Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended.
In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of John Irving’s book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview added to your library.
Why we think it’s a great listen: For 20 years, John Irving believed that his ambitious novel could never be adequately executed in audio – and then he met narrator Joe Barrett.... In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument.
©1989 Garp Enterprises Ltd; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
“John Irving, who writes novels in the unglamorous but effective way Babe Ruth used to hit home runs, deserves a medal not only for writing this book but for the way he has written it. . . . A Prayer for Owen Meany is a rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late twentieth-century fiction—it is an amazingly brave piece of work . . . so extraordinary, so original, and so enriching. . . . Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world.” (Stephen King)
"Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating, and darkly comic...Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller." (The New York Times Book Review)
The intrigue. I loved how the author jumped around the giving small glimpses of each character.
I haven't but it makes me want to find others.
It was, but that would be impossible it was very long but well worth it.
Someone else said how they wished it was more, more story. It makes you want to continue to hear about these peoples lives. I cried near the end; how it all came together. While I don't totally agree with the authors view of religion per say, it did move me in the way Owen allowed himself to be used. That is the real Love of God exhibited. He loved others more than himself!GREAT FREAKIN' BOOK!
Not using endless "he said, she said, he said, she said..." in dialogues
I am trying to return this book
Exhilarating, encompassing, emotional
2 books actually - It has the breadth and characterisations also found in John Irving's 'World According to Garp'; similar off-beat, although believable people walk through both books.And it calls back to, unsurprisingly, to Gunter Grass' 'The Tin Drum', although it is much more positive and hopeful than Grass's book. The significance of being so much smaller than everyone else around him, lets Oskar, like Owen, see the world so differently.
Joe Bennett absolutely enlivens Owen Meany. His performance of The Voice was astounding.
I would really like to meet John Wainwright's mother, Tabitha. There is something hidden about her, but I loved her sense of openness (other than telling who John''s father was) and she seemed to like herself. Certainly she loved her son, and that appealed to me.
Grandmother Wainwright is possibly a model for me to consider as I age - her stubbornness and determination to do just exactly as she wanted to do. But she also seemed to me to be very accepting of difference in others - she may neither like nor approve of their behaviour, but I didn't think she ever rejected anyone.
I have read over 400 audible books and rarely write reviews. The occasion for this review is certainly not to tell you what a talented writer John Irving is. Many more qualified people than I have written that, but to express my amazement how Joe Barrett brings Owen Meany alive. In the printed book, Owen's voice is always in caps to emphasize it's unique quality. Barrett has captured a voice that creates a wonderful vision of this character. Even if you read this book in print, I would encourage you to listen to this incredible reading.
This is definitely a book to remember. Not only is the story and characters great, the performance by Joe Barrett is superb. His voices are all unique and his voice for Owen is outstanding and will stay with you...
I've listened to it twice (which I seldom do) and will listen again in the future.
I found it a bit long winded and boring. Plus I didn't really like the way it skipped around.
It was slow
He was inventive and played the characters well. Did a good job of a long, slow story!
I was disappointed. I have like John Irvings stuff before. But not this!
I loved Owen. He was so smart, he thought about things so deeply, and he was so loyal.
Owen was brought to life by Joe Barrett. I can't think of the book without hearing Joe's Owen voice in my head, and imagining what he'd say about something.
I was left with a feeling of regret that two lives were not lived as they should have been.
a must "read"
i read this book, a couple of times, years ago. I like to listen to audio books that i've already loved in print. i pick up on nuances that i may have missed in print. with owen meany, i hadn't missed a thing. all of the minutiae that i enjoyed the first time(s) were there, it was a story being told to me by john wheelwright. i was as moved by the story this time as i was years ago.
john irving creates characters that i want to know. i want to meet them and commiserate. owen is my most favorite. i will probably listen to this again. i loved the narration of joe barrett and the voices he gave to the characters. it's difficult to imagine owen's voice when reading and his "owen voice" was spot on.
i just finished listening to the story and i miss it already.
I very much enjoyed the character he brought to the voices.
obviously owen. he's a powerful and moving character and will last through generations.
To know this was real. This is a life of a person who can not speak, and yet can communicate, and be successful and inspirational.
Everything. The adjectives describe the feelings perfectly.
I love the voice and the accent.
It opened my heart. It made me see those who have disabilities with much more empathy
I recommend this book to anyone who needs a short listen. The best 2.5 hours I have add in a very long time.
It was good, but slow. I had a hard time at certain parts because it was dragging. But the story itself is really great. I liked the narrator, he did awesome.
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