Top positive review
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Only for Irving fans
on November 3, 2000
If you love Irving, you will want to read this eclectic collection of essays, bits of biography and short stories. If you don't know and love Irving, you will wonder what it's all about. Personally, I am a huge fan; I've read all of his novels and so this was a welcome insight into the life of one of America's treasures. The first chapter on how he became a story teller is vintage John. On another note, he definitely loves wrestling, and you are faced to read tedious round by round accounts of important matches in his life, but that's okay, because now I know where he got a lot of the foundations for Garp.
A few things stood out in this book that elevated John Irving to the status of one classy guy: his love and devotion to his sons, and he never has one bad thing to say about his ex-wife, the mother of his children. In fact he thanks her for her diligence in photographing the boys growing up and some of her shots are found in the center of the book.
Of the multitude of areas in this book, I enjoyed most a short story entitled "Interior Space" inwhich an Austrian man (who else?) laments over the sale of his house and the tree thereon. "You will not the tree down-chop." Irving truly is the master at replicating the juxtaposition of words in the dialogue of native German speakers speaking English.
As fans know, the wait between Irving's novels is unbearably long, and Piggy Snead makes for an entertaining interlude.