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 Irvin's book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview that begins when the audiobook ends.
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)
It's a love story that rings true. It gives a true sense of coming of age, of the things we wish we could change in our lives or characters and can't. It's an interesting look at faith.
I started, but didn't finish reading, not listening to, "The World According to Garp." I found it vulgar without being enlightening.Having listened to this, I'm wondering whether Irving is best read aloud. Journalists have an expression, that a story should sing. This one does pretty well. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a good listen.
Probably either the hide-and-seek scene in the beginning, or the interactions with the disappointed ROTC instructor at the end and the horrid family. Both are true to life.
No. He's said what there is to say here.
This book made it a little more likely that I'll try Garp again.
Very long book. Sometimes lost track of story while listening. Entertaining and very thought provoking. Narrator does great job! Worth a listen
I tried to read this novel but just couldn't get through it. I wanted to though so finally I got the audio version. It was so worth the money and time. The performance really was perfect. I now am encouraged to read more from Irving...and Dickens...and Hardy.
I will never forget this book. Thoroughly enjoyed my first experience listening to John Irving's book. I laughed. I cried.
So much of my own life and experience came back to me when reading this book. I am all most worshipful of the story and how John Irving drew up on real events to make a masterpiece describing a turbulent time in history of the US. I repeatedly replay the portions that I thought were meaningful. And would do it again.
I read A Prayer for Owen Meany many years ago, it must have been shortly after it was first published. What an experience, coming back to it after all this time, especially because I was born around the same time as Johnny and Owen and remember well my feelings about events of the times. It is a deep and wonderful story that everyone should read but especially liberal baby boomers.
Joe Barrett does an amazing job with an extremely challenging set of characters. He captures Owen's weird voice probably as well as anyone could (and if he captured it any better no one would be able to stand to listen!) and also handles singing (male and female voices) and everything else.
This audiobook has been a real joy!
only because its so long
if there was a long trip
its very long
a few times
this is too long
but immediately after that thought
i still wanted to listen
the narrator did a wonderful
very enjoyable job
its worth hearing
I loved the story, writing, and narration. This was a really wonderful audio book. I really loved everything about it.
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