Saturday, February 20, 2021

Trying It Out, But Probably in for Disappointment

I'm about two chapters into A Prayer for Own Meany by John Irving.

Despite my baby boomer status, I've never read any of Irving's books before. He was the favorite writer of one of my best (male) friends in college, so maybe that's why I didn't read him: Younger me tended to not want to read books other people recommended. 

I picked this particular book of Irving's up because I saw it mentioned recently more than once on a list where people were naming their favorite books of all time. 

I don't know if it deserves that honor because it's too early to tell, though I have a feeling I will not only disagree (since I already have my favorites) but find it comes nowhere close for me on a number of counts. It has made me laugh a few times and I've admired Irving's turns of phrase in two spots, so I'm not saying he's without skill. But unless something major changes, it appears to be a story based in a bunch of unconscious sexism that I'm supposed to ignore in order to enjoy it.

Don't tell me if I'm right or wrong. I'm going to read it and find out.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

I’ve never read it, but I’ve seen it named as a favorite book by a number of students.

I had a prof in grad school who died while reading The World According to Garp. One of his colleagues said that this prof had had the last word on John Irving. I don’t know if that’s fair or not.