We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
A Prayer for Owen Meany Audiobook

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Regular Price:$34.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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

"This moving book comes across like a concerto in this audio version, with a soloist—Owen's voice—rising from the background of an orchestral narration. This book, one of the finest of its time, gets the narration that it deserves." (AudioFile)

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (6652 )
5 star
 (4232)
4 star
 (1435)
3 star
 (550)
2 star
 (241)
1 star
 (194)
Overall
4.4 (5335 )
5 star
 (3576)
4 star
 (1029)
3 star
 (403)
2 star
 (193)
1 star
 (134)
Story
4.6 (5328 )
5 star
 (3939)
4 star
 (898)
3 star
 (287)
2 star
 (92)
1 star
 (112)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    jonefuroy Leira, Norway 11-28-15
    jonefuroy Leira, Norway 11-28-15 Listener Since 2010

    Librarian, father, fantasy fool and tech enthusiasts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "High expectations!"

    My first and only Irving book was Hotel New Hampshire. I therfor had high expectations... An it delivered in every way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 11-27-15
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 11-27-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    74
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Hidden Gem"

    The reason I bought the book was it was "on sale" and the synopsis looked interesting, so I bit. Once I got into the story, it was very compelling; I loved it. The narrator did an awesome job with Owen's voice. The only criticism I have is the author's uber-liberal political meanderings (he hated Pres. Ronald Reagan). The late author Tom Clancy started doing that in his latter books too and it was such a turn-off (Clancy was a political uber-conservative). Aside from that the book was great and I recommended it to several of my family and friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally H Goulet 11-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best"
    What did you love best about A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    Every thing


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    This is the best narration I have ever heard in 4 years of listening to recorded books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nursiegrl 11-15-15
    Nursiegrl 11-15-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "love this"

    I love Irving's writings! This was no different. This was a very heart tugging story. Loved it start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia wagner 11-12-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    65
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book ever written"

    This book was the best book I've listened to so far. This book made me think, laugh and cry. The funeral scene was written so well I felt all the emotions as if I was actually participating In the event. I actually cried as if Owen was a close personal friend of mine.
    I will keep this book in my mind and heart for a lifetime and will definitely listen to it again.
    In my opinion John Irving is the best author I have ever read.
    His attention to detail is spot on.
    Don't miss out on this novel.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 10-30-15
    Peter 10-30-15 Member Since 2015

    dad, data geek, rugby union fan, sap employee, proud south african, audiobook adict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, baffling, bizarre.."

    I could not stop listening, I found both the story and the narration compelling. I am planning to listen book to this again in the hope if the bizarre becomes more familiar I will be less baffled. Stick around for the interview at the end; a great bonus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.C.D. 10-29-15
    J.C.D. 10-29-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    268
    242
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ANOTHER STARTLING TALE FROM JOHN IRVING"
    If you could sum up A Prayer for Owen Meany in three words, what would they be?

    Only John Irving could write about northern New England and the eccentric characters who live there. A Prayer for Owen Meany is a combination of odd characters, religion and strong anti-war sentiments. Owen Meany with his diminutive size demonstrates the senseless waste of human life that is brought about by war.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Owen Meany. He was the most unusual character I've ever encountered.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene with Owen Meany as the baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant. That was priceless.


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

    Owen Meany giving his prized baseball card collection away.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seneca 10-29-15
    Seneca 10-29-15 Member Since 2015

    eclectic reader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't Put it Down"

    Joe Barrett hooked me. Irving made me laugh and cry. And ponder. If the only thing you knew about the novel was the Audible description like me you might hesitate but don't. Childhood, faith, religion, acceptance, in a historical novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RI in Canada 10-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    137
    87
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    176
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.