-to-telly book soon.

Journal Entry 20 by RonOren from Balham, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, June 19, 2008
I really enjoyed this one! At first, in the part when a very young Jack and his mother do the tour of Europe, I was quite annoyed by how precocious Jack is portrayed. Even though Irving does throw in the occasional "Jack wouldn't know if he had remembered this correctly" (pardon the paraphrasing), in general he seemed to understand a lot which a 4-year old could never grasp. Which got me quite close to giving up on the book, but luckily I persevered. I have to say, I loved how I turned out to be quite right after all...

I agree somewhat with Kemppu that Jack is a little too boring to be a good main character, but it didn't really bother me. Partly, that must've been because Jack shares that main character spot with his father (which is quite impressive, considering how small an actual role his father has in the book); partly I think it was offset by Emma. I felt a lot more for her than for Jack. Maybe because Emma seemed to be a "normal" person (as in ordinary, not as in her own definition of "normal"), while Jack is the quitessential film star: a bit too clean, too diet-abiding to be real; even the psychological problem seems almost fake.

But mostly, I was surprised at how utterly addictive this book was. Some of Irving's earlier work is the same (mostly, to me, A Prayer for Owen Meany), but The Fourth Hand missed that completely. I'm glad to see that he hasn't lost his touch :-).

Thanks so much for allowing me to read this and enjoy one of my favourite authors again, samulli! I'll contact Cross-patch and get the book moving again soon.

Journal Entry 21 by RonOren from Balham, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, June 28, 2008
I've finally managed to send it on to Cross-patch; sorry about the long delay! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal Entry 22 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, July 05, 2008
Suddenly two books arrive at once! Thank you samulli and RonOren; I will try to read this one soon.

Journal Entry 23 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wonderful! But I did find it difficult to get through. There is do much detail, totally engrossing but Idid struggle with the concentration level needed. Only my third John Irving, bit I'm certainly up for more. Thank you Samulli for the chance to read Until I find You. It has already gone to Denmark.

Journal Entry 24 by pulcherrima from Tommerup Stationsby, Fyns Amt Denmark on Sunday, September 07, 2008
picked the book up at the post office a few days ago. am looking forward to reading it

Update December 25th
I finished reading the book on December 22nd and like it, but must admit that it is not my favourite Irving book. I had difficulties getting through the last part of the book because I had a feeling of already having got my imagined ending by Jack finding his family in Ireland.
My favourite part of the book is the first and I especially enjoyed Jack and his mother's stay in Copenhagen because I know "my own" capital like the back of my hand.

I will pass the book on to Mary-T when the post office opens again on December 29th.

Journal Entry 25 by Mary-T from Bretzfeld, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, January 03, 2009
This book just arrived.
Thanks :)
I fear it will take me a while to go through... but it's not too bad I hope since I'm the last one...

Well - for me I have to confess as well that I have difficulties with some Irving's and love others. Maybe it's really the topic. I don't know. But after two hundred of pages the novel I was too bored and too less curious to read on... :(
Even though I really liked the tatto surrounding... ;)

I will ask the remaining participant that was left out before. Maybe he/she is interested to read it now?
If not, I think I will take it to Raleigh next month to release it there.

Journal Entry 26 by Mary-T at Cheesecake Factory in Raleigh, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (8/20/2011 UTC) at Cheesecake Factory in Raleigh, North Carolina USA


I'll take this to a meeting with Megi53.
If she don't like to read it I will release it somewhere in the Crabtree Valley Mall.

Journal Entry 27 by Megi53 at Raleigh, North Carolina USA on Sunday, August 21, 2011
What a chunkster (and it's virtually in TWO chunks after so many readers)!

I enjoy Irving; he's one of the few authors for whom I'd tackle nearly 1,000 pages.

Thanks, Mary-T!

Journal Entry 28 by Megi53 at Mystery Spot in Danville, Virginia USA on Saturday, February 15, 2014

Released 7 yrs ago (2/14/2014 UTC) at Mystery Spot in Danville, Virginia USA


Wild release walk in the slushy snow!

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