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The World According to Garp by John Irving Review

Title: The World According to Garp

Author: John Irving

First published April 24, 1978

610 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780345915597 (ISBN10: 0345915593)

Rating: 4.1


Meet T.S. Garp, the illegitimate child of Jenny Fields – a feminist icon ahead of her time. In this novel, we witness the life and death of a mother and son who live in a world of sexual extremes, even assassinations.

Despite the dark and violent events that take place, this novel is filled with humor and comedy. With over 10 million copies in print and translated in more than 30 languages and 40 countries, this novel is a testament to its famous last line: “In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases.”

About the Author

John Irving, born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1942, began his writing career with the publication of Setting Free the Bears in 1968 at the age of twenty-six. Alongside his writing, he spent twenty years as a wrestler and coached wrestling until the age of forty-seven.

Mr. Irving has received recognition for his work, with three National Book Award nominations and a win in 1980 for his novel The World According to Garp. He was also awarded an O.

Henry Award in 1981 for his short story “Interior Space” and won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules in 2000. In 2013, his novel In One Person won a Lambda Literary Award.

John Irving is an internationally successful writer, with his novels translated into over thirty-five languages. He currently resides in Toronto, and his all-time best-selling novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, has been a success in every language.

His latest work, Avenue of Mysteries, is his fourteenth novel.

Editoral Review

John Irvings The World According to Garp is a literary masterpiece that has captivated readers since its release in 1978. The novel has won numerous awards and has been praised for its creative and insightful storytelling, its vivid and quirky characters, and its ability to explore a wide range of themes in a deeply nuanced and thought-provoking way.

The novel follows the life of T.S. Garp, the son of a feminist icon who was raped and impregnated by a soldier during World War II. Garp grows up in a community of artists and intellectuals, living a life that is both privileged and unconventional.

He becomes a writer himself and the novel follows his struggles to find meaning and purpose in a world that is often cruel, violent, and unpredictable. The World According to Garp is a novel that defies easy categorization.

It is part dark comedy, part social commentary, part coming-of-age story, and part philosophical treatise. Irvings writing is at once playful and profound, filled with irony, satire, and wit, but also with deep emotions, empathy, and insight.

One of the central themes of the novel is the struggle for authenticity and identity. Garp and the other characters are constantly searching for a sense of self and purpose in a world that is often confusing, contradictory, and oppressive.

They navigate a range of social and political issues, including sexual violence, feminism, free speech, and the Vietnam War, among others. The characters in The World According to Garp are some of the most memorable in modern literature.

Garp himself is an enigmatic and complex figure, at times hilarious, at times tragic. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a larger-than-life presence who dominates the narrative in many ways.

The supporting cast is equally rich and diverse, consisting of artists, academics, activists, soldiers, and ordinary people struggling to make sense of their lives in a world that often seems out of control. Irvings writing is masterful and his storytelling is unparalleled.

He expertly weaves together multiple plotlines, manages to keep the tension and suspense high throughout the novel, and handles difficult and sensitive subject matter with a deft touch. His prose is elegant and lyrical, and he has a rare ability to convey complex ideas and emotions through vivid and memorable imagery.

The only real criticism that can be leveled against The World According to Garp is that it can be a challenging read at times. It requires the reader to be patient, attentive, and open-minded, and it is not for the faint of heart.

However, those who are willing to put in the effort will be richly rewarded. Overall, The World According to Garp is a must-read for anyone interested in modern literature, philosophy, or social issues.

It is a timeless masterpiece that has only become more relevant and resonant in the years since its release. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page, and it is one that you will want to share with others.

Irving’s book is a 10/10, a true masterpiece.