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Yes, the 5 star reviews are all true!!!!

  • Aug 31, 1998
I bought this book from Amazon.com on the strength of the reviews. To sum up, they are all true. This is a moving, funny, sad, complex and ultimately entertaining book. Read it and laugh and read it and weep. But you must read it.

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More A Prayer for Owen Meany reviews
Quick Tip by . October 24, 2010
The novel is probably 50 or so pages too long--meaning the emotional intensity is attenuated. That said it is still emotionally beautiful.
review by . April 02, 2004
It's not often my son--a well read young man in his early 20's--recommends a book to me with such effusive enthusiasm. How could I not read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" with that kind of encouragement? Granted, son and I have very different tastes in tomes. But Irving is actually an author more my style, and the novel I just finished prior to this one, "Da Vinci's Code," was more his style. I'm always willing to stretch. We traded books. Ah, what a refreshing pause! I had been somewhat disappointed …
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About this book


Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mom with a baseball and believes--accurately--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom. John Irving's novel, which inspired the 1998 Jim Carrey movieSimon Birch, is his most popular book in Britain, and perhaps the oddest Christian mystic novel sinceFlannery O'Connor's work. Irving fans will find much that is familiar: the New England prep-school-town setting, symbolic amputations of man and beast, theGarp-like unknown father of the narrator (Owen's orphaned best friend), the rough comedy. The scene of doltish the doltish headmaster driving a trashed VW down the school's marble staircase is a marvelous set piece. So are the Christmas pageants Owen stars in. But it's all, asHighlightsmagazine used to put it, "fun with a purpose." When Owen plays baby Jesus in the pageants, and glimpses a tombstone with his death date while enactingA Christmas Carol, the slapstick doesn't cancel the fact that hewasborn to be martyred. The book's countless subplots add up to a moral argument, specifically an indictment of American foreign policy--from Vietnam to the Contras.

The book's mystic religiosity is steeped in Robertson Davies's Deptford trilogy, and the fatal baseball relates to the fatefully misdirected snowball in the first Deptford novel, Fifth Business. Tiny, symbolic Owen echoes the hero of Irving's teacher ...

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ISBN-10: 0345361792
ISBN-13: 978-0345361790
Author: John Irving
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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