Dec 16 2014

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

I just finished this book, and now I am almost speechless. I laughed out loud through the first half of it, which now seems irreverent and almost blasphemous considering the way it turned out, but about halfway through it I perceived that it was heading toward some kind of mysterious and profound resolution, and after that it stopped being funny and became heart-wrenching. This book is an extraordinary creation that in its own homespun way tackles some of the deepest issues of existence, without ever descending into ponderousness or pretentiousness. There is, of course, a strong dose of the author’s liberal politics sprinkled throughout, but the author, or at least the narrator, has the good taste not to take himself too seriously, and the contempt he pours on the self-righteousness of the ’60’s antiwar movement is obviously sincere and unfeigned. But this book is so much more than merely political; it is one of the most profound expressions of spirituality I have ever read. This is undoubtedly the opus magnus of one of the most gifted novelists of our time.

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1 comment

  1. How many years did I spend telling you that you needed to read this book?

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