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The World According to Garp Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 1990
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“The most powerful and profound novel about women written by a man in our generation . . . Like all extraordinary books, Garp defies synopsis. . . . A marvelous, important, permanent novel by a serious artist of remarkable powers.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it. . . . Irving’s blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous. . . . Brilliant, funny, and consistently wise; a work of vast talent.”—The New Republic
“A wonderful novel, full of energy and art, at once funny and horrifying and heartbreaking.”—Washington Post
From the Publisher
One summer during college, long before I was even thinking of a career in book publishing, I picked up The World According to Garp, and would sit in my beach chair, totally absorbed, as I followed the exploits of Jenny Fields and her son Garp. It is books like this that ultimately motivated me to pursue a career in books.This novel was (and still is) so fresh, imaginative, clever, seductive and mesmerizing that for every summer after that I would re-read Garp ( and I hate to re-read books). Nothing else could compare.
Top customer reviews
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We follow Garp from his conception until late adulthood with all the triumphs and tragedies along the way. This is very funny and even the tragic parts are so over the top that I laughed. The penalty his wife's lover pays is a high point. He pays a terrible price!
Several good shots by Irving at modern society with his mad feminists who have cut out their tongues in a supposed show of "solidarity"with a young rape victim who suffers this fate.
Then there is the uni-cycling bear and short novels within a novel.
This is outstanding, I was entertained from start to finish.
I was able to fully immerse myself in the novel. It is a long book and I tried not to rush through it too quickly as I felt this is a sort of sipping whiskey novel rather than a shooter.
There are many themes concealed within the writing and many of the topics are still highly relevant today. I have given this a full 5 stars and plan to further explore this author.
T.S. Garp, the only child of the influential feminist icon, is a writer; he marries his first and only love Helen Holm, who teaches at a university. His first story (which you read in the novel) is wonderfully imaginative, absurd, and sad. Though he has so much promise to be a great name in literature, Garp slowly gets bogged down with everyday life. His novels begin to reflect his personal experiences rather than being purely imaginative and they suffer from it. Helen, his most revered critic, refuses to read the novel that wins him both fame and infamy, because it hits too close to home. Garp and Helen have a singular relationship that is tested throughout the book by lovers, children, death, and Garp's writing/not writing.
Sexuality is a raging presence in the novel. From Jenny's lack of sexual desire, to Garp's insatiable lust the reader is often thrown from side to opposing side. Rape, transgender, sex changes, lesbianism, affairs, and marital relations all play large roles in the novel and in Garp's life as he tries to figure out where he stands. Quick to anger but charmingly quirky, Garp's character is one that you can't help but love and empathize with despite his faults (and there are many!).
This story reveals character flaws sympathetically and hilariously. More than once I laughed out loud at the absurd and/or embarrassing situations! I felt very god-like while reading, because the narrator reveals so much about the ultimate end of the characters-there is even an epilogue!
The novel also spans over 30 years, so I think I can say "it was pretty epic."
Most recent customer reviews
I wish I didn't know how everyone's lives ended but, saga is saga.
there must be one somewhere because there are reviews written based on verified purchase of Kindle format.Read more
Wish I could scrub my mind of all the filth