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13 Reviews
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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, but buy Trying to Save Piggy Sneed
The Imaginary Girlfriend is a terrific memoir. Irving, while taking a break from writing novels, decided to pen a short autobiography, but he brought his usual sense of humor, ability to develop characters, and readable style to the project. The story does an excellent job of explaining the life events and people who have shaped his character and writing, which I think is...
Published on January 5, 2003 by Z. Blume

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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book
Buy "Trying to Save Piggy Sneed" instead, since it includes this work and several other pieces. It's just my stupid opinion, but I think the publisher deserves a big dope slap for republishing this seperately.
Published on June 25, 2003


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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, but buy Trying to Save Piggy Sneed, January 5, 2003
By 
Z. Blume (St. Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
The Imaginary Girlfriend is a terrific memoir. Irving, while taking a break from writing novels, decided to pen a short autobiography, but he brought his usual sense of humor, ability to develop characters, and readable style to the project. The story does an excellent job of explaining the life events and people who have shaped his character and writing, which I think is very useful when trying to understand and appreciate his other books. I think this story itself is some of Irving's best writing and is certainly worth the short time it takes to read. I would recommend, however, instead of paying for the memoir alone, you purchase Trying to Save Piggy Sneed which includes this memoir as well as several short stories. You will not be disappointed if you are an Irving fan or just enjoy good, entertaining writing.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars devistating standing cradle, November 26, 1999
By A Customer
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This book is a must for anyone who has ever wrestled or followed the sport. Irving does a fine job of showing how the physical exertion and emotion he put into wrestling mirrored the creative process of his writing. He is able to capture the sweat, the smells and the camaraderie of the wrestling room while showing that he and his pals were not just a bunch of one dimensional oafs. He concentrates on the creativity and diverse personalities of the wrestlers on his team. Those of you who are former wrestlers who are coaching or who are totally retired from the mat will appreciate Irving's transition from college student, to writer, to family man without ever really losing contact with the wrestling world. Stories about referees and out-of-control sports parents are all too real, but will make you chuckle anyway. A quick read.Iriving shows how all of those old coaching cliches really do apply to life.
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book, June 25, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
Buy "Trying to Save Piggy Sneed" instead, since it includes this work and several other pieces. It's just my stupid opinion, but I think the publisher deserves a big dope slap for republishing this seperately.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Irving's best, June 25, 2003
This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
I am a big John Irving fan and have read almost all of his novels. This book was a big disappointment for me, though. Rather than deeply delve into the events and people who shaped his writing, Irving provides perfunctory descriptions of the major events in his life as a writer and wrestler. He devotes much more attention to the scores of every wrestling match he ever took part in than to details regarding the process of crafting his novels. For wrestling fans, this book might be just what you are looking for; for others, I would skip it and re-read Garp.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, July 11, 2000
This is something I'd recommend to anyone. John Irving is THE great American writer of our generation, and his memoirs shed a lot of light on his other writing.
If there's a reason not to buy this book, it's because it's included in the "Prayer for Owen Meany" collection and everything in that book is worth reading too, so you might as well get the whole thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You better love wrestling., May 21, 2014
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This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
I give this a three star since John Irving is a fantastic story teller. But I would say about 85% of the book is excruciatingly detailed comments on his wrestling career, and those of his Sons. If you love wrestling, you'd definitely give it a 5. I, however, had a rough time taking in all the scoring and terminology. It wasn't about his life very much at all, unless his whole life was wrestling. I am glad I purchased it since it will now complete my John Irving collection, but I wouldn't advise it for someone who is less than a John Iving fanatic such as me.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Irving's best work., September 24, 2003
This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
I expected more from this book. Irving's memoir is sorely disappointing in comparison to his novels. It's not BAD, it's just not written with the same level of complexity and interest found in his fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite author. What more can I say? I love anything by John Irving, so I'm a little biased to elaborate!, November 30, 2013
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This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
My favorite author. What more can I say? I love anything by John Irving, so I'm a little biased to elaborate!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Wrestler/Writer, June 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
John Irving is arguably the best writer-wrestler on the planet. Well, there might be a Russian writer who wrestled but...anyway, I have enjoyed a few of Irving's books which are very entertaining. I mean, I like Irving but he is not in a class with Lessing, Sebald, Mutis, Marquez or Oz or even Roth, which is asking a lot of course, but if we are going to rate people (which is a stupid thing to do) there you have it. Notwithstanding my modest assessment of Irving's writing, the fact remains that he is a serious writer, a serious artist and this book is a wonderful, intimate look at the relationship between a man and his work. Jeanette Winterton et. al. can pretend that autobiography plays no role in art (or whatever cockamamie stuff the deconstructionist, post-modernists blather about) but here is Irving, a serious wrestler writing about his life and the melding of his two loves. My girlfriend (aitanadelajara.com) who reads Proust in French and Cervantes in Spanish loved this book too. You will not regret the evening you spend reading this book. Arthur Bacon
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, March 3, 2013
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This review is from: The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir (Paperback)
Can't wait to finish reading it...I'm already 1/4 of the way through it and It just came in the mail yesterday
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The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir
The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir by John Irving (Paperback - December 3, 2002)
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