Book Reviews of World According to Garp

World According to Garp
World According to Garp
Author: John Irving
ISBN-13: 9780671523695
ISBN-10: 0671523694
Publication Date: 3/2/1984
Pages: 609
Edition: Complete 14-1.5 hour
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 24

4.4 stars, based on 24 ratings
Publisher: Pocket
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

25 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed World According to Garp on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From the moment of his unconventional conception, Garp's life is full of unusual events and characters. Through it all he maintains a zest for life and embraces it wholeheartedly, along with a strong love for his family. If you haven't read anything by John Irving, "The World According to Garp" is a great place to start
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Helpful Score: 2
I fell in love with the characters.
reviewed World According to Garp on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of my favorite books, one that I pick up time and time again to read. I even love opening it up to a random page and reading an excerpt once in a while. Irving creates a sprawling novel that starts with the story behind the conception of T.S. Garp and follows him to the end of his life, introducing quirky and unforgettable characters along the way. I've often compared this story to a warm, comforting blanket that takes you in and wraps you up from beginning to end. There's just too much that happens to try to summarize it all here.

Bottom Line: Definitely worth the read. If you like it, also check out "A Widow for One Year."
reviewed World According to Garp on
Helpful Score: 1
A classic, I would put this on everyone's recommended reading list.
reviewed World According to Garp on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a book that is hard to get into, but once sucked into Garp's world, you won't be sorry!
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I am not generally a reader of tender sensibilities, but I found this one disturbing with regard to its morality. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Well written, but not my cup of tea.
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Funny, heartbreaking and horrifying. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Now I want to see the movie....
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Classic John Irving.
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This is really one of John Irvings best, full of quirky eceentric people and situations. I read it a long time ago and it was my introduction to Irving, he doesn't fail to entertain or illuminate the wild nature of life or character.
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OUTSTANDING!
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Irving packs wild characters and weird events into his classic--officially recognized as such in a Modern Library edition with a new introduction by the author--while amazingly maintaining the rough feel of realism in every scene and the pulse of life in every heart. Many novelists of his time might have populated a novel with a novelist protagonist whose life and books comment on each other and the novel we're reading. Transsexual football players, ball turret gunners lobotomized in battle, multiple adultery, unicycling bears, mad feminists who amputate their tongues in sympathy with the celebrated victim of a horrifying rape--Irving made them all people. Even the bear is a fitting character.
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Not nearly as good as A Prayer For Owen Meany or Cider House Rules. Dragged on and on, got really good at the very end. Disappointed.
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I loved this bk.! It has been a few yrs.since I read it, but I remember really being interested in the characters and their lives.
reviewed World According to Garp on + 2 more book reviews
I think John Irving is a bit of an acquired taste, or either you like him or hate him, but Garp is one of his best books.
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So wacky you won't be able to put it down.
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loved it!
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Amazon.com
"Garp was a natural storyteller," says the narrator of John Irving's incandescent novel, referring to the book's hero, the novelist Garp, who has much in common with Irving himself. "He could make things up one right after the other, and they seemed to fit."

Irving packs wild characters and weird events into his classic--officially recognized as such in a Modern Library edition with a new introduction by the author--while amazingly maintaining the rough feel of realism in every scene and the pulse of life in every heart. Many novelists of his time might have populated a novel with a novelist protagonist whose life and books comment on each other and the novel we're reading. Transsexual football players, ball turret gunners lobotomized in battle, multiple adultery, unicycling bears, mad feminists who amputate their tongues in sympathy with the celebrated victim of a horrifying rape--Irving made them all people. Even the bear is a fitting character.

In a crucial episode, Garp's wife's seduction of a young man coincidentally occurs at the moment when Garp is delighting their young sons with a reckless car trick (one of the few scenes beautifully, eerily, heartbreakingly captured in the film version as well). Many authors would have been content with the harsh comedy of the scene, but Irving respects its integrity, and he builds the rest of the book on the consequences of the event. How does he get away with his killer cocktail of slapstick and horror? Because it's simply what we all face daily, rearranged into soul-satisfying art. "Life is an X-rated soap opera," according to Garp, and who can contradict him?

Rereading Garp 20 years later, one is struck by how elegantly Irving structures his bizarre and complex story. Take the two most celebrated bits in the book, the Under Toad and Garp's story "The Pension Grillparzer," which shimmers like an exquisite Kafkaesque insect in the amber of the novel. When Garp warns his son about the "undertow" at the beach, the boy imagines a monster out of Beowulf who lurks beneath the waves to suck you under: the "Under Toad." It's funny at first, but we soon find that the Under Toad is a metaphor with teeth--he connects with a prophetic dream of death in "The Pension Grillparzer," set in Vienna. Garp's son's last words are, "It's like a dream!" And as Irving--who studied at the University of Vienna--can certainly tell you, the German word for "death" sounds precisely like the English word "toad."

All that death, and yet Garp is mainly exuberant. This story is, as Garp's stuttering writing teacher puts it, "rich with lu-lu-lunacy and sorrow." It enriches literature, and our lives.
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To me this is a classic. I am an admirer of Irving's writing and think that this is one of his best books.
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A classic!
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I don't know what the big fuss was about with this book. I love John Irving's books but I feel this is not his best. However, if you enjoy stories about war and about people who are all crazy, you might like it.
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I actually never read this book - I tried but couldn't get into it. I have many friends though for whom this is their favorite book. I'm hoping someone else will fall in love with it!
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This book at the time was a great one for me - reading the book twice and seeing the movie twice, comparing them, but after so many years it is time to pass it on (This is a 1979 paperback printing.)
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I read this many years ago and purchased it again to re-read it remembering that it was very good.
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a little yellowed but a great read
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I have not read