In progress

Monday, June 15, 2009

Has anyone else read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving?

If so, has anyone else found it fantastically boring?

I kept coming across it in lists of great literature, and when I saw a free ebook version of it, I downloaded it right away. I'm still slogging through the novel (right now I'm on page 216) but I checked reviews on to see what others thought. At last count there are 816 five-star reviews. Just typing that made me sigh again. It's supposed to be an amazing, funny, brilliant novel about faith, which inspired the movie Simon Birch. I found that movie okay, although a bit emotionally manipulative. I've forgotten how it ended but some of the reviews on Amazon gave away enough plot points that if I stop reading A Prayer for Owen Meany I won't wonder what happened to the characters. I also learned that it contains 512 pages of narrative, which begin in the 1950s and keeps trudging on through all the way to Vietnam and Iran Contra. To top it all off, the book is also considered an excellent critique of the faults of American foreign policy. Haven't we been here before? Can we move on to something else now, please?

This reminds me of the preface of Fanny Herself, by Edna Ferber. Click here to read it. I might give up on this one. Life is too short to read boring books.


Lissa said...

As long as we're talking about boring books, don't ever bother with "Lorna Doone" which is on all the great children's literature lists. Bleh. Thanks for the tip about Owen Meany!

Rachel said...

Now that you mention it, I remember giving up on that one when I was a kid. Wow, even *not* reading it was totally forgettable!

Anonymous said...

Owen Meaney is one of those books I think I was SUPPOSED to like. I tried several times and failed. Now it lives in a box in the basement.

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