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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Prayer for Owen Meany

by

Prayer for Owen Meany Cover

 

Out of Print

Staff Pick

On one list are the books you like to recommend. You want to turn on someone to your favorite unknown author or introduce them to the season's latest, greatest novel. If you've read widely enough over the years, you'll match reader to occasion. The list comes to include something for just about anyone in any setting:John Irving

Funny books and smart ones; easy and hard; books that teach and those that entertain; pages best turned at the beach, on a plane, or sick in bed; a pick for the woman you want to impress or the friend who reads mostly in ten-minute bursts between cab fares; dry, plotless affairs that ease you toward sleep or blazers that set your mind racing, keep you up late into the night.

A much shorter list contains the sure bets — the ones that work for just about any reader, young or old, anywhere, at any time. A Prayer for Owen Meany may be the only book on my second list.

You get OWEN MEANY'S SQUEAKY VOICE into a person's head and the worst they'll ever say is they loved it. Without fail, they will thank you. [See our guarantee.] Three people I've given it to, years and oceans apart, reported back that it had become their favorite novel of all-time.

"Which one do I read next?" they all ask, so swiftly converted. (Often they're not even done with the book and already they're planning ahead. Anxiety has set in, a debilitating abandonment neurosis symptomatic of the last hundred pages.) "Take your pick," tell them. The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year...
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

On one list are the books you like to recommend. You want to turn on someone to your favorite unknown author or introduce them to the season's latest, greatest novel. If you've read widely enough over the years, you'll match reader to occasion. The list comes to include something for just about anyone in any setting:John Irving

Funny books and smart ones; easy and hard; books that teach and those that entertain; pages best turned at the beach, on a plane, or sick in bed; a pick for the woman you want to impress or the friend who reads mostly in ten-minute bursts between cab fares; dry, plotless affairs that ease you toward sleep or blazers that set your mind racing, keep you up late into the night.

A much shorter list contains the sure bets — the ones that work for just about any reader, young or old, anywhere, at any time. A Prayer for Owen Meany may be the only book on my second list.

You get OWEN MEANY'S SQUEAKY VOICE into a person's head and the worst they'll ever say is they loved it. Without fail, they will thank you. [See our guarantee.] Three people I've given it to, years and oceans apart, reported back that it had become their favorite novel of all-time.

"Which one do I read next?" they all ask, so swiftly converted. (Often they're not even done with the book and already they're planning ahead. Anxiety has set in, a debilitating abandonment neurosis symptomatic of the last hundred pages.) "Take your pick," tell them. The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year...
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys — best friends — are playing in a Little League baseball game in New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills his best friend's mother. Owen Meany believes he didn't hit the ball by accident. He believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after 1953 is extraordinary and terrifying. He is Irving's most heartbreaking hero.

Review:

"Superbly narrated sequences of comic action... Irving is particularly good at rendering the dynamics of things — he has a Dickensian ability to juxtapose and animate unpromising objects? [as in] the book's grand and brilliantly conceived final scene....You don't just read Irving, you listen to him." The New Republic

Review:

"Extraordinary, so original, and so enriching....A rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late 20th century fiction....Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world." Stephen King, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating, and darkly comic....Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious." Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"A lavish meditation on predestination, faith, and the unrealized forces that shape one's days." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Vintage Irving....A boisterous cast, a spirited joy." Time

Review:

"A Prayer for Owen Meany leaps off the pages with an imaginative passion that is startling....This is John Irving at full throttle: a riveting narrative, a cast of richly developed characters, and a story as complex and unbelievable as life itself....[A] joyous, provocative read!" Playboy

Review:

"I have been a voracious reader since childhood, and while I've read and loved many, many books, I can honestly say that A Prayer for Owen Meany is my all-time favorite! It is such an extraordinarily funny, moving and heartbreaking story and the ending is the best and most satisfying one I've ever read. The highlight of my first year working for Ballantine Books was attending a reading John Irving gave for the paperback publication. Owen Meany has a very memorable voice when you read the book, so you can imagine how exciting it was for me to hear my favorite author read my favorite book and do the voice of Owen Meany!" M. Coolman, Ballantine Publicity

Review:

"Riveting...Owen Meany, drawn in bold strokes, burns in the mind's eye — vivid, alive, beloved — long after the turning of the final page." UPI

Review:

"One of the most subtle and brilliant artistic examinations yet of America and America's involvement in Vietnam." San Jose Mercury News

Review:

"A wondrous novel... ultimately beguiling in its soulful account of a remarkable friendship... Irving's ability to create idiosyncratic characters and put them through weirdly ridiculous yet realistic paces has never been in finer fettle. Humor partnered with compassion, wisdom with absurdity, leave the reader both mirthful and tearful." Booklist

Review:

"[Mr. Irving] is more than popular. He is a Populist, determined to keep alive the Dickensian tradition that revels in colorful set pieces and teaches moral lessons....More than any of his novels since Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany embraces those 19th-century qualities." The New York Times

Synopsis:

Owen Meany, the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument; he is.

This is John Irving's most comic novel, yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character.

"Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating and darkly comic...Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious."

LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller."

THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOKR EVIEW

About the Author

John Irving published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Academy Award. Mr. Irving lives with his family in Toronto and Vermont.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

ProbateGeek, January 28, 2010 (view all comments by ProbateGeek)
This book, which I selected solely because the title caught my eye, got me back into reading fiction again. I am ever thankful to the author for that - and will never look at armadillos in quite the same way...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Graceamilion, January 15, 2010 (view all comments by Graceamilion)
Hands down Irvings best novel. Owen Meany is like no other character or person you know; he makes you think, laugh and cry. The last 50 pages of this novel will teach you more than any other book you read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
archetype, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by archetype)
This book was a birthday gift from a German friend living in the USA. I didn't get around to reading it for a few years and did so, ironically, on a plane to Germany to visit her parents while she was still in the USA. Read it in one sitting on that long trip. It's one of those books that challenges you to continue reading to the end. It superficially appears to be merely narrative about the life of an odd guy, and continues, and continues until you're asking "what's the point of all this?" At the same time Owen Meany is asking "what's the point of this?" as well. At the end the point is shatteringly clear and accepted by Owen, clear to the reader, and amazingly simple. Not a book for folks who require things to be straightforward to be enjoyable. I thought it was a brilliant piece of fiction.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 9 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345361790
Author:
Irving, John
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Non-Classifiable
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st mass market ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
7
Publication Date:
May 1990
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
640
Dimensions:
6.93x4.28x1.07 in. .68 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Prayer for Owen Meany Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 640 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345361790 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

On one list are the books you like to recommend. You want to turn on someone to your favorite unknown author or introduce them to the season's latest, greatest novel. If you've read widely enough over the years, you'll match reader to occasion. The list comes to include something for just about anyone in any setting:John Irving

Funny books and smart ones; easy and hard; books that teach and those that entertain; pages best turned at the beach, on a plane, or sick in bed; a pick for the woman you want to impress or the friend who reads mostly in ten-minute bursts between cab fares; dry, plotless affairs that ease you toward sleep or blazers that set your mind racing, keep you up late into the night.

A much shorter list contains the sure bets — the ones that work for just about any reader, young or old, anywhere, at any time. A Prayer for Owen Meany may be the only book on my second list.

You get OWEN MEANY'S SQUEAKY VOICE into a person's head and the worst they'll ever say is they loved it. Without fail, they will thank you. [See our guarantee.] Three people I've given it to, years and oceans apart, reported back that it had become their favorite novel of all-time.

"Which one do I read next?" they all ask, so swiftly converted. (Often they're not even done with the book and already they're planning ahead. Anxiety has set in, a debilitating abandonment neurosis symptomatic of the last hundred pages.) "Take your pick," tell them. The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year...

"Staff Pick" by ,

On one list are the books you like to recommend. You want to turn on someone to your favorite unknown author or introduce them to the season's latest, greatest novel. If you've read widely enough over the years, you'll match reader to occasion. The list comes to include something for just about anyone in any setting:John Irving

Funny books and smart ones; easy and hard; books that teach and those that entertain; pages best turned at the beach, on a plane, or sick in bed; a pick for the woman you want to impress or the friend who reads mostly in ten-minute bursts between cab fares; dry, plotless affairs that ease you toward sleep or blazers that set your mind racing, keep you up late into the night.

A much shorter list contains the sure bets — the ones that work for just about any reader, young or old, anywhere, at any time. A Prayer for Owen Meany may be the only book on my second list.

You get OWEN MEANY'S SQUEAKY VOICE into a person's head and the worst they'll ever say is they loved it. Without fail, they will thank you. [See our guarantee.] Three people I've given it to, years and oceans apart, reported back that it had become their favorite novel of all-time.

"Which one do I read next?" they all ask, so swiftly converted. (Often they're not even done with the book and already they're planning ahead. Anxiety has set in, a debilitating abandonment neurosis symptomatic of the last hundred pages.) "Take your pick," tell them. The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year...

"Review" by , "Superbly narrated sequences of comic action... Irving is particularly good at rendering the dynamics of things — he has a Dickensian ability to juxtapose and animate unpromising objects? [as in] the book's grand and brilliantly conceived final scene....You don't just read Irving, you listen to him."
"Review" by , "Extraordinary, so original, and so enriching....A rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late 20th century fiction....Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world."
"Review" by , "Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating, and darkly comic....Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious."
"Review" by , "A lavish meditation on predestination, faith, and the unrealized forces that shape one's days."
"Review" by , "John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller."
"Review" by , "Vintage Irving....A boisterous cast, a spirited joy."
"Review" by , "A Prayer for Owen Meany leaps off the pages with an imaginative passion that is startling....This is John Irving at full throttle: a riveting narrative, a cast of richly developed characters, and a story as complex and unbelievable as life itself....[A] joyous, provocative read!"
"Review" by , "I have been a voracious reader since childhood, and while I've read and loved many, many books, I can honestly say that A Prayer for Owen Meany is my all-time favorite! It is such an extraordinarily funny, moving and heartbreaking story and the ending is the best and most satisfying one I've ever read. The highlight of my first year working for Ballantine Books was attending a reading John Irving gave for the paperback publication. Owen Meany has a very memorable voice when you read the book, so you can imagine how exciting it was for me to hear my favorite author read my favorite book and do the voice of Owen Meany!"
"Review" by , "Riveting...Owen Meany, drawn in bold strokes, burns in the mind's eye — vivid, alive, beloved — long after the turning of the final page."
"Review" by , "One of the most subtle and brilliant artistic examinations yet of America and America's involvement in Vietnam."
"Review" by , "A wondrous novel... ultimately beguiling in its soulful account of a remarkable friendship... Irving's ability to create idiosyncratic characters and put them through weirdly ridiculous yet realistic paces has never been in finer fettle. Humor partnered with compassion, wisdom with absurdity, leave the reader both mirthful and tearful."
"Review" by , "[Mr. Irving] is more than popular. He is a Populist, determined to keep alive the Dickensian tradition that revels in colorful set pieces and teaches moral lessons....More than any of his novels since Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany embraces those 19th-century qualities."
"Synopsis" by , Owen Meany, the only child of a New Hampshire granite quarrier, believes he is God's instrument; he is.

This is John Irving's most comic novel, yet Owen Meany is Mr. Irving's most heartbreaking character.

"Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating and darkly comic...Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious."

LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller."

THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOKR EVIEW

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