- Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (April 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006220422X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062204226
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,552 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Prayer for Owen Meany Mass Market Paperback – April 3, 2012
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From the Back Cover
"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany."
In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary.
About the Author
John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning in 1980 for the novel The World According to Garp. In 1992, Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He won the 2000 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Irving's most recent novel is In One Person (2012).
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Top customer reviews
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It's long and requires some patience.
There is quite a bit of political meandering, but I lived through the Viet Nam thing with my friends (and my husband) deciding to go or trying to get a deferment..
The character of Owen Meany was unlike any character I've ever met before. and the relationship between him and the narrator was wonderful.
For me to call a book unforgettable is saying a lot since I read or listen to audio books on a daily basis. A lot of books run through your mind and are gone. This is not one of them... at least not for me.
But then I have always been a fan of John Irving and I think this is one of his best.
As an avid reader, many books fade with time. This one will always stay with me.
John Irving is one of my all-time favorite authors. I love his descriptions and his in-depth involvement in his characters. The time he invests in his stories, not just a period but a life, carries his readers along an entirety of experiences. Yet this story was difficult to get into. It took a long time to see the thread that brought it all together. After a while, I was involved enough to feel a commitment, to be curious. Then it all came together. Like John Wheelwright, I needed time to see the big picture, to become a believer.
A Prayer for Owen Meany was, for the most part, an engaging read. It seemed like something I would have been assigned to read in lit class in high school or college. We are kept reading to the very end to find out how Owen dies.
The novel makes a strong statement against organized religion, and even paints a minister as a fornicator, someone without faith. While this can certainly be true in real life, it is far from the case across the board.
Beyond that, Owen himself is presented as a Christ figure, being told by his parents that he was born of a virgin, Owen having the idea his is an instrument of the Lord in the death of John's mother, Owen predicting the future, and Owen dying to save the orphans.
It is this last imagery of Owen as a Christ figure that is most disturbing to me. There is mental illness in Owen's, Dick's, and possibly Hester's family, as in families known to you and I. Ministers fall in and out of belief and return to grace. Bonds of friendships form, grow and change. Accidents happen and people sometimes die before we think they should. War steals young men's lives. That is real life, but this book does nothing to demystify or explain any of it. Cutting off arms and fingers only bloodies the picture.
Most recent customer reviews
And…I still liked it quite a bit.Read more