Friday, August 28, 2009

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

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. (Taken from back of book)

I absolutely loved A Prayer for Owen Meany. I think it was the best required summer reading book I have ever had to read. And I know that the summary is vague, but I couldn't really think of anything better. For those of you who have never heard of Owen Meany, you might recognize the movie Simon Birch, which is based off of this book. I have never seen the movie, so I can't compare the two. But onto the review!
This book was perfect. It has some hilarious moments where I was literally laughing out loud, but at the same time it is so sad. It's a good mix of the two emotions. John, the protagonist, is a good narrator, who provides a ton of information to the reader. I like how the story wasn't exactly linear, but would go back in time and forward in time. If I was writing this book, I would be totally confused, but Irving has somehow skillfully crafted this book to make sense. There was a lot of interesting (and smart) discussion on religion that fascinated me. There were some important religious issues present, such as fate vs. free will and faith vs. doubt. I also liked how the book focused on the intellectual side of religion and never preached about Christianity. When I finished Owen Meany, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was so heartbreaking, but at the same time it was a fun novel to read. If you want to read something that changes your outlook on things, I would definitely recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany.

9 out of 10.


Sadako said...

I've heard really good things about this one so I'll try to check it out. Glad you enjoyed it!

YA Book Realm said...

lol I just was reading your comment on my blog post about summer reading and I wanted to know more info on this book because you mentioned you enjoyed it a lot and conveniently here was a review of it. love when things like that happen. anyhow, the book definitely piqued my interest. I heard of John Irving before, but never actual knew anything about him or books. But I like how a classic as a balance of humor and deep emotions. Those kind of books are hard to come by.