Sunday, September 11, 2011

25: A Prayer for Owen Meaney

I'm not ignoring today's anniversary, but my thoughts on Sept. 11th are so private that I'm not one to blog about it. My thoughts are with everyone who is remembering the day that changed America.

A Prayer for Owen Meaney
John Irving
Published: 1989

Why?: This book isn’t a quick read, and I didn’t curl up with it on the beach. I actually started it while canceling out my Audible membership and finishing off my built-up tokens. The audiobook is well-read by an almost soothing narrator, whose voice adds to the conversational narrative tone of the book. This book is great to read in chunks, letting each section sink in before moving on to the next. Its nonlinear construction makes you feel like the storyteller is weaving the tale for you right there in the room, rather than detracting from the story. Despite some fairly strong anti-American leanings (which are important to the narrator’s character; and, well, it's john Irving), the story is engaging, and the characters nuanced.

Gist: John Wheelwright is an ex-patriot who tells the story of his life and religion through his past with a boy (later man) named Owen Meany. Owen is a tiny person with a strange voice, strong convictions, and a faith born out of tragedy. The story of their lives together is covers the gamut from bitter to enthusiastic to horrifying to freeing.

Bonus Trivia:
The rather horrible film Milk Money has a school named Owen Meany Elementary.

Perfect For: This is a toughie, because the book is far outside what I usually enjoy! But it’s definitely a great novel for fans of modernist fictional or fictional biographies.

Genres: Fiction, Novel
Keywords: Drama

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