I liked this John Irving book the best with Garp a close second. He is my favorite author and I was very pleased with this book. Anyone who has not read Irving may like this book as a first read as the characters and story are well developed and not as quirky as others he writes about (not that quirky is a bad thing).
After my hungry consumption of the "The World According to Garp" I was anxious to read this but also worried that it wouldn't live up to my high hopes. I had nothing to fear, however. Like Garp, the novel follows a single person, yet many of the supporting characters have richly developed backgrounds of their own that spring off into short stories sometimes. While it may sound distracting, it lends a completeness to the book that one doesn't often find elsewhere.
We start with four-year old Ruth Cole, whose parent's marriage is fractured, to say the least. Haunted by the death of their two teenaged sons years earlier, both her mother and father have coped in vastly differnt ways. When her father hires an assistant for the summer, his presence leads to an event that will forever change the course of Ruth's life. From there we follow Ruth throughout her young adulthood and into middle-age, weaving a very differnt tale, yet still bringing in the characters from the past.
A great read that I highly recommend!
Not one of my favorite Irving works. The characters felt weak to me in this one, something that I don't generally see in his other books. There really wasn't anyone to root for as far as I could tell.
I enjoyed this book, it is a long book at times it felt long, it did drag a bit a few places, but it was an entertaining read. I like John Irving's style of writing, he truly brings places and people to life, the quirks were different and made the book very interesting. I would recommend this book.
A great story... not so great movie... great real life characters... awesome