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A Prayer for Owen Meany Audiobook

A Prayer for Owen Meany

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Publisher's Summary

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.


This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.

©1989 Garp Enterprises Ltd; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Wayne Keys East Keilor, Victoria Australia 11-19-13
    Wayne Keys East Keilor, Victoria Australia 11-19-13
    ratings
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    "How Could You Not Enjoy This?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book without qualification.
    It is a wonderful story in print, however, its narration takes it to another higher level.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to it on my regular walks and quite often I have had
    to stop walking because of laughing.
    I will continue to enjoy my Audible downloads, however, I have no real expectations that
    I will ever enjoy another book to the extent that I have enjoyed this one.


    What other book might you compare A Prayer for Owen Meany to and why?

    I wish that I had the answer to this!


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I am aware of.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, as I enjoyed the anticipation of my next listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Well done to all concerned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna 11-16-13
    Lorna 11-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it,"
    Would you listen to A Prayer for Owen Meany again? Why?

    l loved this book and would most definitely read it again. l got lost In the characters and was so sorry when l finished reading. A good read ,what this is all about.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The mother really interested me and l Would love to find out more.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    NO


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LHP Clearfield, PA, United States 11-10-13
    LHP Clearfield, PA, United States 11-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Book is long but...."
    What did you love best about A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    The unusual story and "The Voice".


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    All of his different voices and his interpretation of Owen's voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Kasane, Botswana 11-03-13
    Amazon Customer Kasane, Botswana 11-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Captivating"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Prayer for Owen Meany to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but the use of different voices by the reader enhanced the book for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a book that celebrated friendship and courage. It demonstrates constantly that self worth is not dependent on outward appearance or social status. A wonderful object lesson for our time. The story twists and turns and is revealed in stages captivating the listener' attention till you become wholly involved in the book and cannot stop listening. I loved it and it well deserves it's place on the BBC top 100 book list.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful. This book is completely dependent on the physical voice of the main character. It must have been very difficult to achieve and he did it marvelously.


    Who was the most memorable character of A Prayer for Owen Meany and why?

    Owen Meany of cause.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maryd1206 10-29-13
    maryd1206 10-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A New FAVORITE For Me"
    Would you listen to A Prayer for Owen Meany again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. The narrator absolutely brought this story to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a very touching story about Owen Meany and how he touched the lives of others. It is poignant as well as hilariously funny. The story absolutely draws you in and you become part of it.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Joe Barrett brought every sentence to life. This is the BEST narration I have heard, and I have listened to more than 50 books. He is never monotonous or "just reading the words". I am absolutely sure that I would not have enjoyed this book as much had I read it. Listening to Joe brought it to life.


    If you could take any character from A Prayer for Owen Meany out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I suppose Owen - he was the one that had such an effect on everyone's life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace Sheets Portland, OR USA 10-24-13
    Candace Sheets Portland, OR USA 10-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you listen to A Prayer for Owen Meany again? Why?

    I would in a few years. It's long, but it's a great story with a perfect narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story, the characters, the anticipation, the plot twists.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, but he is my favorite narrator so far.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed many times. I cried a few times. Lovely story with so many great characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Get it. You won't be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma Skövde, Sweden 10-19-13
    Emma Skövde, Sweden 10-19-13
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    "Listening to this one"
    Where does A Prayer for Owen Meany rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the very best.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    When he was the baby of Jesus.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Have not read the book.


    If you could take any character from A Prayer for Owen Meany out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Owen Meany. Like his character and personality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Etobicoke, ON, Canada 08-24-13
    Jennifer Etobicoke, ON, Canada 08-24-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany the most enjoyable?

    The voices. You've gotta hear Owen Meany's voice!! It makes the whole listening experience that much better. A well performed story!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Apo, Ap United States 08-23-13
    Angie Apo, Ap United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2013

    lovelyang

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    "Great Freakin' Book!!!!!!!!"
    What did you love best about A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    The intrigue. I loved how the author jumped around the giving small glimpses of each character.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but it makes me want to find others.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was, but that would be impossible it was very long but well worth it.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 08-04-13
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 08-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I believe"
    If you could sum up A Prayer for Owen Meany in three words, what would they be?

    Exhilarating, encompassing, emotional


    What other book might you compare A Prayer for Owen Meany to and why?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

    Joe Bennett absolutely enlivens Owen Meany. His performance of The Voice was astounding.


    If you could take any character from A Prayer for Owen Meany out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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