Right from the opening chapter a lot of talk of masturbation and inappropriate erections.what was I getting into The world that Garp inhabits is a strange wonderful world full of rich peculiar characters and absurd situations The I delved the I was enticed by the world of Garp I loved parts of this than others but what I loved I really loved What kind of man is John Irving to write such an interesting book and character with such groundbreaking issues This book really has so much to offer Garp is full of contradictions and inner turmoil being the son of a leading feminist mother, he enters this world under questionable methods, Garp was always destined for an interesting life Such diverse characters bring so many social issues to the fore, there is so much covered and artfully written how can you go past a book that thrusts rape, mutilation, feminism, sexuality, transgenders and depression and still entertain with humour Garp having a prominent feminist mother conflicts with his own ideas of masculinity and gender identity bringing tumult and acute anxiety to his world, Garp is a multilayered complex character, often portraying the internal processes of a tortured writer causing the omnipresent Under Toad to lurk beneath the surface This book is a wonder, on one hand it s depressing as hell, there is death a lot of death references of rape is a recurring theme but amongst all the heaviness and serious issues what it s best at is finding the flaws but also embracing the eccentricities, these are the people that colour Garp s world and it s a joy to behold. Oh My I think I need to read this again..Maybe I was on drugs the first time I read it wait I didn t do drugs even during the 60 s while living in Berkeley..I was a straight arrow Maybe that was my problem..Help.I must read this book again I have my reasons I m leaving it at that Jenny Fields, Kenk Miljon Rin Perheen Musta Lammas Ja Miestenvihaaja, Kirjoittaa Omael M Kerran Kirjasta Tulee H Nen Tarkoittamattaan Feministiliikkeen Raamattu Jenny Omistaa El M Ns Miesten Maailmassa V Ryytt K Rsineiden Siipirikkojen Hoivaamiseen, Apunaan L Hes Kaksimetrinen Roberta, Joka Ennen Sukupuolenvaihdosleikkaustaan Oli Amerikkalaisen Jalkapalloliigan Kuuluisin Keskikentt MiesJennyn Avioton Poika T S Garp On H Lkk J , Painimestari Ja Valmentaja H N On My S Kirjailija, Joka Koko Ik Ns Turhaan Pyrkii Ylt M N Oman Esikoisteoksensa Tasalle, Ja Aviomies, Joka Ei Voi J Tt Rauhaan Sievi Lastenvahteja, Vaikka Rakastaakin Vaimoaan Yli Kaiken Perheen Sis Ll H Nen Yliherkk Huolensa Lasten Turvallisuudesta Johtaa Murhen Ytelm N Toisensa J Lkeen Idin Ja Pojan Ymp Rille Ryhmittyy Kirjava Joukko Omalaatuisia Ihmisi Yliopiston Opettajista Ja Lemmenkipeist L Hi Rouvista Poliittisiin Salamurhaajiin N Iden Ihmisten Vaiheita Kuvataan Mielikuvitusta Pursuavassa Kertomuksessa, Joka On Yht Aikaa Kauhistuttava Ja Hilpe , Vuoroin Liikuttava, Vuoroin Groteski Indeed there are enough freaks sufficient eccentricity here to make this a SUPER enjoyable read It lacks what the only other Irving novel I ve read so far, A Prayer for Owen Meany, has plenty of melancholia It deviates to a semibiography of a writer, from an incredible birth story involving a strictly asexual nurse and a vegetable memento from the war named Garp The name is onomatopoeia She becomes an early figure of the feminist movement Hilarity ensuesThe son, Garp, is a writer who becomes one to conquer the girl Forgive my disgust for this Norman Rockwell portrait, this American fairy tale convention But wait a minute This is like a distortion of a Rockwell American dreamscape, really There are mutilations aplenty Garp s life is one of self awareness inflated to the point of exploding superego There are poetic afterthoughts and wondrous threads of whimsy But though I must admit parts read like my all time fave Confederacy of Dunces keeping colloquialisms intact , this is No masterpiece But it IS a front runner in modern day fiction and I can t help but think that this one started all these moder day melodramas rife with style emblematic quirks in character, caricaturization of serious players over substance depth. 4.5 5 stars Right from the beginning, I saw that this was going to be one of Irving s quirky masterpieces So many weird and crazy things were happened as we followed Garp and his mother, Jenny, but each quirky thing I encountered only made me fall in love with the book even The World According to Garp is the story of Garp who got his ear bitten off by a dog as a child His mother is a nurse who got pregnant through very worrisome measures The book is the story of Garp from beginning to end, and it s a story that takes you from Vienna to New Hampshire, from generation to generation Like most of Irving s other novels I loved this book so much It plays with narratives interestingly as Garp is a writer, and we get to actually read excerpts of his writing quirky excerpts, I might add It s a story about feminism, loss and transsexuality as well as so many other things, and if you re a fan of John Irving it s a must read This broke my heart, then broke my heart a little every time Why did I continue Habit, I guess It s damn well written even if not really a dazzling ball of a time I always read through the pages no matter how upsetting because something better might happen, or something else I guess in this case it paid off because, if you re reading this, then I ve written a review I promised myself I m going to write something worthwhile, but honestly I feel like this won t live up to the sincerity, this ll probably be crap I just hope it s the kind of crap that ll make you feel better, or the kind of crap that ll emphasize something important you already know, or the kind of crap that feels real, like my experience with this book Well, here goes The World According to Garp is a powerful caricature of life s odds and evens, a condensed experience of what hearts go through in all the years you ve had and all that s left The novel tells the birth, life, and death of T.S Garp, father, husband, son, writer, feminist, wrestler, and cook His joys, his troubles, his weaknesses, his anxieties, all abound in the pages There really is a sort of characteristic richness to American literature that separates their body of work from other countries, and there is no better writer who exemplifies this literary richness like John Irving It is a dying form really, works of grand narratives and sweeping lifetimes But maybe in this dying field this book of fatalities called The World According to Garp is one of the best ever written I know, it is quite unfair to generalize this as a book about deaths, quite hard to really pinpoint what the central theme is It mires itself in a whole range of issues from feminism, rape, sexuality, infidelity, and parenting to name a few In any case, it s a book about life, fittingly, chock full with deaths It s also a very forward thinking book about women and their plight, especially for a book written in the 70s It s a book about a lot of things, somewhat a little too muddled at times, but it s its got its heart in the right place, and a lot of heart it has One of the significant elements to this novel is marriage I ve always approached the topic with careful apprehension Not because of any experience, my parents marriage is fine despite its blemishes, better than most I would think However these days I m not sure about how practical it can be, especially among my disillusioned generation Despite that, Garp s marriage gives me a little insight to the flawed sensibility of marriage, if not its perfection I have never forgiven nor tolerated infidelity I ve suffered at the receiving end of it, and it is one of the worst experiences a human can withstand In my experience, I never forgave her Yet in this case, I understood how married people can survive it How marriage can work despite rough, gruelling patches How parents, husbands, wives can learn to forgive, if not for each other, then for their children I felt hurt reading this, but I felt love despite the faithless nature of human beings Its raw emotions got through to me, I felt the glasses in my heart break and mend I don t want to seem impressionable, but after some thinking maybe marriage might not totally be a bad idea after all, just maybe There is this recurring theme in the novel of an under toad, called as it is because Garp s youngest son, always warned to be careful of the sea s undertow by his parents, mishears it as under toad and has always imagined a giant toad hiding under the sea ready to drown him if he ever strays too far This symbolic under toad would go on to represent the anxieties and fears of Garp and his family, especially with regards to death A living being, an amphibious undertaker, whose presence one never detects until it has come and plucked you with its tongue like an insect to be devoured It does seem like an appropriate analogy Like the underwater current transformed into a giant amphibious monster, maybe we do indeed transform death into a monster of our own imaginings And maybe what we dread and loathe is something different from the final departure of a beloved Often we fear the monster inside our heads, but then maybe what we fear is, in reality, a peaceful current taking those we love into the eternal sea we too shall reach one day Is it really so dreadful Maybe life really is like that, maybe the things that hurt appear from time to time, cloaked with our anxiety amplifying our pain Usually it s the surprise that elevates our suffering, coming out of nowhere, not unlike a slippery beast ensnaring its unsuspecting prey It hits us when we are most vulnerable and we crumble as a result You can t blame people for seeing it worse than it is, but you can help the bereaved feel that life still has in store for them, that life is still rich, that people come and go but our memories and our stories can never be taken by the monsters inside our heads And in the same space occupied by our monsters, our anxieties, there lies our memories and the stories of the angels we hold dear Life is bittersweet, but it s not so bad, right Horace Walpole once said that the world is comic to those who think and tragic to those who feel I hope you ll agree with me that Horace Walpole somewhat simplifies the world by saying this Surely both of us think and feel Garp always says that life is a tragic comedy, he s not wrong In life our strongest memories are often associated with either laughing or crying Not opposite emotional responses but two beautiful things When we cry it helps lessen the pain we feel, when we laugh it provides an outlet of joy we can share to those around us They re both infectious mechanisms as well, these outward manifestations of emotions like sadness and mirth enable us to empathize to the people who exhibit them We all experience one or the other, sometimes, amazingly, both at the same time Isn t that also a nice aspect to life People are born, they fall in love, have children, make mistakes, they cry, they live through their mistakes, they forgive, they make mistakes again, they learn, they laugh, they grow old, then they die Haha Life is funny, is painful, it s messy, it s meandering, it s even repetitive, but hey, it feels real, so does this book. Dull, dull, dull Boring people doing boring things Even the sex is boring.I ve spent some time wondering whether everyone is so boring because it s the world according to Garp, and Garp himself is boring The novel is cleverly structured it could be a literary theorist s wet dream Garp himself is a novelist, and shards of his work appear throughout this novel, including the third chapter of his third novel, The World According to Bensenhaver Excuse me if I got the name wrong Both start with rape well, in the case of Garp, that s pushing it, but the relationship is clearly intentional Lots of clever stuff that might be interesting to think about Is Garp so boring because his boring mom ascribes all the world s problems to lust, which she understands about as well as the Victorians who put dresses on table legs I shouldn t demean the Victorians they had it all over her There s plenty of stuff that could be interesting There s plenty of stuff that could be funny There s even plenty of stuff that could be sexy There s a scene that could be interesting, hilarious, and sexy, when Garp s mother hires a high class Viennese prostitute to explain lust Since the prostitute doesn t speak English, and the mom doesn t speak German, Garp who s just graduated from an exclusive prep school has to translate But this scene doesn t work any better than any of the others At the end of the day, Garp is a book about boring people being boring. I heard about this book for the first time in early eighties this was a specific time in Poland I ignored it completely escaping into music and booksCatch 22,Birdy,One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest,World according to GarpThose are some examples from my reading list from that period And I think one does not have to be too much insightful to see the common denominator for these readingsWorld according to Garp, the most known Irving s novel narrates about this strange thing called life We ve got almost everything here sex , love , writing , bears on bicycles , maimed people and all sort of misfits death is always tragic and lust mercilessly punished This is a book people love or hate or love to hate Ones say it s too vulgar , obscene , too literal in some descriptions Yes it is and what of it But it s also touching , makes you laugh and cry.And in spite of all its grotesqueness , dark humour and tragicomic accents , what s , despite the killing of almost all the characters , is full of life It s America in distorting mirror , melange of caricatural behaviours and strange relationships No , I didn t dream about America Not in geographical sense For me America was state of mind , mixture freedom and positive craziness And all this Garp gave to me And this statement thatin the world according to Garp , we are all terminal casessomehow does not worry me at all I know , there is a life after Garp. I had heard so much positive about this bookthat it was on my Books to Read Before I Die list Well, I will die with having read 1 2 of it I kept reading, I guessbecause of how great it was supposed to be I meanJohn Irving I got to the half way point and thought Where is this going I then realized I really didn t care And put it down Page after page, I finally came to the realization there wasn t enough of a story plot to get me to turn another page So many bookstoo little time. I d say that Lolita and Love in the Time of Cholera are the two best written books I ve ever read But if I had to pick my all time favorite book I d probably go with The World According to Garp Irving takes us on the path of T.S Garp s life from conception to death and I was enthralled every step of the way This book is full of humanity, full of both light and dark humor, and full of insight into the human condition Irving took over from Charles Dickens and put his own unique spin on telling a tale and creating characters that stay with you I ll also add that while the movie based on it is less than a masterpiece not that it wasn t a valiant effort to condense a lenghthy complex story , Robin Williams gave an admirable performance that showed he had a lot range and substance as an actor than most people probably realized at the time, and John Lithgow was nothing short of glorious But this not a movie review, so let me conclude by stating that if you are a fan of masterful story telling and larger than life but still quite realistic characters, pick up this book I m jealous of everyone who gets to accomplish what I can do no longer to read this wonderful book for the very first time.
JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942 His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty six He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty seven Mr Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp He received an O Henry Award
- 580 pages
- The World According to Garp
- John Irving
- 15 December 2017 John Irving