On Throwback Thursdays, I review an older book.
I didn’t have high hopes for A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. Published in 1989, it’s on my list of 100 Classics that I’m working my way through. A friend of mine has consistently stated that this is one of her favorite books, and though I love her, she and I often have opposite reactions to books. She’ll race through things I find dreadfully boring, and I’ll rave about a book she thought was just okay.
I’m also doing a book reading challenge to read a specific type of book every month this year, and that month’s book was to read a book you’ve “been meaning to read.” I figured that reading this book would kill three birds with one stone.
It’s not the easiest read. The story captured me from the very beginning, and then promptly had long stretches of boring. It took me awhile to get through it, but I read the last 100 pages breathlessly, shushing my husband when he tried to talk to me. Sometimes books make you wait until the end to pay off, and you’re like, “That wasn’t worth it.” This one is. It’s worth reading the whole thing to get to the ending. I’m not saying that the ending is the only good part of the book, not at all. The book is interesting, but the plot moves slowly at times. Unlike some books that I can read in a single sitting, I read this one a little, put it down, picked it back up, and so on.
I definitely recommend it with two thumbs up, but if you read it, be prepared to put some work into it. And be prepared to clear your schedule for the ending; you won’t want to take a break at that point. Trust me.
To my readers, if you read this book, what did you think of it?
Irving is one of my favorite writers but a lot of his books are this way for me, I can’t fully form my opinion until I’ve finished the book and sat on it for a day or two. What I love about his writing is the characters are always so truly human. They are real and raw and make horrible mistakes but generally have good intentions, just like in real life. His plot lines are often twisty and bizarre. “The Fourth Hand” is another one of my favorites of his but it’s one of those books that has you repeating “What the hell?!” over and over while you read it. I’m glad you got through this one and liked it. Your summary of it is perfect!
I’m glad I could do it justice. I probably will read more Irving at some point because, like I said, the payoff was worth it.