Book Review: A Prayer for Owen Meany
I finished this book ages ago. I thought if i waited a bit, i could come up with a review that could do this book justice. But i haven't thought of anything super spectacular to wow you with, so let's just start with the plot summary.
Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mom with a baseball and believes--accurately--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom.
This is hardly the sort of plot summary that will entice me to read the book. And i'm still mad at John Irving for The World According to Garp. But i needed a book with an I author, so here were are.
From the beginning, you knew that this book was going to be sad. You knew it wasn't going to end well for poor Owen Meany. But, unlike Garp, it wasn't through the idiocy of the main character that all these tragic events occurred. In fact, the character of Owen Meany was incredibly insightful. His take on religion and politics and life in general went straight to the heart of the matter in many cases. Interestingly enough, when the narrator, Owen's best friend, talks of politics and U.S. foreign policies of the 80s, he might as well be talking about current policies. Sadly, it seems that we're doomed to continue making the same bad decisions and be subjected to the same game of secrecy and lies. Irving's view of the general populace's apathy towards everything, their ability to quickly lose interest in negative news, and their ignorance of the rest of the world's population is right on the mark and nothing has changed in the last 20 years.
In the end, Owen's sacrifice was not only a sacrifice of himself, but of his best friend. Though he might have saved him from getting killed in Vietnam, his sacrifice left Johnny Wheelright abandoned and directionless for the rest of his adult life. This is equally sad.
Read the book.
By min | September 28, 2006, 2:01 PM | Boooooks