Today I will try a new feature on this blog. Starting today I invite READERS to TALK about books they’ve read. If you would like to talk about a book, send an email to me and I will collect these, edit a bit, if necessary, before posting your comments on the first Tuesday of each month, under the title, READERS TALK. Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Jan – I just finished reading John Irving’s latest book, IN ONE PERSON. Here are some of my comments and if you think this is suitable for your blog please post it.
IN ONE PERSON, is the first John Irving book that I have read, although, I admit, I have a copy of THE CIDER HOUSE RULES that’s been lying on top of one of my book shelves for the last seven years. Now I’ll finally read that too. Some things I know about John Irving are part of the book — he loves wrestling, Shakespeare and opera. And the bisexuality theme comes through. The book spans a lifetime and takes us through the eighties and nineties and the devastating AIDS epidemic. BUT there is sufficient humor, to be sure — laugh out loud humor. Just imagine a small Vermont town’s community playhouse filled with a family of actors, including a cross-dressing grandfather, two daughters (bossy and somewhere in their 40s), add a stepfather for the main character, Bill, to the mix and stir. Now imagine one of the daughters saying “Daddy’s not a dyke!” That would compel anyone to begin reading this novel immediately.
I must admit that somewhere in the middle of the book I grew tired of reading about Bill’s mispronunciation of “penis” because he says it so that it sounds like “penith” and of course, his obsession with that and other parts of the body, including: tits, vaginas, as well as his focus on the differences between people who are transsexual versus transgendered, seems over the top after a while. But just when you think you’ve seen it all, Irving introduces us to a new plot twist in this tale and we’re off and running in another related direction. So the book held my interest. And I will read THE CIDER HOUSE RULES.
In my opinion John Irving is a very tidy author, in that he doesn’t leave messy plot threads hanging. As I approached the ending, I found that all the loose ends came together — nothing is left without some degree of resolution. And the ending does not let you off the hook. You will connect and in my case, I admit that I shed some tears. This is a great read and belongs on a summer reading list. Irving is a very fine contemporary author who has produced a blazing page turner. Bravo Mr. Irving!!