A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

Not only was this one of those rare books that has you from the opening pages promising greatness at ever turn of the phrase, it delivered on its promise. I started it unintentionally in an inopportune time, for I was unable to give it my full attention, but I could not keep away. I tore into it ravenously.

Owen Meany is the best friend everyone searches for, yet is always overlooked. After spending such a long, emotional time with Owen, I think I came almost as close to Irving in my love for him. A small boy who resembled an “…embryonic fox with translucent ears..”, John Irving weaves a story around tiny Owen Meany, his best friend, exposing his larger than life existence. An existence that is strengthen and prolonged, hopefully forever, in the minds of each reader. I hope I am never without Owen Meany.

The story moved me, the characters humbled me, and the writing, which exhibited such a love for the craft, was inspiring. It has inspired me to start. Start everything. I laughed out loud, and try desperately to continue to do so, and often tears threatened to spill down my cheeks. It stirred memories of my past, of my friends, of myself. It spoke to me, in a STRANGLY, HIGH PITCHED AND IRREGULAR VOICE. A voice you cannot help but listen to.

As a post script, I wonder about the few passages that were marked. By the way, we’ve discussed this, but it angers me to read a highlighted book. I can’t help but see each scratch of ink or lead as a mental skid mark of another soul staining the pages. And how can you not absorb more and be influenced more by the words highlighted by that mark, thus put more weight to it, even if its more weight simply because its there? Irving made a point of discussing, and previous reader (you?) made a point of highlighting passages, an addiction to reading the newspaper and had much to say on this topic. What do you make of that? (And yes, I leave that very vague and opened.)


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