Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This is the story of two boys bonded forever in childhood: the stunted Owen Meany, whose life is touched by God, and the orphaned Johnny Wheelwright, whose life is touched by Owen. From the accident that links them to the mystery that follows them – and the martyrdom that parts them – the events of their lives form a tapestry of fate and faith.

One of my resolutions for this year is to not keep reading a book if it's not working for me. I'll give it a 100 pages, 150 tops, and if there are no fireworks it's off with the book's head, figuratively speaking.
A Prayer for Owen Meany was on my book club's reading list, and it seemed everyone loved it, except for me. I gave it 150 pages, but then it had to go. Why, you ask? Because I simply did not care, neither about Johnny, nor about Owen, or about the events that would take place, to which Johnny continuously alluded. I also stopped because if the book is going to go on and on about not much it better not be 600+ pages. Better yet, something should be happening, and it shouldn't take 100+ pages to cover the events described in the jacket copy.
Don't get me wrong, Irving's prose is beautiful, his observations of the human condition are astute and presented in a subtle way. I'm sure he is a great writer, and I still look forward to reading Cider House Rules. Maybe it wasn't the right time for me to read this book, maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind, or maybe it's just that at the end of the day I prefer books where things happen at a reasonably swift pace, and here they simply weren't.

No comments:

Post a Comment