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The Water-Method Man (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – June 23, 1997
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
The Water-Method Man is far from perfect; I don't suppose it will hold up as well as The World According to Garp. But some books you love despite all their flaws and limitations. God knows John Irving made me very happy for a while.
I read this book in college (1984) and have kept it over the years, re-reading it whenever the urge for a little "Bogus" appears. I laughed so hard in my dorm room that my friend (a non-fiction-reading geology major) asked to borrow the book when I was through. Twenty years later, we still reference parts of the book when we're together.
Though I'm not a huge movie buff, I've always wondered why this didn't get made into a motion picture. Of course, John Cusack is too old now to play Bogus, but I've always thought he had a kind of vacancy in his face that would be perfect for the role; he also has the charm, which Bogus obviously must have to attract the women he does.
John Irving writes about flawed men in a way that makes me think he was once a woman, or (surprise) he's a man who's very in touch with his own weaknesses. Being a woman, I appreciate the honesty (and the humor).
Now, with that said, I'll just come out and say what I feel--"The Water-Method Man" is an often grotesque, but consistently hilarious book. Rarely do I laugh audibly while reading a novel. I did so a lot while reading "The Water-Method Man."
In "The Water-Method Man" (his second novel) Irving made a gigantic leap in plot complexity from his first novel, "Setting Free the Bears" (also a favorite of mine). "Bears" had largely a tripartite soul as far as its plot went--nice and neat. "The Water-Method Man" is a masterpiece of nonlinear, multi-plotline story telling.
Again, more than anything, this book is FUNNY (yep...all caps funny). Even the chapter headings are humorous. A few examples: "Prelude to the Last Stand"; "One Long Mother of a Day"; Slouching Towards Overturf" "Another Dante, A Different Hell."
The characters of "The Water-Method Man" really do come to life. Biggie, Couth, Dante, Arnold Mulcahy and Tulpen will all stick in the reader's mind for a long time to come.
The Trumper--Thump-Thump--Fred--Bogus character is hard not to like even at his most despicable. This could almost be a parable about the kind of trouble we humans seem to get into without fail when we have no real help outside of ourselves.
The character of Merrill Overturf is sure to strike a cord with anyone who has ever been a little "off" in their formative years.Read more ›
The novel involves the life of one Bogus Trumper as he sets about trying to make a life for himself amidst uncontrollable chaos, disappointment, and the pain and agony caused by an abnormally narrow urethra. While his narrow urethra can be attributed to genetics, the other hurdles that he confronts are more or less of his own making which gives Irving license to hone his ironic and satirical gifts. Generally inept in his dealings with his family, friends and life's other complexities, Bogus has a gift for languages and uses this gift to extend his studenthood into the labryrinth of graduate school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't finish it. I love Irving's work usually, but this just left me cold. Maybe it's just a "guy" book.Published 19 days ago by D. L. Ritchey
Like Donleavy's THE GINGERMAN, Fred "Bogus" Trumper is what is known as a knight errant -- a man who WANTS to do better (in life, in his manners and actions) but who just... Read morePublished 13 months ago by VoiceOfReason
I found the narrator, Fred Trumper, not very likeable and the story was just mighty boring. I bought the book based on some reader reviews that mentioned the book made them laugh... Read morePublished 15 months ago by B. Teague
Shame that I didn't have it until now. But you know - no one is perfect (just read Irving and see). I'm a big fan of his and have translated Owen Meany into Latvian. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Didzis Melkis
It pains me to give a bad review to a John Irving book because his writing is always so enjoyable to read, but there simply isn't enough of a story to get wrapped up in... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Derek McCumber
One of John Irving's first books, and since I am a fan of his writings, I like it. It is weird John Irving, but not as weird as his last book, which I did not finish. Read morePublished 20 months ago by C. Moss
I originally bought this book, along with all of Irving's other novels, after reading Garp in 1982 (shortly after the movie came out). Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Eric