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Tuesday
Dec182012

This Week's Trivia--First Person Voice Irving

In his most recent novel, In One Person (his 13th), John Irving returns to the first person voice technique.  You know what I mean; it's told in the "I" perspective.  The first sentence in the novel is, "I'm going to begin by telling you about Miss Frost."

In reviewing (and yes in re-rereading) Irving novels, I've discovered that about half his work uses that first person voice, including his first three novels--Setting Free The Bears, The Water Method Man, and The 158 Pound Marriage.  The Hotel New Hampshire was also written in first person voice, but most recent Irving books have not been.

Thus, the question--which of these other popular Irving novels was written in first person voice?

Hint--you can usually tell in the first sentence or two.

A--The World According To Garp

B--A Prayer For Owen Meany

C--The Cider House Rules

D--Son of the Circus, or

E--A Widow For One Year.

Answer--The first sentence is rather long and complicated (rather Dickensian), so I won't quote it all here, but here's a part of it.  "I am doomed to recall a boy with a certain voice..."  Ah yes, that would have to be Owen Meany (my second favorite Irving novel, after The Cider House Rules...Garp is in the middle)..."He is the reason I believe in God."  Irving fans will remember that when Owen Meany speaks, it's always in all caps.  The voice is that of his friend John, the one whose mother is killed by the foul ball. 

Great book...great voice.

Much better than The Water Method Man which I'm struggling with now (and like even less than the first time I read it) as opposed to Widow For One Year which I liked more the third time around and Last Night In Twisted River which I liked much more the second time around.

Product Details

Setting Free the Bears (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by John Irving (Jun 23, 1997)

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