The World According Garp Author:John Irving Like the great novels of the past that moved us profoundly and still echo in our minds, "The World According to Garp" creates a populous world and persuades us to dwell in it for an extended time. Garp's world is an imagined one, but it lights up the real world for us - with all its terrors and delights its times of rage and love, its alternatio... more »n between comedy and tragedy.
The main story in "The World According to Garp" (and it is a novel filled with stories) is of a man with a famous mother; a man who reaches toward fame himself. Jenny Fields is the black sheep daughter of an aristocratic New England family; she becomes, almost by accident a feminist leader ahead of her time. Her son, T.S. Garp (named for a father he new saw), has high ambitions for his artistic career, but he has an even higher, obsessive devotion to his wife and children. Surrounding Garp and Jenny are a wide assortment of people: schoolteachers and whores, wrestlers and radicals, editors and assassins, transsexuals and rapists, and husbands and wives. It is John Irving's special gift that all his characters, even the least lovable among them, are portrayed not just vividly but affectionately.
The pace and language of this novel are suited to Garp's life and career: explosive with energy, full of ribaldry and a sense of doom.« less