Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Sigh.  I didn't even want to review this book after reading it.  In fact, I had decided not to but I just saw that it is one of the books on my A-Z Challenge so I felt like I should.  What to say... what to say...?  My mom recommended it.  When I mentioned to my best friend from 7th grade that I was reading it she got very enthusiastic and went on about how it is her favorite book of all time and how she regularly buys new copies since she is always giving her copies away.  SO-  some people like this book.  I guess.  I suppose they would have to for it to keep being printed and selling copies.  I am not one of those people.  Not even a little bit.  Not even just one part.  I think I'll stop there. 

Some objections:  general lack of reverence for the Divinity of Christ (Owen, we are to understand, is the result of another immaculate conception and is worshipped by the narrator after Owen's death), the politics (but if you hate Republicans it probably won't irritate the crap out of you), the language, and this quote:

"...although the subject of the president's personal (or sexual) morality would not have dampened everyone's enthusiasm for his political ideals and his political goals, Owen Meany was not "everyone"--nor was he sophisticated enough to separate public and private morality."
" seems that the only people who are adamant in their claim that public and private morality are inseparable are those creep-evangelists who profess to "know" that God prefers capitalists to communists, and nuclear power to long hair."

Truly there are no words.

In addition to my general objections, the pacing is too slow.  We spend hundreds of pages building up to something we're supposed to care about and by the time you get there you are so sick of waiting for the moment that the feeling is more one of "FINALLY!" instead of "Oh NO!  Poor OWEN!". 
Skip this one.  And if after reading this you really feel you must experience it, rent Simon Birch from Netflix instead.  I understand Ashley Judd is lovely as usual.

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