A Prayer for Owen Meany

by John Irving | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0345361792 Global Overview for this book
Registered by lshsmom of Wilsonville, Oregon USA on 6/28/2003
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by lshsmom from Wilsonville, Oregon USA on Saturday, June 28, 2003
John Irving always tells a good story

Journal Entry 2 by lshsmom at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Rabck in Portland, Oregon USA on Saturday, June 28, 2003
Released on Saturday, June 28, 2003 at Postal Release in Portland, Oregon USA.

will be mailed to cyber-librarian in Illinois next week.

Journal Entry 3 by cyber-librarian from Cary, North Carolina USA on Wednesday, July 09, 2003
I received this book in the mail yesterday as part of a trade. Thanks, lshsmom in OR!

c. 1989 -- 617 pages -- Paperback -- #9 on BookCrossing 2004 Favorites list -- #28 on BookCrossing 2006 Favorites list -- #19 on BookCrossing 2008 Favorites list -- BBC's "The Big Read" Top 100 Books -- #8 on The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians list

Back Cover: Owen Meany, the only child of a NH granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument; he is.

This is John Irving's most comic novel; yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character.

Journal Entry 4 by cyber-librarian from Cary, North Carolina USA on Friday, July 15, 2005
I finished reading this on 7/7. This was a very interesting read ... one I couldn't put down ... and can't stop thinking about. It's almost creepy how Owen Meany knew he was to be used as God's instrument. Very close to a 10 rating!

Quotes (page 106): "-- a banshee, in Irish folklore, is a female spirit whose wailing is a sign that a loved one will soon die."

(page 315) "... in Lake Forest, Illinois; I'm told that is a super-rich and exclusively WASP community that does its utmost to pretend it is not a suburb of Chicago -- but that may be unfair; I've never been there." I have; it's not unfair.

Used for 2005 Alphabet Challenge - I author

Journal Entry 5 by cyber-librarian from Cary, North Carolina USA on Friday, July 15, 2005
This book is now part of a BOOKRAY. Please let me know if you are interested in joining, your location, and if you'll ship Internationally. Please try to pass it along to the next person in line within a month or two ... or update your journal entry on its status.

The list so far: (tried for geographical order, LOL)
1. neckedldy (OH) - US & Canada --> received 7/25/05 --> mailed 8/17
2. cantreadenuff (MD) - mail International --> received 8/24 --> mailed 10/11
* HoserLauren (Ontario, Canada) - mail outside of Canada -->SKIP (has own copy)
3. Sedeara (MN) - mail US & Canada --> received 10/19
4. raggedeanne (KS) - mail US only
5. AngelfireStar (NE) - mail US
6. babykittysmama (CA) - mail US
7. CarynPic (CA) - mail US only
8. glitterspank (LA) - mailing preference unknown (middle-after 8/1)
* vzfamily (OH) - mail US only (bottom of list) -->SKIP (has own copy)
9. PaigeTurner124 (TX) - prefer US, International if necessary
10. Lynette4Real (TX) - no mailing preference (middle-end of list)
11. oneirus (WA) - mail International
* Aramena (OK) - mail International -->SKIP (has own copy)
12. Piggeldy (Germany) - mail prefer Germany or Europe, can do International
13. dagett (Austria) - mail International
14. BlossomU (Portugal) - mailing preference unclear (end)
15. kittynic (UK) - mailing preference unclear (end)

Released 13 yrs ago (7/21/2005 UTC) at Bookray in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases



I plan to mail this tomorrow to neckedldy in OH ... to start this bookray on its journey.

UPDATE: USPS website states this was delivered on 7/25/05.

Journal Entry 7 by neckedldy from Chillicothe, Ohio USA on Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Recived via postal release. Will read asap. I am over run with reading material at the moment so please bear with me.

Journal Entry 8 by neckedldy from Chillicothe, Ohio USA on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
On it's way to cantreadenuff in MD. Posted out today. Did'nt have time to read it though. Guess I still have to buy a copy,lol. Hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 9 by cantreadenuff from Woodbine, Maryland USA on Thursday, August 25, 2005
Received in yesterday's mail. I'm currently struggling with another bookray, which I'm bound and determined to finish within the week, maybe this weekend. I absolutely want to hold onto this and read it next, as I've heard soooo many good things about it. Wonder if I'll manage to finish the other book knowing this one is sitting here...

Journal Entry 10 by cantreadenuff from Woodbine, Maryland USA on Monday, October 10, 2005
I truly loved this book, the first Irving I've read. Sorry to have taken a while with it, but at 617 pages and with the excellent recommendations this one had, I wasn't going to pass it by. Only 9 chapters, with excellent titles--particularly the last chapter, though you have to read the book to understand--it wasn't what I expected. In the beginning of the book, I thought this was more about John Wheelwright than Owen Meany, as you don't really become endeared to Owen until the third chapter, but what a hoot and then you're hooked!

"We don't enjoy giving directions in New Hampshire--we tend to think that if you don't know where you're going, you don't belong where you are. In Canada, we give directions more freely--to anywhere, to anyone who asks." (this is particularly funny for me to have flagged, as later in the book (p.363), he refuses to give someone directions in Canada, which I found very funny)

p.173-174 has a very humorous description of a family in church which I also found to be very funny.

Of his grandmother: "She was a passionate reader, and she thought that reading was one of the noblest efforts of all; in contrast, she found writing to be a great waste of time--a childish self-indulgence, even messier than finger painting--but she admired reading, which she believed was an unselfish activity that provided information and inspiration. She must have thought it a pity that some poor fools had to waste their lives writing in order for us to have sufficient reading material."

(you have to read the book to understand the significance of all caps--which is not the current equivalent of yelling via email.)
"It takes more practice," I told him irritably.
"FAITH TAKES PRACTICE," said Owen Meany.

"Newspapers are a bad habit; the reading equivalent of junk food."


You won't be sorry to finish this marvelous story. I already have Sedeara's address so this goes in tomorrow's mail.

Journal Entry 11 by Sedeara from Sioux Falls, South Dakota USA on Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Just got it as part of a bookray. :)

Journal Entry 12 by Sedeara from Sioux Falls, South Dakota USA on Sunday, June 03, 2007
I procrastinated starting this book for a long time because I felt daunted by its length (600 + pages), but once I cracked it open, the story kept moving and getting through the whole thing didn't feel like a chore at all. The book is about Owen, a boy who is "different" -- the difference that sets him apart the most is his small stature and his voice, which never matures. I think he may be a midget, but that's never said explicitly. He believes that he is "God's instrument" and lives his whole life with the belief that he's on the path God has chosen for him, fulfilling his destiny. The narrator of the novel is Owen's best friend, John. As his best friend, John is so clearly devoted to Owen (and vice versa) that this is one of the most moving novels about friendship that I've ever read. It's also comical in an ironic way and heart-warming in the earnestness of its characters. Each character is fully developed -- even the ones who are only on the scene for a short while -- so that reading it truly is an immersion experience, and you have no trouble completely inhabiting John Irving's world.

My favorite part about this book was its examination of questions of faith. My least favorite were long "summaries" that brought us through certain, unimportant years in the character's lives (the novel takes place over about 40 years, with only 20 of them being quite detailed). I have a lot of questions about John Irving's reasons for certain details in the novel and wish I had someone to discuss their significance with. My main bone to pick with the novel is that I was under the impression that there would be a "twist" in the ending, but instead it played out exactly as I'd expected. It also ended too abruptly, not giving the reader any time to ease out of the world she's spent so much time and thought in. But still, an impressive rea

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