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.
This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©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)
My sister and I listened to this book and we loved it.
I must say, though, if you have heard of the Movie, Simon Birch from this book please don't bother. As much as we loved the book, we hated the movie. No wonder Mr. Irving did not let them use the Owen Meany name. Garp worked as a movie. Cider House Rules worked as a movie. A Prayer for Owen Meany did not, just as Mr. Irving thought. At least that is what I read somewhere.
Mr. Irving's descriptions are vivid, the story thought provoking and the reader was "perfect."
The interview with Mr. Irving was interesting, however, I would recommend not reading it until you have finished the book. I personally like to discover the story myself and I am furious if someone tells me an ending before I get there.
If you decide to listen to this story you will not be disappointed.
I have listened to well over 100 books and this is among the top five if not the best ever.
When I download a book, I listen to the whole thing no matter how bad it may be. If this wasn't a habit that I had gotten into, I would have missed an amazing story! While the beginning wasn't awful, it crept along a little too much for my liking. The daunting task (25+ hours) that lied ahead had me considering abandoning it. Little by little, I started to enjoy it. Before it was over, I fretted about it soon coming to an end as I had grew to love the story and the amazing Owen Meany character. The other reason I fretted over reaching the end was because in almost every book I've ever read, the ending cannot live up to the story that was weaved; it seems most authors believe that all the entertainment is within the story and can't tie all the loose ends together and the ending is an after thought. Not only was the end very satisfying, it brought everything full circle and was the reason the story had to be told! I immediately started the book over again. For those reviewers, lambasting the political "whining" and the views on religion, don't take it so personal, it was just a book (and low and behold the reader becomes aware that the character's -- yes, character's, not author's -- political and religious views are an integral part of the story and ending.) The Owen Meany character will live on with me forever, literally, as I expect to give the book frequent listens in the future.
This book had me hooked from the beginning. Joe Barrett's reading of this work is excellent, and I loved the voices he's applied to the characters. I can't recommend this book enough. A wonderful story with unforgettable characters.
Here's the autobiography of the 40 Year Old Virgin. John recounts growing up with Owen Meany -(aka "The Granite Mouse) - a small boy of no small significance. The dialogue between Owen & John sound out common beliefs & attempts at religious belief that each of us goes through at some point in our lives. Owen's faith was tested by the nature of his tiny stature & strange voice. John's faith is damaged by the untimely death of his beautiful mother when she is killed by a foul ball hit, surprisingly by none other than John's best friend, Owen. Now John will never know the identity of his real father.
The story is an account of a boy's life from age 10 to adulthood. It is a paternity mystery & a story about the significance of religious belief & the need to believe that God has a plan for each of us, that nothing happens by chance, & that though we may not see Him, we know He's there.
This is not a religious story, however, though it tackles in an ingenious way many of the religious conundrums that most thinking people wrestle with everyday.
A huge fan of John Irving I can highly recommend A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY as a superbly written novel full of hillarious & thought provoking concepts; a fascinating plot & a final touch of spiritual growth serum. READ THIS BOOK & if you don't like it, then you're probably not good for much anyway. (Admittedly the "interview with the author" somewhat ruined the story for me, so I'm glad I listened to the interview last.)
At first I found the narrator's voice annoying when he did his version of Owen's voice, but eventually it was essential to the story. I kept thinking the book was almost over (according to the story line) but it went on and on -- and I was very happy that it did. I was in tears when the book ended. One of the very best audio books ever.
This is absolutely one of the most wonderful novels I ever read, it is intelligent, funny, captivating and very, very moving. Joe Barret reads brilliantly and does what I thought was impossible: to give Owen Meany a Voice. Stunning!
Quite honestly, this book could have been a disaster, so important is Owen Meany's portrayal but Joe Barrett did an absolutely stunning job. The narration was spot on. Thank you. Thank you. I loved it from start to finish.
I had heard so much about this book for years. My whole family had read it and somehow it had bypassed my reading list. I have recently become quite enchanted with audio books and I must say this is definitely a favorite. It was undoubtedly a great read but what a fun listen. I enjoyed every minute and lost track of time while entranced. I now can join in with my family members whom constantly quote from Owen Meany!!
I remember reading that John Irving would not have the book narrated until he found THE VOICE, and Joe Barrett's delivery is perfect.
I hadn't read this book in 10 years, and I never considered it a favorite until now. I've listened to the book slowly to savor it. The story is so rich in detail and emotion that you can't keep yourself from falling in love with the characters. Irving gives such life to Owen Meany that he becomes a real instrument of God. (And I don't even believe in god.) You must listen to or read this book if you consider yourself a reader.
I am a voracious reader with fairly eclectic taste. I like both fiction and non-fiction, biography, history and current events. I like well written mysteries and suspense and I love 19th and 20th century classical literature as well as modern fiction. My favorite author is Philip Roth but I also love Trollope, Hardy, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton. My favorite biographer is Robert Caro.
I read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" almost twenty years ago and have never forgotten the wonderful character of Owen Meany. It was such a delight to find him even better the second time around, made more vivid by the excellent narrator who truly did not disappoint in capturing Owen's unique voice. Thank you so much for this new series of Audible Modern Vanguard books, what an excellent idea and so well executed! I highly recommend all of John Irving's books, but this is still my favorite.
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