This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields - a feminist leader ahead of her times. It is also the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with 'lunacy and sorrow'; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. It provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."
Set among the apple orchards of rural Maine, it is a peverse world in which Homer Wells' odyssey begins. As the oldest unadopted offspring at St Cloud's orphanage, he learns about the skills which, one way or another, help young and not-so-young women, from Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder -- a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether.
The Berry family are different. Love abounds - both healthy and incestuous. It is the overwhelming desire of the Berry father to run a hotel, which he does, with dubious success, in both a former girls' school in New Hampshire, and in Vienna. This is a conventional family saga.
While reporting a story from India, a New York television journalist has his left hand eaten by a lion; millions of TV viewers witness the accident. A married woman in Wisconsin wants to give the reporter her husband's hand, that is, after her husband dies. But the husband is very much alive.
Tells a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. In this novel, Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a 'sexual suspect'.
It is 1967 and two Viennese university students decide to liberate the Vienna Zoo, as was done after World War II. The eccentric duo, Graff and Siggy, embark on an adventure-filled motorbike tour of Austria as they prepare for 'the great zoo bust'. But their grand scheme will have both comic and gruesome consequences, as they are soon to find out.
John Irving, it is abundantly clear, is a true artist.-- Los Angeles Times Fred "Bogus" Trumper has troubles. A divorced, broke graduate student of Old Norse in 1970s New York, Trumper is a wayward knight-errant in the battle of the sexes and the pursuit of happiness: His ex-wife has moved in with his childhood best friend, his life is the subject of a tell-all movie, and his chronic urinary tract infection requires surgery. Trumper is determined to change. There's only one problem: it seems the harder he tries to alter his adolescent ways, the more he is drawn to repeating the mistakes of the past. . . . Written when Irving was twenty-nine, Trumper's tale of woe is told with all the wit and humor that would become Irving's trademark. Three or four times as funny as most novels. -- The New Yorker Praise for The Water-Method Man Friendship, marriage, and family are his primary themes, but at that blundering level of life where mishap and folly--something close to joyful malice--perpetually intrude and distrupt, often fatally. Life, in [John] Irving's fiction, is always under siege. Harm and disarray are daily fare, as if the course of love could not run true. . . . Irving's multiple manner . . . his will to come at the world from different directions, is one of the outstandint traits of The World According to Garp, but this remarkable flair for . . . stories inside stories . . . isalready handled with mastery . . . and with a freedom almost wanton in The Water-Method Man [which is Garp's predecessor by six years]. --Terrence Des Pres Brutal reality and hallucination, comedy and pathos. A rich, unified tapestry. -- Time
In a spirited opening piece, John Irving explains how he became a writer. There follow six scintillating stories written over the past twenty years, inlcuding The Pension Grillparzer, previously only to be found inside The World According to Garp, and now given its first independent airing.
Jack Burns' mother, Alice, is a tattoo artist in search of the boy's father, William, a virtuoso organist, who has fled America to Europe. To fund her journey, she plies her trade in the seaports of the North Sea as she tracks her four-year-old son's errant father. But Alice is a mystery, and William can't be found. And even Jack's memories are subject to doubt.
Chronicles the life of a complex, abrasive woman born in the shadow of her siblings' deaths and her parents' adultery, who only finds love after motherhood and widowhood.
'If you care about something you have to protect it. If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.' Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend's mother.
Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is both extraordinary and terrifying.
On a New England campus, Viennese housewife Utchka and her aspiring writer husband live a rather placid life with their two children. Until, that is, they meet Severin Winter, Professor of German and wrestling coach, and his delicate wife Edith at a faculty party.