I find it so hard to settle with a book nowadays that I joined Audible roughly three years ago in a bid to catch up on more than a few years of neglect. I hoped that listening rather than reading might reawaken my slightly addling brain.
A Prayer for Owen Meany
I’m so glad that I didn’t let the scary looking guy on the cover put me off, or the slightly odd title, because this is one of those books that feels like a discovery. You will still enjoy the book if your an atheist or have zero religious knowledge
The narrator Joe Barrett , is absolutely fantastic in the way he brings the characters to life. Its a very long book at close to 27 hours but I listened virtually non stop over a weekend and loved it.
Joe Barrett was selected especially by the author John Irving for his ability to deliver Owen Meany’s difficult voice as he’d intended.
Set in Gravesend, New Hampshire it tells the story of two young boys, John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, growing up together, the two are firm friends.
Owens permanently small stature and high-pitched shouty voice caused by a damaged larynx, single him out and the book portrays him as a little bit frustrating and annoying, particularly as he starts to develop a conviction that he is an instrument of God.
For John, the events that happen during a Little league baseball game in the summer of 1953 will have a profound effect on the rest of his life, but only serves to strengthen Owen’s conviction.
An interwoven time frame, set in the 50’s and 60’s, and later in Johns modern-day diary entries of 1987 adds a different perspective to the story.
The book I must admit manipulated within me, lots of different emotions, and I couldn’t help but become transfixed at some of the developing events.
From the beginning I didn’t particularly like the personality traits of Owen’s character, although he was obviously highly intelligent, and quite often I was surprised by Johns continued friendship with him.
But as the storyline continued to weave its magic right untill its dramatically surprising conclusion!