This rambled on forever. I only kept listening because I thought somethining better was coming. When I got to the last two hours I realized nothing was going to happen. I am a huge Updike fan, but these characters were unbelievable. The political rambling at the end was just too much.
one word review: excruciating. I almost gave up on this; the story is strange, too many weird things happen (without merit), not one character was 'endearing' and the prose is wwwaaay theatrical. This might be better assimilated being read rather than listened to. This cost two credits (that's $30) for this gold member. I'm sorry I wasted my money on this.
Endless. Tedious. Pointless. Skip it. Should get a medal for finishing it. Wish I had re-read Garp or Cider House instead.
I've read/listened to many John Irving books. The craftsmanship he demonstrates in exposing himself and his craft is really mind-blowing. Like a lot of Irving's books, if you focus on the plot you're missing the point of the book. The plot(s) here are secondary. This book is about generations, love, country, family, friendship, hope, hopelessness, and novel writing. Because I've been through almost all of Irving's oevre, I was able to identify his self-referential musings which dimensionalized the novel all the more.
John Irving's lesser novels are still better than most other writers' best. A little far fetched, and a little repetitive of his other works, the author still sets up and navigates a story brilliantly.
This story, told in Irving's inimitable voice, brings characters to life before readers' eyes and moves those characters through fascinating, unpredictable stories. Irving's stories unfold in a freeform fashion rather than being lock-stepped by overused literary techniques. Rare and much appreciated by this reader.