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In One Person Audiobook

In One Person: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.

His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile.”

©2012 Garp Enterprises, Ltd. (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"A profound truth is arrived at in these pages. It is Irving at his most daring, at his most ambitious. It is America and American writing, both at their very best.” (Abraham Verghese)

"His most daringly political, sexually transgressive, and moving novel in well over a decade." (Vanity Fair)

In One Person is a rich and absorbing book, even beautiful.” (Esquire)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (693 )
5 star
 (263)
4 star
 (218)
3 star
 (138)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
3.9 (596 )
5 star
 (245)
4 star
 (163)
3 star
 (116)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (31)
Story
4.2 (589 )
5 star
 (295)
4 star
 (180)
3 star
 (86)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    Marcy Fairfield, CT, United States 08-30-12
    Marcy Fairfield, CT, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't get it"

    I am huge fan of John Irving, but this one just didn't work for me. I felt like there was a lot of recycling from several of his past books (boys private school, growing up in New England, transsexuals, etc) and I just didn't get anything new out of this book. Maybe I missed something?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Metuchen, NJ, United States 08-08-12
    Charles Metuchen, NJ, United States 08-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    "A tremendous accomplishment"
    Where does In One Person rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Classic John Irving at his best. Fascinating characters and stirring, intriguing narrative that kept me involved from beginning to end. I'd have to go all the way back to "The World According To Garp" to find John Irving in such fine form.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An absolutely original story, sensitively and skillfully written.


    Which character – as performed by John Benjamin Hickey – was your favorite?

    Billy Abbott, the narrator, lives an extraordinary life but is realistic and believable. His first love, Miss Frost, is outstanding.John Benjamin Hickey, an accomplished actor, was the perfect narrator. He delivered a stunning performance. It would not have been the same in anyone else's hands.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon 08-06-12
    Shannon 08-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    45
    5
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    "Mixed feelings"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed listening to book. I think I would have lost interest in the story if I had been reading it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from John Irving? Why or why not?

    Sure.


    Have you listened to any of John Benjamin Hickey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the 1st performance I have listened to by him.


    Was In One Person worth the listening time?

    Yes, in fact listening was the best way to enjoy this story. It would have been a slow read.


    Any additional comments?

    I mainly enjoyed the story but it was long and dry in certain sections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bswslp Hershey, PA 08-06-12
    bswslp Hershey, PA 08-06-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "So Good!"
    What made the experience of listening to In One Person the most enjoyable?

    This book is read exceptionally well. Expression, cadence, intonation and characters are underlined exactly right. The book spans our society's view of sexuality, in particular, bisexuality, transgender and homosexuality, from the 50s to modern day. The attitudes, biases and development of society are skillfully woven into the tale. Irving's frank address of issues that are often whispered in secret is a refreshing breath of air.


    What other book might you compare In One Person to and why?

    I might compare it to Cider House Rules. Irving does not shy from difficult topics.


    Have you listened to any of John Benjamin Hickey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A story for education, tolerance and acceptance.


    Any additional comments?

    a wonderful read. 5 star

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larisa WEBSTER, NY, United States 07-31-12
    Larisa WEBSTER, NY, United States 07-31-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    26
    5
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    0
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    "Labored Novel by John Irving"
    Would you try another book from John Irving and/or John Benjamin Hickey?

    I love John Irving. But this particular novel was a disappointment.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Pilgramage


    What aspect of John Benjamin Hickey’s performance would you have changed?

    Performance was fine, but writing was dull


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate that the author may have been trying to give a gift to his son. But the voice in this book sounded quite false.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chernow Austin, TX, United States 07-27-12
    Chernow Austin, TX, United States 07-27-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "What "Garp" promised, "In One Person" delivers!"

    As a straight ally and as a person who loves well-written literature, I am grateful to Irving for this literary gem, one that tenderly explores bisexuality and transgender issues with love and respect. I appreciated the affection and acceptance shown by the most loving characters and the struggles the well-developed characters face. The account of the AIDS crisis years is painfully honest and unromanticized. The conclusion perfect. There were moments in the book when the narrator's energy flagged, yet he was always spot-on when he was reading dialogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 07-25-12
    Kimberly 07-25-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sublime storytelling, I was captivated within minutes. The narrator captured the tone of the novel superbly. I felt I was a part of the story, emotionally drawn to each and every character.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I discovered another author referenced in the story. I wanted to know what was next.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was at the end of the book, when William Abbott after a lifetime of discovery declared to the son of his childhood nemesis, "My dear boy do not label me until you get to know me."


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

    John Irving was masterful in illustrating the severity of life choices without overdramatizing or making those choices contrite. Mr. Irving’s characters were smart, ignorant, ill at ease, loving, caring, and accepting. The complexity of human emotions and the discovery of our actual self is a journey I enjoyed exploring with his characters.
    To quote Shakespeare,
    “To this above all; To thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara A. Wilson 06-15-12 Member Since 2011

    kiotihere

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    105
    4
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    "Uneven"

    There were moments when the story and it's quirky characters reminded me of some of Irving's best work, like A Prayer for Owen Meany, or The World According to Garp or Cider House Rules. Other times the story was unbelievably boring, repetative and just sort of dumb. I did finish the book after a couple false stops and starts and the main characters have found a place in my heart----something Irving is very good at doing. But I can't help but think the novel could have been so much better than it was, and there were times when I felt that Irving was just having the reader on, so to speak, not serious about this or that development or bit of narrative, as if he was wasting my time all but intentionally. Still, the social commentary behind the novel is worthwhile and the story does finally come through.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. L. Wilson 06-13-12 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    44
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    "Johnny Wheelwright has sex.."
    Would you try another book from John Irving and/or John Benjamin Hickey?

    Not anything new.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John Irving again?

    Again, nothing he writes from now on.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Actor's range was a little too limited for such a nuanced story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Irving has clearly lost his talent and gifts and started re-writing his novels. This one may have been called "Johnny Wheelwright has sex." It's Owen Meany all over again, from a sadly only slightly different perspective. Pathetic.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Amagansett, NY, United States 05-13-12
    Maria Amagansett, NY, United States 05-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    3
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    "DISAPPOINTING, TEDIOUS, INFERIOR."

    Oh my god, this is what is left of the author of milestones like "Garp" and "Hotel New Hampshire"...?!? The former master of original, quirky, engaging characters and thoughts and stories delivers a chatty, empty, tired and convoluted heap of blabber that tries so hard you almost feel pity. But while.some of his last books were inferior only when compared to his best works, this one is just "inferior, period." Just like T. C. Boyle he attempts in vain to make his "old same-same" work but without creating anything remotely as interesting as he once did. Cross-dressing grandpa, hot wrestler, mythical father figure, sexually confused adolecents... yada, yada, YAWWWN. He once was brealing literary ground, now he is only breaking literary winds.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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