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.
Garp's story revisited.
Character development is great.
This is a spoiler section - the scene where Danny thinks he is going to whack a bear with a skillet but it turns out it ain't a bear at all.
Ketchum - the logger that is very rough around the edges
Nurse Practitioner, Wannabe Novelist of historical fiction, PRINCE fan for life
I'm lost. I can't get through it. The story is so bland in the beginning I cannot listen for more than 15 minutes.
I've been an Irving fan for many years now but this book might be my last. There are some nice moments in this book but all the self indulgent dialog about writers dilemmas and the personal political rantings in the guise of a tough libertarian character are better left to an editorial page not literature. Of course he finds a way to slip in wrestling, a classic Irving subject that he has beaten into the ground. I can't believe he slipped in the Trade Center attack so that he could comment on it for pages? Please John, save it for the editorial page or your blog. I think we're seeing an author that has done his best work already and is now just putting out uninspired work. Hopefully there is another great novel in him but this isn't it
The narrator wasn't so bad, but the story just seemed to ramble endlessly
I think I may just be the only person I know who does not enjoy John Irving's books. I have tried several and it just seems to me that they all ramble endlessly. My review may not be terribly helpful because so many other people seem to like his stories.
A usual, John Irving creats a cast of characters you just can't help but yearn to learn more about. His expert story telling shines once again in this novel. A must read for any Irving fan and for those who enjoy character driven stories.
We listened to this book as we drove across Nevada and Arizona. It was riviting, and very well read. I highly recommend this excellent read
I was so thrilled that Irving had written a new book, I saved up my audible credits to purchase it. Then it took me months to get through what has to be one of his most insipid works to date.
I could not feel any empathy for the characters, which is normally what I enjoy about Irving's novels. The more the contrived story went on, the more I wanted it to end. To me, the characters were cartoons set against a completely unrealistic storyline. It was disappointing, to say the least, especially since Irving is a master of bizarre characters set in even more bizarre circumstances. What I have always loved about Irving's characters, is that they had at least three dimensions, and despite the whirlwind of circumstances that defied reality, they were people that could be related to.
Perhaps these characters seemed one dimensional to me because they had no basis in the author's perspective, or perhaps I have simply grown tired of the artifice. Either way, it took a strong act of will just to finish this book, and the ending was as predictable as I was afraid of.
The book is slow, as others have said. But still enjoyable, in an "easy to put it down" way. I listened to this book in pieces between other books.
The narrator's voice is nice, but his consistent mispronunciation of street names in Toronto was distracting and annoying.
Really only worth 1 credit though.