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A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 02, 1991 – Irving's storytelling skills have gone seriously astray in this contrived, preachy, tedious tale of the eponymous Owen Meany, a latter-day prophet and Christ-like figure who dies a martyr after having inspired true Christian belief in the narrator, Johnny Wheelwright. The boys grow up close friends in a small New Hampshire town, where Owen's loutish parents own a quarry and where the fatherless Johnny, whose beloved mother never reveals the secret of his paternity, becomes an orphan at age 11 when a foul ball hit by Owen in a Little League game strikes his mother on the head, killing her instantly. The tragedy notwithstanding, Owen and Johnny cleave to a friendship sealed when Owen uses desperate means to keep Johnny from going to Vietnam, and brought to its apotheosis when Johnny is present at the death Owen has seen prefigured in a vision. Despite the overworked theme of a boy's best friend causing his mother's injury or death (one thinks immediately of Robertson Davies and Nancy Willard), the plot might have been workable had not Irving made Owen a caricature: Owen is, all his life, so tiny he can be lifted with one hand; he is ``mortally cute,'' and he has a ``cartoon voice'' because he must shout through his nose, which Irving conveys by printing all of Owen's dialogue in capital lettersan irritating device that immediately sets the reader's teeth on edge. Then too, the author's portentously dramatic foreshadowing, which has worked well in his previous books, is here sadly overdone and excessively melodramatic. On the plus side, Irving is convincing in his appraisal of the tragedy of Vietnam and in his religious philosophizing, in which he distinguishes the true elements of faith. But that is not enough to save the meandering narrative. Owen is not the only one to hit a foul ball in this novel, which is too ``mortally cute'' for its own good. BOMC main selection.

Customer Reviews

Irvings best

One of Irvings best - I red it so many years ago, then again after my own mom died (it was her book) and loved it again. It is a tale of friendship that just speaks to you!

A Prayer for Owen Meany

One of my all time favorites and I read a lot!

All is now right with the world!

I have been waiting and anticipating the release of this book in iBooks ever since the ebook craze started. This is definitely one of Irving's best, and one of the top great books of all times. It warms the heart, brings laughter to the soul, and celebrates our humanity. My day is now brighter!

A Prayer for Owen Meany
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Classics
  • Published: Mar 13, 2012
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
  • Print Length: 640 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings