I never read anything by Irving before and after listening to this book I will listen to everything he has written. It's an outstanding book with great characters, narrated beautifully and one of those books you just can't put down. Owen Meany is one of the best single characters of all the novels I have ever listened. If I could have given this book 6 stars I would have.
This is the best book I have read in some time. about two hours in I stopped and did a search for Owen Meany on the internet and was very dissapointed that it is fictional character. Irving has created a superb person and a very good story. it is full of lessons and the reader will be better for it after reading the book. I laughed, I cried and more than often sat in the car to listen to just that bit more. I bought the hard copy to read and to make notes at the many good parts of the book. This is not just fiction, it is self development. I have read three other books after Owen Meany and... I am spoiled for life, none makes the cut. If you have only one book to read, THIS IS THE ONE.
The narrator made this book come alive for me. He sets a very high bar for me now when it comes to audio books. Read this book when it came out and loved it but enjoyed it so much more this time simply due to the narrator's ability to be different characters and consistant with his voices. I found myself wanting to purchase anything read by Joe Barrett simply because of how amazing of a job he did with this book.
Felt a little slow at the beginning but once the story got going, what a nice surprise.... i almost cried at the end even though i knew what was coming. I will recommend this book to anyone that likes a good hearted story... reminded me of the movie Forrest Gump
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I read this book in print years ago, and loved it. I thought I would give it a listen now and see if it held up to my memory of it. It is better the second time around and better as an audio book -- something I didn't think was possible. I LOVE this book. It's on my top 10 of all time.
If you're new to John Irving, just know this: it takes 200 pages for him to set up a book. He is very slow to craft his cast of characters, but once he gets there, it's a delight. Be patient and you'll be rewarded with amazingly complex, wonderful characters and a subtle story line that moves along beautifully.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
This was my first taste of John Irving's brilliant writing. I have rarely felt so completely involved in the characters of a book, he actually brings them to life and one by one they are such rich personalities. From John Wheelwright's eccentric cousins Hester and her two battling brothers, to Dan Needham John's step father, to John's grandmother and all the other people we meet along the way. But Owen Meany the tiny complex character with a high squeaky voice whose magnetism and confidence is larger than life, is by far the character that will stay with you forever. Owen Meany is following a divine plan from the beginning of the novel right to the end and because of this plan he saves John, his best friend, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The life story of these two boys is narrated by John Wheelwright, who in comparison to Owen is dry, wimpy and rather flat. These two boys are tied together for life the day Owen's baseball hits John's mother and kills her. The book volleys back and forth from their childhood in the 1950s to 1987 when John is a teacher at a girls school in Toronto. I found his jumping back and forth from childhood in New Hampshire to his later life in Canada confusing, but Irving keeps you intrigued as he always has a mystery in progress to captivate you and he is always setting up scenes which come into play as the book continues. There was too much rambling about politics and it's very heavy on religious descriptions which could have been edited, but even those parts were were very well written. This book is about, faith, doubt, love, loyalty, trust, friendship, life and death. Filled with metaphors and symbolism, this is a rich novel that will not disappoint. What a gift John Irving has.
As for Joe Barrett the narrator, equally brilliant job. His dry narration of John Wheelright and his cracked squeaky falsetto voice of Owen Meany adds so much depth to the story.
I tried multiple times to get through this audiobook, but I can't get into the story...There are moments of brilliance, but only sprinkled in the middle of long endless story.
After reading the some of the other reader’s opinions I almost did not read “A prayer for Owen Meany”. My husband, who is very picky, was not complained at all, so I gave Owen a chance. I am very happy that I read it. It is so good; it deserves more than 5 stars. I know, in the beginning is kind of slow, and nothing really happens. Additionally the book deals with several very difficult issues, like war, politics, and religion. I guess because I am not American I did not care, however, the book is so deep and funny, and finally so sad that it was very hard for me not to be touched by the story. I loved Owen Meany, I wish I have know him.
Just a warning: it is not a book for very religious people (Christians).
Simply the best. Owen is so captivating that you cannot step away. His character builds through the novel and keeps you riveted, you simply have to find out what he will accomplish next. A must.
I loved it. The story unfolds slowly, and builds like a wave until it crashes on the beach at the very end. There were days I drove home listening to it with tears streaming down my face...and the Joe Barrett did a great job with the voices... highly recommend it.