Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
The 158-Pound Marriage (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – June 23, 1997
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"One of the most remarkable things about John Irving's first three novels, viewed from the vantage of The World According to Garp, is that they can be read as one extended fictional enterprise. . . . The 158-Pound Marriage is as lean and concentrated as a mine shaft."
—Terrence Des Pres
"Irving looks cunningly beyond the eye-catching gyrations of the mating dance to the morning-after implications."
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
8 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
His descriptions are always very evocative, I feel I can smell the gym, feel the showers and physical exertion. Not all the descriptions are pleasant to experience, but they are very well written.
The book is about two married couples who meet well after they've each established a family and mode of life. Though neither couple seemingly would have considered such a thing before, they begin to swap partners without secrecy. It becomes a normal occurrence for them, and they even go so far as to vacation together.
One of the characters is a wrestling aficionado (not an uncommon occurrence in Irving's writing) and thus you get the title and all sorts of easily accessible wrestling lingo. In fact, he dedicates a chapter to each character in the beginning of the book, establishing background, and he literally divides them by weight class.
Of course, such things as spouse swapping are bound to fall apart, and the reader experiences the full implosion as both couples must deal with their "break-up" and the new dynamic it introduces both into their own marriages and with each other as "friends."
Though the story was a bit more sexually graphic than I'm accustomed to reading, Irving's style captivates me. He is truly a master at craft, plot, and characterization. And best of all, his stories burrow into your being and you can't help but become enthralled with his character's lives.
I look forward to reading more of Irving's work.
~Scott William Foley, author of Souls Triumphant
Moving back and forth in time, the author explores Utchka's difficult childhood in Austria, first under German occupation, then Russian; Severin's lifetime obsession with wrestling; and Edith's attempts to move into the creative world. Of course, none of that really explains why they came to be involved in a sharing arrangement. The characters remain rather sketchy.
For the most part, there is a lack of passion in their interactions, though there is enjoyment. A scene involving Severin and Utchka, naked on the wrestling mats, is worth the admission price. But discord starts to creep into matters. Expectations and attachments differ. Jealousy, edginess, and even revenge soon follow. But even the unwinding of this affair is more surgical than emotional. Nonetheless, the book is an interesting look at what can be gained and lost when marital conventions are flouted. Perhaps the wrestling metaphor is appropriate: sometimes the best laid plans, preparations, and hope can still result in a loss.