- Taschenbuch: 720 Seiten
- Verlag: Black Swan; Auflage: New Ed (1. Mai 1990)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 9780552993692
- ISBN-13: 978-0552993692
- ASIN: 0552993697
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 3,7 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 633 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 527.733 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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A Prayer For Owen Meany (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 29. Juli 2010
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Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mum with a baseball and believes--correctly, it transpires--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom. John Irving's novel, which inspired the 1998 Jim Carrey movie Simon Birch, is his most popular book in Britain, and perhaps the oddest Christian mystic novel since Flannery O'Connor's work. Irving fans will find much that is familiar: the New England prep-school-town setting, symbolic amputations of man and beast, the Garp-like unknown father of the narrator (Owen's orphaned best friend), the rough comedy. The scene of doltish Dr Dolder, Owen's shrink, drunkenly driving his VW down the school's marble steps is a marvellous set piece. So are the Christmas pageants Owen stars in. But it's all, as Highlights magazine used to put it, "fun with a purpose". When Owen plays baby Jesus in the pageants, and glimpses a tombstone with his death date while enacting A Christmas Carol, the slapstick doesn't change the fact that he was born to be martyred. The book's countless subplots add up to a moral argument, specifically an indictment of American foreign policy--from Vietnam to the Contras.
The book's mystic religiosity is steeped in Robertson Davies' Deptford trilogy, and the fatal baseball relates to the fatefully misdirected snowball in the first Deptford novel, Fifth Business. Tiny, symbolic Owen echoes the hero of Irving's teacher Günter Grass's The Tin Drum--the two characters share the same initials. A rollicking entertainment, Owen Meany is also a meditation on literature, history and God. --Tim Appelo
"I believe it to be a work of genius... because of its absolutely irrepressible flow of invention and suggestion, expressed in some of the most fascinating prose written in fiction today. Originality has distinguished all Mr Irving's books, but in A Prayer For Owen Meany it achieves a new pitch and a new profundity" (Independent)
"Marvellously funny... What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?" (Spectator)
"So extraordinary, so original, and so enriching" (The Washington Post)
"May justly join the classic American list" (Observer)
"A heartbreaking masterpiece of a novel... tremendously ambitious and fiendishly clever" (Dominic Holland Sunday Express)
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This is not to suggest the rest of John Irving's work is not worthy of pursuit. It is, if for no other reason than that Shaw is a superb writer. Stodgy, perhaps; given to expounding on unnecessary detail, often; confusing with frequently shifting flashbacks, certainly. But here is a character-driven story, and no character is so minor that he/she escapes Shaw's detailed description. He has keen insights into his characters, from a Little League baseball manager crying at a funeral, to an insensitive police chief ignoring human suffering in his search for a missing baseball, through a rural red neck prowling an airport with bayonet and hand grenade.
The novel follows the growth and maturation of two 10-year-olds through primary, high school, college and beyond. this does not make for exciting reading. The pages tend to resemble the Good Grey Times. There is very little action, few thrills, no stalking ax-murderers. there is abundant political comment--on Reagan, on Kennnedy, on Lyndon Johnson, on Viet Nam and Korea. Shaw's characters even voice opinions on movies of the times, television programing, mandatory attendance at Sunday church services, and the protagonist's frustration with news and newspapers. Hardly the stuff of a Dean Koontz horror tale or a Robert parker chronicle of a Spenser/Hawk adventure, or a John Grisham courtroom thriller.
Here is a story of love and friendship, of good and evil, of coming of age. Here is a novel with a final sentence that leaves the reader with a heart-rendering jolt. Twice during ! the reading of Owen Meany this reviewer didn't want to finish the book. The first time (actually this happened several times) I simply wanted to quit out of sheer boredom. the other time--this happened during the final 150 pages--I simply wanted the author to go on and on withthese magnificent characters.
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