The 158-Pound Marriage Author:John Irving "Irving looks cunningly beyond the eye-catching gyrations of the mating dance to the morning-after implications." — --The Washington Post — The darker vision and sexual ambiguities of this erotic, ironic tale about a ménage a quatre in a New England university town foreshadow those of The World According to Garp; but this very trim and... more » precise novel is a marked departure from the author's generally robust, boisterous style. Though Mr. Irving's cool eye spares none of his foursome, he writes with genuine compassion for the sexual tests and illusions they perpetrate on each other; but the sexual intrigue between them demonstrates how even the kind can be ungenerous, and even the well-intentioned, destructive.
"One of the most remarkable things about John Irving's first three novels, viewed from the vantage of The World According to Garp, is that they can be read as one extended fictional enterprise. . . . The 158-Pound Marriage is as lean and concentrated as a mine shaft."
I first read this when I was in my early 20s. It made a deep impression in me. One of those books that will always be on my "most favorite books" list. After "The World According to Garp" ... this is my next John Irving favorite. The book is better than the movie. Of course!
This was my first Irving. Given to me by a friend...at first I was going to read it just because it had been suggested to me but the more I read the more I really liked it. The end was a bit of a downer for me but all in all I really liked it. I've read many negative reviews about this one.