I tend to take story details at face value, but this routine was repeated so often throughout the story - from the boys' childhood through young adulthood - that it was obvious even to me it was a significant component of the story. I was not able to uncover "the shot's" hidden meaning untl it was revealed in all its glory. What a marvelous argument for predestination! - Anne
I didn't see it coming...but I remember feeling a remarkable sense of enjoyment when it was revealed!
I never saw it coming when I read this book last year. I got so used to reading about it that I never thought anything of it. I was amazed at how well Irving connected everything by the end of the book.
I honestly found myself a little annoyed with the shot, as it came up so often. It was not inherently interesting enough, I think, and I think it took too long to get to it's purpose. I was surprised and I did enjoy its final purpose, but I found myself irritated with the buildup. I wish the book would have been about 100 pages shorter. I think I would have enjoyed it much more.
Yes, Irving has to hit you over the head a few times, just to make sure that you know that something significant is going to happen.
Did you work out the 'reason' for the boys practicing the shot?
There were a lot of elements of the plot where I could guess the 'reason' characters had learned skills or were born with attributes like Owen's constant high pitched voice.
One element I didn't see coming was the reason behind 'the shot' - did you spot the outcome of this? Were there other elements you put together before the book's closing?
I loved this book. I dont always like John Irvings book, although I have read many of them. I like this one becasue it is one of those love it or hate it as you can tell by all the comments about it!!!! It was sad, but i liked the way it ended, everything came together in such a sad and awesome way. I get why people dont like it though, but give it a shot if you havent yet!
one of john irving's best works, this book is profound and moving.
This is my favorite John Irving book.
My favorite J. Irving book too though Cider House rules is a close second.
My favorite John Irving book Such amazing characters, they feel real! I recommend it to everyone.
I love htis book...I found myself laughing out loud so often that my husband made me read most of the passages out loud to him. I missed it when it was released, but saw the Stephen King, Irving, RK Rowling evening at Carnegie Hall where Irving picked this book to read from. I'm so glad I watched the 3 author's specail so I could discover Owen Meany for myself!
This book stuck with me for so long after I finished reading it. John Irving is either great or terrible. He poured all his skill and talent into Owen Meany.
would I like it?
it's your next great read.....it's one of the few books that i have read twice. It's been at least five years since i read Owen, but I feel as if i had read it yesterday...a classic!
im still lreading this but i REALLY dont like it. However this could be related to the fact that im reading it for school and not necessarily for fun. This seems to be the kind of book that one has to read on their own terms to enjoy. Oh and you better love politics, cuz Johnny sure does....yuck! ( i dont mean to sound cynical in anyway, i just really dont like the book lol.)
Meant to post 5 stars- Belovrd D
How many stars are there in the firmament? That should be about right for this book!
One of my all time favorites. I read this book for the first time about 15 years ago and have re-read it every couple of years since. I hated for the book to end because I so enjoyed the characters. I actually missed having them in my life when the book was over. Sounds odd, I know. I've read several other Irving books and this one was by far the best.
Yes, I agree. I hated to complete the book because the characters were so appealing I did not want to let them go. I have since read, or should I say, attempted to read "The World According to Garp," by Irving, and I found it a total bore!
No it doesn't sound odd at all, at least not to me. I recently finished it for the first time and feel quite sad about the book being over. I really miss Owen and Johnny, and I wish there was more to read about them. I certainly will be rereading this book within a few years!
The opening sentnece of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" is one of my all-time favorites.
I agree, the first sentence of this book is as beautiful and is worthy of the mentor Dickens
A wonderful book. The movie didn't come close.
My best friend in high school said this was one of his all time favorite books, so I read it with great anticipation. I thought it was way too wordy. The ending with "the shot" was so contrived, I couldn't believe that this was what the author had been building up to through the whole book. Took to skimming toward the end just to get through it. Laughed out loud here and there, but definitely not one of my favorite, and I'll probably not read Irving again. Much preferred Garp & Hotel New Hampshire, but those were both over 20 years ago.
This is the book I read in Grade 10 that really turned me onto reading. I loved Owen and his quirkiness and was especially intrigued since the girls' school John Irving spent time at researching was the school I attended in Toronto! I have yet to go back to it a second time, but know I will someday.
This was the book that got me started with John Irving. I truly feel that this book is his masterpiece. I've never been able to put it down, alternately laughing and crying, and I love it so much that I've loaned it out at least five times (and had to purchase a new copy after each "loan"). I've since read a lot of Irving, and although I can't say I've enjoyed all of his works, A Prayer For Owen Meany is one I will keep rereading until my geriatric, arthritic fingers can no longer turn the pages.
Great story. If you take out about 100 pages - Excellent story.
I love the story but John Irving adds too much man perspective info to make it too enjoyable. At times it is a tough read.
One must take into account the era in which this book was staged (plus the obvious - the author IS a man). At the period in which this was set, the feminist movement was in its infancy; the narrator of the tale is a single male reminiscing about his childhood and his friendship with the title character. Wars and the Reagan administration's involvement with the Iran/Contra affair take up much of the book's focus (Vietnam during the narrative of his friendship and Reagan during his asides of his current life)... I am a female but frankly, I remember that era as male-dominated myself - the coverage of the events was by male journalists, etc. etc. I will agree that there are moments when it is a "tough read", but I won't hold "man perspective" responsible as a reason; rather, it's a tough read because it demands that one understand the positions of the day.
I adored this book. Everything about it. People who liked it may enjoy John Irving's interview on the BBC about this book
This book is my favorite.
Why was John so angry with Owen's parents? The only reason he gives is that they told him about 'virgin conception' when he was 11 but if John, like Owen, no longer believed in coincidence, this anger seems irrational and unexplained. Any thoughts on this?
I agree; I've always thought that was odd, especially since John clearly believed Owen was a "miracle" child in some way. Perhaps he's angry because the Meanys make him face up to his own conflicted beliefs about what Owen represented.
i am now reading until i find you by john irving. i have always loved his work since i stumbled apon the book the hotel new hampshire. owen meany was a really good story. just found the war parts hard to get into.
I'm reading this for english 10, and so far, it has pretty good description but I'm only 150 pages in. Right now it doesn't seem like much is happening, and the plot isn't going anywhere.
I would have to concur with the above statement.
This is absolutely my favorite book of all time, hands down. That being said, I can see how you'd feel like it starts out pretty slow. I hope that by the time you got to the end of it, you felt like it was worth the journey.
If you persevere with it, it does get much more exciting!
I would have to concur with the statement below that which is mine.
It has been about 5 years since I read "A Prayer For Owen Meany." I still consider it a book I would recommend, along with anything written by John Irving. However, in hindsight, too many pages.....
I think it definitely stays with you though, doesn't it? Fantastic book (if slightly over-long...)
"The World According to Garp" was my first venture into the literary world of John Irving. With its epic scope and plethora of unique characters, I did not believe that Irving could possibly write something even better. I was wrong. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" manages to be all the Garp was, and then some. The story is absolutely riveting and of course, classic Irving. I disagree with those who feel that there were too many pages devoted to the novel. I finished the majority of it rather quickly, and seldom felt that anything was unnecessary.
Why does Owen feel its sacriliage that his parents came to the christmas play? Why is he so angry about this?
Owen's parents represent something unholy (though not necessarily evil), altho I never undertood exactly why or how.
This was my first contact with the books of John Irving. It's now a few years ago and since then I've read everything he wrote. But this one will be my everlasting most favorite novel.
I absolutely agree. I haven't made my way through all of his works yet, but of the ones I've read, this one is, in my opinion, the absolute best. It has taken me a while to work my way through all of them because the second John Irving book I read was "Cider House Rules" and I didn't really care for it so I held off on reading others. But I got over that. Still..."A Prayer For Owen Meany" is a masterpiece. My favorite book of all time, hands down.
Finally getting around to reading this book. So far, I love it. Starting chapter 3.
I finished the book tonight. I loved it! I didn't want the book end. I fell in love with all the characters.
one of my all time fans and one of the only books i own. i have read it twice and loaned it many times