A Prayer for Owen Meany

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“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he was the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”

The Cider House Rules

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Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch—saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.

The Hotel New Hampshire

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Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they “dream on” in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Son of the Circus and A Prayer for Owen Meany. “You must read this book.” —Los Angeles Times

The World According to Garp

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This is the life of Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields—a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes. Rich with “lunacy and sorrow”; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust.

The 158-Pound Marriage

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The darker vision and sexual ambiguities of this erotic, ironic tale about a ménage a quatre in a New England university town foreshadow those of The World According to Garp; but this very trim and precise novel is a marked departure from the author’s generally robust, boisterous style.

The Water-Method Man

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The main character of John Irving’s second novel, written when the author was twenty-nine, is a perpetual graduate student with a birth defect in his urinary tract—and a man on the threshold of committing himself to a second marriage that bears remarkable resemblance to his first.

Setting Free the Bears

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It is 1967. Two Viennese university students roam the Austrian countryside on their motorcycles—on a quest: to liberate the bears of the Vienna Zoo… But their good intentions have both comic and gruesome consequences in this first novel written by a twenty-five year old John Irving, already a master storyteller.