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)
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.
I wish that I had the answer to this!
Not that I am aware of.
No, as I enjoyed the anticipation of my next listen.
Well done to all concerned.
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.
The mother really interested me and l Would love to find out more.
The unusual story and "The Voice".
All of his different voices and his interpretation of Owen's voice.
I have not read the print version but the use of different voices by the reader enhanced the book for me.
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.
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.
Owen Meany of cause.
I would listen to this book again. The narrator absolutely brought this story to life.
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.
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.
I suppose Owen - he was the one that had such an effect on everyone's life.
I would in a few years. It's long, but it's a great story with a perfect narrator.
The story, the characters, the anticipation, the plot twists.
I have not, but he is my favorite narrator so far.
I laughed many times. I cried a few times. Lovely story with so many great characters.
Get it. You won't be sorry.
One of the very best.
When he was the baby of Jesus.
Have not read the book.
Owen Meany. Like his character and personality.
The voices. You've gotta hear Owen Meany's voice!! It makes the whole listening experience that much better. A well performed story!
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!
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.
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