The World According to Garp is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow", yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. With more than 10 million copies in print, in more than 30 languages and in more than 40 countries, this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."
©1976, 1977, 1978 John Irving; (P)1998 Random House, Inc.
"A wonderful novel, full of energy and art." (The Washington Post)
"Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it....Irving's blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous....Brilliant, funny, and consistently wise; a work of vast talent." (The New Republic)
Read this thirty years ago, but now I appreciate it so much more. One of the best I've listened to. Engaging, funny and meaningful.
Just fiished Cider House Rules also, and am headed all the way through this author.
This is one of my all time favorite books. I thought it would be great to have it in audio format. However, the experience is ruined by Michael Prichard's weird, flat, boring narration. Another reviewer likened it to the ancient nature films we used to watch in school back in the 70's and I agree. This book is so funny, sweet and touching and it is a crying shame to hear someone reading it as if it were a grocery list.
I have loved the other novels by John Irving that I've read, but I didn't enjoy this one as much because I really couldn't get past the monotonous narration.
I love this book. I hate this audiobook. Its sound is so irritating that I gave up after an hour and went back to the paperback version to finish it. So, five stars for the book; one star for the audiobook experience. The Audible people were kind enough to give me a credit to lighten this experience.
Michael Prichard speaks very clearly, and seems to pronounce German fluently. For listening in a noisy environment this may be the best kind of reading. Where nuances can be heard, I'd prefer someone from the radio drama tradition.
This is a wonderful book that suffers in this audio edition due to the lazy, boring narration. This is the first audiobook that I listened to at accelerated speed because I wanted to hear the book, but found the narrator's lack of style difficult.
I have actually found that listening to this book at double and triple speed actually improves the experience. The narrators clipped speech at these speeds actually makes the amusing parts, amusing.
I can recommend this as an excellent story, but if part of the audio experience is enjoyable narration, you may want to skip this one.
John Irving's novels often feel like conglomerations of story ideas, which he practically admits to in this writing. His novels often reflect his life's experiences, through the lense of his imagination. You should expect randomness. However, this novel had the best helping of his clever literary turns of all his novels that I have read. There are many one sentence juxtipositions that can have you laughing out loud for the irony contained therein. I am looking forward to a second listening of this novel, just to enjoy them again.
An atypical but meaningful story told masterfully.
The novel is read with a dry tone that is totally appropriate to the tone of the novel. An excellent version.
Not sure what the earlier reviewer meant when they said that the narrator's dry tone was perfect for the subject matter. The style of narration reminds me of those ancient films they used to show us in biology back in high school. Ugh. Why not get Joe Barrett (Meany) or Grover Gardner (Ciderhouse) to do this book over? They were much more engaging and genuine. This book deserves that.
The last 7 or 8 minutes of this audiobook contain an author's afterword written in 1998, twenty years after the publication of The World According to Garp. Although I like John Irving's Cider House Rules even better than this novel, I see many of the same qualities in this book. Not everything told with humor is a comedy. T.S. Garp, the main character, has many of John Irving's beliefs about good fiction.
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