A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving Book Summary

“A remarkable novel. . . . A Prayer for Owen Meany is a rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late twentieth-century fiction—it is an amazingly brave piece of work . . . so extraordinary, so original, and so enriching. . . . Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world.”
   — STEPHEN KING, Washington Post

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

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 God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

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.

“Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating, and darkly comic . . . Dickensian in scope . . . Quite stunning and very ambitious.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Brilliantly cinematic . . . Irving shows considerable skill as scene after scene mounts to its moving climax." — ALFRED KAZIN, New York Times

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving Book Reviews

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- Prayer for Owen Meany5 star

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It grabbed me from the start. The characters came alive. The plot was interesting . The line kept you intrigued and involved. There was a bit of a lull but you get pulled back in with full force.

- Read this book 3 times over the years, so glad it popped up here!5 star

Am downloading it now to read again. I’m not good with words, so I can’t really describe what I loved about it, but I also saw the movie and would 12.10 watch again!

- Great5 star

I hated when I finished it.

- A prayer for Owen Meany5 star

Hands down the most Dickensian novel of the modern era of American literature. Those on here squawking about it being a laborious read, would probably be better served by continuing their delving into “The Twilight Saga”.

- Owen is like no other5 star

John Irving does it again!

- Unique & Fascinating!4 star

3.5 stars A Prayer for Owen Meany is a unique and fascinating literary fiction read. I had a difficult time rating this book, because, although I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and found it captivating, humorous, and thought-provoking, it is bloated. The author could have easily shaved off two hundred pages and made this book not only easier to read but more enjoyable as well. The story itself, however, is unique, multilayered, controversial, and just plain fascinating. Owen Meany is an adult who has been teased since childhood. He is barely five feet tall and weighs less than one hundred pounds. Although Owen’s voice is strangled and screechy, whenever he speaks, people listen. Owen Meany is brilliant, witty, outspoken, and rebellious. He is also kind, loving and selfless. Owen is an enigma. Although Owen and John were two very different people, they have been best friends for forever. Owen came from a poor and depressed home where both of his parents were mentally handicapped. John came from a fatherless but loving home, where he lived with his mother and grandmother. Often, imperfect people, are used by God, to influence and teach others, life lessons. Owen was such a person, and he knew what his purpose was. A Prayer For Owen Meany is a book that will grip your heart, trigger your anger, make you think, laugh out loud and cry. It’s a fascinating book that will leave an imprint on your heart.

- Brutal2 star

I felt compelled to read this after reading all the reviews, and honestly I tried ... I am an avid reader and have read many of the classics but this was a brutal read. One interesting character cannot carry this book in this case. Too much "filler" and not enough substance..I can't drag myself back to read the end .. Feels like a forced read for school that I'll be tested on.

- Fabulous in every way!5 star

Yes, you need to labor past the first 50 pages. Your reward is waiting, and it is considerable. My favorite book.

- Incredible story5 star

I thought this book was amazing. The writing style of John Irving brings the characters to life and draws you into the book like no other. You easily become engrossed in the plot and will not want to stop reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys deep storylines and a touching tale of two best friends and their fates.

- Great Book!5 star

This will be on my favorite book list. I procrastinated over reading this book for years. It was recommended by several people, but I always had a strange feeling about John Irving's books. I am so glad I read this. A truly great story, funny, sad, moving, makes you think. I highly recommend it.

- Wonderful5 star

A little slow to start, but a few chapters in and you'll be hooked. Wonderful story.

- What am I missing!1 star

Downloaded this book after reading the reviews. I can't force myself to keep reading . The most boring book I've ever read.

- unforgettable5 star

A beautiful work of art. Some of the most profoundly moving lines I have ever read are here. This novel found a place in me years ago and it stayed, unforgettable.

- A pleasure to meet these characters4 star

This was a very good read. The characters in the story are portrayed very well and become extremely relatable.

- My favorite!5 star

I've been waiting for this book for a long time. It is my favorite American novel and I have read it cover to cover six times now over the past 20 years. Every december I re-read the Christmas Pageant chapter and laugh until tears come to my eyes.

- All is now right with the world!5 star

I have been waiting and anticipating the release of this book in iBooks ever since the ebook craze started. This is definitely one of Irving's best, and one of the top great books of all times. It warms the heart, brings laughter to the soul, and celebrates our humanity. My day is now brighter!

- A Prayer for Owen Meany5 star

One of my all time favorites and I read a lot!

- Irvings best5 star

One of Irvings best - I red it so many years ago, then again after my own mom died (it was her book) and loved it again. It is a tale of friendship that just speaks to you!

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John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany Comments

About John Irving Wiki

John Winslow Irving (born John Wallace Blunt Jr.; March 2, 1942) is an American-Canadian novelist and screenwriter. Irving achieved critical and popular acclaim after the international success of The World According to Garp in 1978. Many of Irving's novels, including The Cider House Rules (1985), A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), and A Widow for One Year (1998), have been bestsellers. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in the 72nd Academy Awards (1999) for his script of The Cider House Rules.Five of his novels have been adapted into films (Garp, Hotel, Meany, Cider, Widow). Several of Irving's books (Garp, Meany, Widow) and short stories have been set in and around Phillips E..
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