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First off. I like some John Irving novels, some very much, But this was like watching the greatest Magician show you a trick and then explain how it’s done and then make you feel stupid for not having figured it out, while at the same time telling you how brilliant he was for coming up with such an amazing trick.
Some of the shorts were good, some okay and some long winded and self serving to show you how we’ll read the author is.
Joe Barrett is great, but could not save you from the self grandiosity of Irving’s s writers notes.
I wanted to like this book and I tried to finish but just never really got passed how much I disliked the first story, even though the next few were a little better. I finally gave up when I realized listening was just becoming tedious.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
My indifferent 3 star rating is because these shorts cannot compete with the brilliance of his wonderful 5 star novels. John Irving is one of the USA's greatest living novelists, has rarely written short stories, and this is the only collection published. So I listened partly through curiosity, partly out of frustration that audible UK doesn't make many of his novels available. Publishing wrangles maybe?
First published in 1996, the collection is quite a mixed bag and has aged well. The same sly wit that illuminates his novels is well in evidence both in the stories and memoirs. Each piece is followed by some interesting "author's notes" which give extra context. Narration is good. Overall, I think existing Irving fans will find much to enjoy, but anyone else should probably start with one of his novels.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful