April 16, 2005

The Under Toad

Book #18
The World According To Garp is a book about a father’s fears, and is lurid with death, violence, and complications. Featuring the themes of rape, bears and Vienna, which have recurred in everything I’ve read by John Irving, at least this time the bear’s role is only a cameo; otherwise it might start to get a bit old.
This book fails to live up to either The Hotel New Hampshire or A Prayer For Owen Meany, which is still my book of the year.
Garp is a writer of sorts, and the son of a famous feminist whose story is far more engaging than his own. Sadly it is his life, and the various deaths, injuries, infidelities and sex-changes of the other characters, that take up most of the book. It is of course beautifully written and an easy read, but perhaps I need to take a break from John Irving for a little while.


3 thoughts on “The Under Toad

  1. Irving books tend to blend into each other after a while as there are so many recurrent threads. Enjoyable but formulaic (spelling?)

  2. I’m a huge Irving fan; ‘Garp’ was the first of his I ever read. Perhaps explaining why I love it so. But ‘Owen Meany’, ‘Cider House Rules’, ‘A Widow for One Year’, ‘The Water Method Man’…I devour all of them.
    They do, however, require adequate spacing.
    And I do, however, reserve the right to selectively forget ‘Son of a Circus’ was ever published.

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