March 1, 2005

Book of the Year: 2005

Book #13 of 2005: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
This book is now the top tip for the top, nudging The Woman In White into second place. I was advised to read something by John Irving, and Owen Meany happened to fall off the library shelf into my hands. I’m happy that I didn’t start with one of the better-known novels, because this was just such a fantastic read.
A Prayer for Owen Meany is an extraordinary book. The plot’s many mysteries are built around Owen Meany’s firm belief that he is an instrument of God, following the accident in which he kills the narrator’s mother with a baseball. Everything, he says, happens for a purpose; and in the last few scenes of the book, this is revealed to be true.
The novel is peopled by small-town misfits and peculiar characters, and driven by the commanding presence of Owen Meany, an unusually small person with a weird voice. It is very, very funny; and at the same time, a terrible story of loss, and an examination of religious faith.


4 thoughts on “Book of the Year: 2005

  1. Didn’t you find the way Owen talks TO BE VERY SLIGHTLY ANNOYING, JOHN?!?
    The only book I’ve ever thrown down halfway through in disgust (maybe I was going through a phase where self-pitying narrators blahing on about thier pasts was particularly grating). Kind of irks me that it might have redeemed itself in the end.

  2. No, the way Owen talked WORKED FOR ME. I don’t throw many books down in disgust, because I hate to think I might miss something. This one, obviously, was not elibible for down-throwing.

    Karen on March 2, 2005
  3. Owen Meany is, quite literally, the only book I ever quit on. It’s special, really.

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