A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Jan 18, 2011

This book meets my foremost criteria for a great book – I was very sorry when it ended. It is a long book and readers may feel they have become part of the story, therefore, making an ending for themselves as well as the story. Much has been written about this book by critics and experts in literature. I will say only how I feel about it. Owen Meany is one of the most interesting characters in literature. He is universally seen as a “Christ figure” and this could only be missed by the most unobservant reader. This is the story of Owen’s life, as told by his lifelong best friend, John. The tone of the book changes dramatically, being “laugh-out-loud-funny” during particular incidents during Owen’s childhood, and “sadder than sad” in others. Irving uses the book to voice his outrage about the Vietnam War and other political events of the day. But he writes with touching sensitivity of love and friendship and the terrors of childhood. This is a book for the ages.

Reviewed by Library Staff