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The World According to Garp | [John Irving]

The World According to Garp

Here are the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields, a feminist leader ahead of her times. Here are the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes, even of sexual assassinations. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Here are the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields, a feminist leader ahead of her times. Here are the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes, even of sexual assassinations.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (413 )
5 star
 (168)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (225 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (229 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Marsha Lexington, KY, USA 12-09-09
    Marsha Lexington, KY, USA 12-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully written and performed"

    This book is amazing because it contains short stories and the first chapter of a novel written by the main character. It takes you from the women's movement with a nontraditional nurse and allows you to grow up with the main character through issues of sex, marriage, tragedy, and love.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Louisville, KY, USA 11-01-09
    Christopher Louisville, KY, USA 11-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Such a disappointing narrator..."

    Anyone familiar with this novel or movie knows the dynamic and large exciting storyline, that is crazy in all the good ways. Wish I had payed more attention to the preview. This reader is the most sluggish, boring and WORST person to accompany you on the journey that this wonderful novel is. Listeners beware

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 10-16-11
    Prsilla 10-16-11 Member Since 2007

    Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "And THEN what happened?"

    I just finished listening to this book following Son of the Circus and before that, Cider House Rules. I already loved Owen Meany. I like Garp's mother very much. I like Garp. I'm a bit weary of so much violence and drama, sexual ambiguity, etc. Of course it's a good book! All the ends are properly tied up. My main reason for reviewing this at all is that I found Michael Prichard's reading flawless. Not boring, not colorless, not any of the bad qualities other listeners found. Personally, I don't do too well with absurdity and some kinds of comedy. Still, I was hooked into the story in several places where I needed to stop and do my own life, but I kept listening. I quite forgot who was reading. Overall, most worthwhile. I will listen again for sure!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nperera 08-16-14
    nperera 08-16-14
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    1
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    "Great Text Ruined By Robo-Narrator"
    Would you listen to The World According to Garp again? Why?

    The World According to Garp is an incredibly important 20th-century American novel. It is a shame that the publisher and John Irving allowed this audiobook to be produced--and this is the only audio version of it on the market! Michael Prichard, the narrator, performs an incredible stilted, monotonous, robotic reading of a great text and totally destroys it for the reader. Click on the sample and see for yourself. Do not purchase this audiobook!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Prichard’s performances?

    Absolutely not!


    Any additional comments?

    Please re-issue this audiobook with a competent narrator/voice actor. Irving's text deserves better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-09-13
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-09-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No where near as good as "A Prayer for Owen Meany""

    Odd book and strange view of women but maybe that is what John Irving was trying to do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katharine Long Beach, CA, United States 03-22-13
    katharine Long Beach, CA, United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    1
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    "The World According to Garp"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The story is a bit long. The book is easy to listen to and keeps your interest. One of the best parts is the beginning describing
    Garp's mother's encounter with the ball turret gunner and her resulting
    pregnancy with Garp as well as Garp's early life.


    What other book might you compare The World According to Garp to and why?

    John Irving's book,_A Prayer For Owen Meany was a wonderful book because you felt
    that it was a true story. The character of Owen is consistently portrayed.
    The voice (reader) was excellent as Owen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Garp's pranks in school.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Garp's concern for his children, mainly Walt and later his feelings about Walt's death..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Jentzen 03-04-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    "It's my favorite Irving"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The World According to Garp to be better than the print version?

    Garp was one of the first books I read as a young adult so I cannot truly compare the two. I loved reading Garp; I loved listening to Garp.


    What other book might you compare The World According to Garp to and why?

    I would compare the book to The Crimson Petal and the White because the characters and story is incredibly detailed and comes together at the end in a symphony of what had previously seems insignificant. I felt as if I knew the characters and they were entirely three dimensional and had their own faults.


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

    The book is hilariously tragic. It's all the dirty things that we all live but never talk about. Irving describes heart breaking emotion with such eloquence that you FEEL the way that Garp feels. I've reread this book countless times and I always interpret it differently based on my stage of life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara C Houston Durham, NC United States 12-19-12
    Barbara C Houston Durham, NC United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "John Irving - Master Storyteller"
    Where does The World According to Garp rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was my first audiobook - I'm slow writing the review.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The World According to Garp?

    The automobile accident that took place in Garp's driveway is utterly unforgettable. As I think back, I realize there are so many memorable moments; Irving has arranged the story like a string of beautifully iridescent pearls, each piece beautiful on its own but amazing in a whole.


    Who was the most memorable character of The World According to Garp and why?

    Garp, his mother, his wife ... and all the others. Irving writes such wonderfully delineated characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary WINDBER, Panama 08-27-12
    Mary WINDBER, Panama 08-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "An American Classic"
    Where does The World According to Garp rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Somehow, I missed reading this classic but was glad for the opportunity to listen to it. Loved the story and the rich characters....typical John Irving excellence. Not so impressed with the narrator and the production quality of the recording.....sounded very dated and amateurish. I would love to hear it read by a more contemporary narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dame 05-17-12
    Dame 05-17-12
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    "Amazing book - terrible narration"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Different narrator would have made all the difference in the world for this book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Garp's children and the supporting characters were far more normal and likeable than Garp, Jenny or Helen. I particularly liked Roberta Muldoon, who had such soul and depth, and Ellen James, who was such a real character - you could imagine this being exactly how a girl/woman would react to the movement that surrounded her trauma.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Perhaps Prichard could stop holding his nose when he reads.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The World According to Garp?

    None - I think that they were so impeccably interlaced together. As you read the book, you wondered why it was necessary to know certain things, only to have it tied back in later on in a way that was horrible and brilliant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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