Avenue of Mysteries

  • by John Irving
  • Narrated by Armando Duran
  • 20 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of our most admired and beloved authors in this absorbing novel of fate and memory.
As we grow older - most of all, in what we remember and what we dream - we live in the past. Sometimes we live more vividly in the past than in the present.
As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. "An aura of fate had marked him," John Irving writes of Juan Diego. "The chain of events, the links in our lives - what leads us where we're going, the courses we follow to our ends, what we don't see coming, and what we do - all this can be mysterious, or simply unseen, or even obvious."
Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past - in Mexico - collides with his future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

needs a content warning

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who enjoys pornography.


Any additional comments?

I’m sure there is a story in there somewhere but I will never find it because I can’t get past the filth. Why the gifted author who wrote A Prayer for Owen Meany needs to resort to such vulgarity to tell a story is beyond my understanding. I can’t take any more of it. What a disappointment.

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- az quilter

Irving Out of the Park!

If you could sum up Avenue of Mysteries in three words, what would they be?

Surreal Mind Painting


What did you like best about this story?

Juan Diego, a 50 year old novelist travels to the Philippines to keep a promise he made forty years ago to a dying hippie as a 14 year old boy living in a garbage dump in Mexico with his younger sister/savant Lupe, who reads peoples minds (though only Juan can understand her.) It is a touching tale about a brilliant but reclusive dreamer who has lost everyone he ever loved as the years have gone by. He is a dreamer, because about half the book is narrated in a dream state. And believe me, like a narcoleptic, this guy can fall asleep on a dime,and always gets a bucks worth of dream meat every time he nods off. There are some very funny dialogues between Don Juan and Lupe during these dream/ flashbacks (between the now and the then). And if that's not confusing enough, when Juan arrives in the Philippines he is immediately adopted by a gorgeous mother and daughter team, who are certainly not what they appear to be (even after the book they remain so). The only way I can describe the story is that it melts together nicely like a surreal hot caramel sauce ladled over a real world frozen custard, both rich,and wonderful. To date, this is my favorite Irving book.


Which character – as performed by Armando Duran – was your favorite?

Lupe, was a hoot, particularly because of the great voice the narrator gave her. You could not help but to laugh


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. It was a big read, but it still went too fast.


Any additional comments?

My favorite book of the year!

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- Peter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio