11 member(s) found this review helpful.
Excellent novel!! The novel is very profound -- touching on religion, politics, friendship, and fate. It took me some time to get through the book (it was long and sometimes tedious) and sometimes Irving's style bothered me - he likes to jump around a lot -- from Owen's and Johnny's childhood to the late 80's and back. The OWEN character is unforgettable with his extraordinary perception and VOICE. The novel takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion from humor to moments of sadness. The Vietnam War and the politics of Reagan are also key to the novel (I wonder what Irving thinks of the current situation in Iraq ?!). Overall, I would highly recommend this book -- it's well worth the time investment to read. I have read a few other Irving novels including "The Cider House Rules" (which was wonderful) and "The Hotel New Hampshire" (which I thought was so-so). I'll be reading more Irving in the future.
7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Could not finish. Has a tedious beginning with poorly developed characters. I set it down, picked up another book, and did not go back.
6 member(s) found this review helpful.
This was my first Irving book and at first it seemed a huge undertaking and a bit confusing, but he kept the pace up so the confused parts went by fast and eventually I understood his line of thinking and writing and ended up LOVING this book.
It is part mystery, part good ol' "back in the good old days" story-telling, with some comedy and some [just a little bit over the top] political "down memory lane" sections, thrown in for good measure.
All in all you end up wishing the book wouldn't end and amazed at his writing skills. I wished I'd discovered him [Irving] sooner.