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Book Information: Prayer for Owen Meany, a

Prayer for Owen Meany, a (1989) [Novel]
by John Irving Rating: Weighted - 8.3 / Average - 8.3 of 10 (54 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: 4 (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary and terrifying.

Original title: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionReligiousChristianity
FictionGeneral Fiction


  • Dedication: "This book is for Helen Frances Winslow Irving & Colin Franklin Newell Irving my mother & father"


Edition #1: A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Edition: original
  • "Vintage Irving... Simultaneously horrifying and absurdly funny." Time Magazine
  • "John Irving is an abundantly and even joyfully talented storyteller... brilliantly cinematic in the way he positions good against evil." New York Times Book Review
  • "Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating and darkly comic... Dickensian in scope... Quite stunning, and very ambitious." Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • "A lavish meditation on predestination, faith and the unrealized forces that shape one's days." San Francisco Chronicle
  • "Riveting... Owen Meany, drawn in bold strokes, burns in the mind's eye—vivid, alive, beloved—long after the turning of the final page." UPI
  • "Extraordinary, so original, and so enriching... A rare creation in the somehow exhausted work of late 20th century fiction.... Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world." Stephen King the Washington Post Book World
  • "[Mr. Irving] is more than popular. He is a Populist, determined to keep alive the Dickensian tradition that revels in colorful set pieces and teaches moral lessons.... More than any of his novels since Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany embraces those 19-century qualities." The New York Times
  • "Its two main characters, and almost all the rest, are appealing, as are its themes—the persistence of friendship through adversity, the combat of conscience with mediocrity, and the search for the father and oneself.... Irving skillfully intertwines the two quests—for truth and evil—in a plausible and powerful way." New York Magazine
  • "Superbly narrated sequences of comic action... Irving is particularly good at rendering the dynamics of things—he has a Dickensian ability to juxtapose and animate unpromising objects... [as in] the book's grand and brilliantly conceived final scene.... You don't just read Irving, you listen to him." The New Republic
  • "A Prayer For Owen Meany leaps off the pages with an imaginative passion that is startling.... This is John Irving at full throttle: a riveting narrative, a cast of richly developed characters, and a story as complex and unbelievable as life itself.... [A] joyous, provocative read!" Playboy
  • "One of the most subtle and brilliant artistic examinations yet of America and America's involvement in Vietnam." San Jose Mercury News
  • "A long-awaited treat. This powerful story about love, faith and destiny will be placed on bookshelves and in hearts in that honorable spot right next to Garp." The Houston Post
  • "A wondrous novel... ultimately beguiling in its soulful account of a remarkable friendship... Irving's ability to create idiosyncratic characters and put them through weirdly ridiculous yet realistic paces has never been in finer fettle. Humor partnered with compassion, wisdom with absurdity, leave the reader both mirthful and tearful." Booklist
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Manifested in:

A Prayer for Owen Meany (2002)

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679642595
Pages: 672

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A Prayer for Owen Meany (1997)

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0345417976
Pages: 560

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A Prayer for Owen Meany (1990)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345361792
Pages: 617

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