In 20 years of reading this book over and over it never disappoints!
I have always loved the scene in the attic w the sewing machine and the cousins.
I don't mean to write a bad review of anyones narration, in fact I was ok w how he portrayed most of the characters. However, I knew the moment I heard his Owen voice that I couldn't listen. I don't know that anyone can narrate it properly, it is a huge task to assign anyone and I think Joe Barrett gave it his best shot.
This book has always evoked the whole gamut of emotion for me. I have always loved it!
I'm a pretty eclectic woman who happens to use a wheelchair. I love to read, and adore this site.
Joe Barrett is a genius! This was the book that made me decide to become a member. There is so much more depth to the story in the audio version!
I've been a fan of John Irving since high school. Being physically disabled, reading was often my escape from real life, and he writes well and in such detail.
Owen's story is by far my favorite, but not just because the main character has a disability as well. Because the disability, while being a character in itself in some ways, because it is part of everything Owen attempts, is also very understated. In most ways, it doesn't really affect the story much.
However, what Owen and his best friend, who is the narrator of the story, via the device of flashbacks, choose to do with the hands that they have been dealt is very much a part of the story.
It should be noted that there is a movie called Simon Birch which is very loosely, and I do mean very loosely, based on this book. I did enjoy the movie, but you would be doing the story, and yourself, a great disservice, by not reading the book itself.
And if you choose to listen to it by getting it from here, you will not be disappointed. I promise.
The most enjoyable part is getting to live out the book again. Hearing the emotion in Joe's recitation that I have felt each time I have read the book. Tt is like getting to relive favorite moments in your life.
Many come close. but no one can really touch this book. It is an all time favorite of mine.
Everything but Owen's voice. He does a great job of bringing the characters to life.
John Wheelwright. I think his views and inspiration for his actions would make a terrific evenings worth of conversation. I first read this book in the early 1990's when i picked up a copy that had been left in the vacation home of a fried. the vacation home was in New Hampshire. I lost myself in the story and as i read the book found a kindered spirit in John and know him like i know myself. A true friend who i would gladly spend any amount of time talking with about the world and all its stuff.
Ok, let's say that we can all agree that Owen's voice would be difficult for anyone to emulate. However, I have to say that while Joe Barrett did a great job on all other characters, because 'THE VOICE' in my head was so different from what he provided it was the one thing about this audiobook that I would change.
Thoughtful, heart breaking, engaging.
I liked the scene/time changing, fluctuation; the effect of knowing the end or outcome of situations and later getting all the backstory. This method of story telling engages my brain and kept me fresh and interested throughout this lengthy book (it never seemed long). This was the story of Owen's life, but also the story many other characters who were well developed. In many ways it is the story of America in the 1950/60s. The author developed such a range of ideas, morals, generational differences and similarities, so it is difficult to figure out what I liked best.The reader is given reasons and resolutions to many things that happen, but is also left with enough questions that the story and characters continue to populate the mind.This book may cause the reader who was around during that time to take another look at what happened then and since then. The younger reader may get a different perspective not found in text book histories.
The best thing about the performance was Owen's voice. But overall the voice, the emotion, the pauses at the correct moment, all were fantastic.
I found this book on a list suggested for a high school class and think it is an excellent choice for young adult readers. But there is so much depth to the characters and story, that readers of all ages will enjoy it and learn from it. Readers who experienced the 1950/60s will find a lot to like and to dislike in the tale; and see some truths they may have missed while "living through it".
When I first heard Joe Barrett speak I wondered what made me pick a book this long where I have to listen to such a gravelly irritating reader. That thought only lasted a few minutes as the story unfolded with such richness as each character got their unique and identifiable voice. Especially Owen Meany's, which when the book is read shows up in capital letters now doesn't have to as Joe pushes out that nasally whiney voice with conviction. Through Joe's loving portrayal of this complex character I looked forward to the inevitable insights that came from that irritating voice. And grandmother's voice always made me laugh.
The volkswagon on the stage
He makes each character interesting and unique with the shading of his voice.
If I could have...I would have.
Unexpected and beautifully wriiten.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
I just finished this and Ill tell you, it was hard to finish the book BEFORE writing the review.The narration alone is worth the cost of admission. Sometimes its hard to imagine just reading the book when you get narration like this. Barrett does an amazing job of the voices of Owen and the grandmother.I often found myself laughing out-loud
. The book lags a bit in the middle, and for me it would have been much better if it was tightened up,.but its worth persevering to get to the end, which is very good. All in all its a rich rewarding read involving every emotion.
John Irving is BRILLIANT at exploring people, lives, and time periods from his utterly rich, unique,and mature vantage point .No one writes like him, or could write like him for that matter. I think he is a very brave writer who is willing to take great chances with his story's. What transpires from his brilliance, courage and originality is always something very special and worthy of your time. His books make the best book club selections because there are so many layers and areas to explore. The smarter you are, the more you will get out of his work.
SPOILER ALERT= DONT LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW THAT COMES WITH THIS PURCHASE TILL YOUR FINISHED READING THE BOOK.
As a side note, I enjoyed the fact that parts of the book take place in Toronto, since that's where I live .
I've read many books by John Irving, and while I've really enjoyed most of them (esp. Garp), I think this is my favorite. You should know that it is very long and you might have to make a real investment to enjoy it. There are many bits and pieces to this book, so there is a lot to keep track of, and the story spans a few decades. The narration is the best I've ever heard. I don't laugh out loud too often while listening to books, but I did several times during this one. This is one of the few books that I believe is better listened to (so long as Joe Barrett is the narrator). I don't think that I would have understood the character of Owen as well if I'd read the book myself. If you are an Irving fan it's very likely that you will love this book.
The reader could use a less horrible, abrasive voice for Owen Meany.
I only listened for a couple of hours...it was slow moving and not enough action for me.
NV, not NY
In reviewing other Irving books some listeners stated that they weren't as good as A Prayer for Owen Meany, so I was looking forward to finally getting around to it. Although enjoyable, APFOM was probably my least favorite. If you've never read/listened to an Irving book before, I'd suggest Until I Find You. If you like it, consider yourself lucky - you've got a lot great Irving books awaiting.
The story and the wonderful narrator
The voice of Owen and the voices of the other characters
Owen, of course