Interminable internal reflections about the character's conflicted feelings
I have loved everything I ever read/heard by Irving and gave this one a long run but this story just left me muttering "shut-up" and "get on with the story". I would read or listen to anything else that Irving did because of his long track record of good stories.
I was liking the girl at the beginning, but can't get through the rest of the story
not this one...interminable
The story is so well written--sensitive, authentic, real. I loved its subject matter. Thank goodness this is coming out. Top rate work. Thank you.
Narrator was great, book interesting but for me, not on the same level as his earlier works. Certainly won't stop me listening to his others. A slightly disappointing John Irving is still great compared to other writers.
Like most John Irving books I have read, the father of the main character is absent.
Every time my husband walked into the room while I was listening to this book, it was during an explicit homosexual scene. I endured a little bit of good-natured teasing. Maybe I should invest in earphones.
This book is an in-depth story about the coming of age and life of a bisexual man. It's interesting to hear about the point of view of a person whose experiences and feelings are so different from my own humble life. And yet, as a human being, he is just like the rest of us.
John Irving is very ambitious in In One Person: A Novel taking on gender roles and taking them on mainly though not exclusively through his gender bending protagonist, BIlly. The story is LOL at times until AIDS appears later in the book when reality is considerable more somber than playful youth. Billy is in love with the town librarian who appears to be a woman but appearances in this book are often not what they seem. Cutting across the sixty something lifetime of the prep school narrator Irving provides a tour of 20th century gender identification morality and the multiplicity of changes it goes through courtesy of his characters. Cross dressing is a given in Billy’s family with his grandfather eager to take on female roles in the town’s theater group. His birth father’s whereabouts and his legendary and eventually questionable qualities as a lady’s man are part of the finale that wraps up multiple gender shifting roles played by many characters in the book. Dad emerges near the end with a link to a story Billy remembered from a feverish visit of his youth involving a shipmate reading a novel perched atop a storm tossed commode. There is a bit more coming-of-age antics than I would like but Irving’s ability to tie these youthful discoveries to the child being the father of the man give it depth. Altogether a good read and well written as are all of Irving’s books.
I'm writing this review mainly to praise the narrator. John B. Hickey's performance was nothing short of brilliant. His voices and characterizations brought each of the characters to life in a way that was incredibly compelling to listen to. I still can here him saying "aaaah well...." Mr. Hickey was able to channel a clear personality and sound to each character and brought each one to life that sounded absolutely genuine to the listener. This is a huge achievement and Mr. Hickey is obviously a tremendous voice talent. As for the material I'm a big fan of John Irving's works, and this story is good. I suppose one could say that he was courageous in a way to attempt to write this book, but his usual literary tools stood out as such and overall lacked something intangible that makes his writing attain the greatness he's had so many times.
John Irving is a master at creating characters who capture the imagination and stimulate utmost sympathy. This book is funny, touching and honest.
John Benjamin Hickey delivers the narration every bit as skillfully as his acting performances.
As a general rule, I do not listen to books more than once because there is so much amazing literature and so little time! However, this will be one that I repeat, and I think I will enjoy it even more the second time.
Grandpa! If everyone had such open-minded family members, maybe our world would experience more peace and love!
I think it is aptly titled, and I wouldn't change the name!