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A Prayer for Owen Meany Audiobook

A Prayer for Owen Meany

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Publisher's Summary

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.


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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    RI in Canada 10-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Somewhat dated"

    I really enjoyed it. The narration was amazing. However, the story is somewhat dated. You need some memory of the Iran-Contra affair and how it affected the American psyche to really get the most from the book. The Vietnam reference is probably easier for someone who knows nothing about their American history of the second half of the 20th C because it is more fully explored and explained in the narrative itself. The reader is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Dumas Newton, MA USA 10-12-15
    Barbara Dumas Newton, MA USA 10-12-15 Member Since 2011
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    "I walked miles listening!"
    Where does A Prayer for Owen Meany rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I read Owen Meany when it was first published - and enjoyed listening even more than reading. I found the voice a bit off-putting, at first, but soon realized that it was perfect for Owen and great for the book. As with most great readers, I soon stopped hearing the voice while listening to the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters, the quikiness of the plot, as well as the interesting view of a period in US history.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have listened to this reader before - but, certainly will again.


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

    The story of a little guy with a big mission.


    Any additional comments?

    A great read, and a great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Grant Platt 111 Kent, NY USA 10-10-15
    Howard Grant Platt 111 Kent, NY USA 10-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Howard G. Platt 111

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    "REALLY ENJOYED this audiobook!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Prayer for Owen Meany to be better than the print version?

    I have only listenened to the audiobook I have never read the print version.


    Any additional comments?

    Take a look at the other titles in my library and you'll notice that there is not one audiobook that even comes close to this type of book. I am a full-time real estate investor and a personal development enthusiast. Since 2008 I've been writing for my own personal development website so I like to research and read other books on the topic.

    My home library of 400+ books that I've read and countless audio programs consists of mostly real estate and investment books along with personal development and spiritual growth. As I've been expanding my spirituality recently this audiobook A Prayer for Owen Meany caught my attention and although it's not really a religious based book surprisingly I found it to be very entertaining.

    When it first started out I found it a bit irritating with the author imitating Owens voice however after a few chapters I was completely hooked and the book just would not have been the same if he did not imitate the voice.

    I have been rehabbing a house so I've listened to the book every day for the past week or so and I found it to be so entertaining I would work late so I could keep listening. Like I said it's unlike any other book or title in my library however I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I have listened to it twice back to back and this is the only audiobook I've taken the time to leave a review which I am doing right now from my cell phone no less.

    I would recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany to anyone and just tell them to be patient for the first few chapters because you will get hooked and you will be entertained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zahra Aziz 10-09-15
    Zahra Aziz 10-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful story, wonderful performance"

    This book is magical and the narrator does a wonderful job imparting the magic and sentiment of the novel. This Audible selection is perfection!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 10-07-15
    Stephanie 10-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Exceptional telling of modern classic"

    I had tried to read this novel twice before but never read beyond the first 100 pages. It took the amazing narration and voices of Jonny and Owen to engage me in the story and the foreshadowing of Owen's death. After the first few hours, I was immersed in Owen's life and their bond of friendship and unconditional love. By the last chapters, I was weeping in my kitchen as I listened to Owen's heroism and how the shot meant everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    oceanlover San Clemente, CA United States 10-05-15
    oceanlover San Clemente, CA United States 10-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A fabulous story"

    John Irving has written a masterpiece in this fictional depiction of Owen Meany. Owen ,although diminutive in stature is a gigantic character in the lives he touched. I did not expect to be able to stand the voice of Owen Meany however, Joe Barrett was the perfect narrator to convey Owen's depth and intellect when "the voice" could have suggested retardation or minimal awareness. Owen Meany is a profound character and friend. This story is delightful with turns and surprises the reader cannot see coming

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristina Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-04-15
    Kristina Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-04-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved this book!"

    I didn't want to stop listening. I would take the long way home and still end up sitting in the driveway because the characters became my family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jenny wages 10-02-15
    jenny wages 10-02-15
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    "Top notch"
    What made the experience of listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany the most enjoyable?

    Wonderful rendition of people's voices : grannie Harriet, Owen Meany, of course, the other men from N.H. and the losers in Arizona, as well as the military guy there. The story is spellbinding and heart-wrenching. The part in Canada was not clear at first but in retrospect made sense. Love the way John Irving described the town and the school of Exeter. I was there at that same time (1962); my dad had been a trustee and I knew the previous and present headmasters and some of the teachers (including Colin Irving). So I felt involved in a slight way even though, of course, this was a made-up story. In those days I had heard of the removal of a car to the top of one of the buildings, something like that. My two brothers were in the classes of 58 and 60 and I was there in Summer School of 62, possibly the first co-ed experience for Exeter.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Owen, because he spoke the truth.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never. He was GREAT.


    Who was the most memorable character of A Prayer for Owen Meany and why?

    Owen, as I said above.


    Any additional comments?

    I will probably listen to this book again. Loved the good humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Doolen 10-02-15
    Jon Doolen 10-02-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic!"

    this book is awesome, could not stop listening, story is told so well I had to remind myself it is not real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    King 10-01-15
    King 10-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful."
    Where does A Prayer for Owen Meany rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    You will question if this might be a true story, it is so engaging. You will wish to have known someone like Owen. Could not stop listening. Narration is expert.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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