Friday, May 13, 2005

books: a prayer for owen meany

last night, i finished reading a prayer for owen meany by john irving (thanks dad for catching my mistake). a brilliant story, with an incredible, movie-style ending. actually, the satisfaction i felt at reading the ending was similar to what i felt when i saw the shawshank redemption. if you've seen that remarkable film, you'll know what i mean: everything ties together nicely, and every little fact finally makes sense.

the owen character is the most fascinating and funny of any i've read recently. he seems to know the future, but not enough to understand it. this is a very christ-like quality that i've heard little of spoken in church: as the gospel tells it, christ knows that he'll be killed (and even that one of the disciples will betray him), but not necessarily when or how, as he seems surprised at certain turns of events (e.g. "...why hast thou forsaken me?..."). (ed: all you theologians out there, of the armchair variety or not as the case may be, please correct my quick and loose interpretation of the christian story as needed. i intend no sacrilege.) owen is remarkable - his magnetically confident faith (in himself, and in the future that god has laid out for him) inspires not just the townspeople, but the reader as well.

this is also the first time i've ever seen an author attempt to make a character "sound" a certain way. everything owen says is CAPITALIZED LIKE THIS in the text, owing to his "permanent scream".

great reading. but don't take my word for it - read it yourself.


Blogger Phil said...

I agree with your assessment of Owen Meany. I was equally impressed with it when I read it a few years ago. You make me want to read it again. It also had special significance for me since it was set in Exeter.....the author describes the town with incredible accuracy and I felt even closer to the story than I normally would because of that.

By the way, you are pretty accurate in your description of the Biblical aspects, too.


2:30 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

PS .... The author is John Irving, not Irving Stone (Agony and Ecstasy)

2:31 AM  
Anonymous jac said...

or the Rolling Stones.......... or Stone Phillips..... or Sharon Stone....... or Stonehenge........ or just plain stoned.
No sacrilege intended]

11:51 AM  

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