Review: A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Ratings:

Source: Publicist

From the cover:

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-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.

Several people have told me that John Irving is an amazing author and that I need to read his books. And while I have a couple of his books sitting on my shelf, I never had the time to read them. Which is why when A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving was offered to me for review, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. I’ll admit that when I was reading this book, I actually felt quite guilty. I wouldn’t classify myself as a fast reader, but I normally don’t spend a month reading a book and that’s what happened with this one. I felt like I had to keep explaining to people that the book was over 600 pages and that it was so thought provoking that I didn’t want to rush through it. What was even more surprising was that when I had about a hundred pages to go, I found myself slowing down significantly. I wasn’t ready to part with this book yet and I didn’t want to say goodbye to Owen Meany or John Wheelwright.

I rarely include quotes in my reviews, but the first sentence of this book stuck out for me so much that I felt it was necessary to share it with y’all. If this doesn’t grasp your attention and make you want to read it then I don’t know what will.

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in good; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”

I absolutely loved this book and I would definitely rate it as one of my favorites. Immediately after I finished this book I wanted to flip to the beginning and start reading it again. I feel like this is going to be one of those books that I’m going to make the time to read annually just because it’s that good and because it’s so thought provoking. John Irving really makes you think about and question faith, belief, miracles, and coincidences.

The book jumps around a bit going back and forth between present day in the eighties and John’s childhood in the fifties and sixties. At first I thought this was one of those books with loosely connecting stories because it kept jumping around, but the more you read the book, the more you realize that nothing happens by accident in this book. Everything in this book is significant and it all leads to a grand finale at the end.  All of the various points that Irving made, slowly tied together to make you realize that everything happens for a reason and that perhaps Owen is God’s instrument.

A Prayer for Owen Meany was a superbly wonderful book and one that I would highly recommend to everyone! While reading this book, one of my friends told me that there was a movie based off of it called Simon Birch and now I can’t wait to watch the movie. I just hope it does the book justice.

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Posted on May 8, 2012, in 4.5 stars, book reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I read this book years ago at the urging of my son. He read it in high school and told me I HAD to read it. I agreed with him – it’s a must read.

  2. I read this book years ago too and LOVED it. Honestly, I loved the movie too. They both make me cry!

  3. Read this many years ago and enjoyed it. Looking forward to his latest book which released today.

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