Customer Reviews for

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Average Rating 4.5
( 418 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(267)

4 Star

(85)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(16)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

43 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

I did not find Owen Meany to be an immediately lovable character, but his is a character that grew on me. By the end of the book, when one truly understands what Owen was about, it becomes clear just how strong both the book and the character turn out to be. By then, al...
I did not find Owen Meany to be an immediately lovable character, but his is a character that grew on me. By the end of the book, when one truly understands what Owen was about, it becomes clear just how strong both the book and the character turn out to be. By then, all the details make sense, the meaning behind each chapter becomes clear, and you are left with the feeling that you have finished a truly remarkable book. This book truly is absolute perfection in a novel. There's not much of that in the modern writing world. The first few chapters are slow going, but not to delay the miraculous end ... only to set the oh so important stage and plot. And oh, what a stage, what a cast of characters, what dialogue and New England settings.
Treat yourself to a true modern day masterpiece. By the end, you'll be sobbing, turning back pages saying, "Why? Why? This can't be," while knowing it HAD to be. I wish I could shake the hand that has written such an amazing tale. A Prayer for Owen Meany is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read. The six hundred page novel is filled to the brim with unexpected sarcasm and incredible hilarity. The novel, told from the point of view of John Wheelrwight, tells the story of an unnaturally small and high-pitched boy named Owen Meany. Throughout the story, John Irving made this character, a character so complex and so riveting, to be one of the most incredible protagonists American literature has ever seen.

posted by BANCHEE_READS on September 13, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

86 out of 226 people found this review helpful.

Not amused by this novel

This book is obscene, and unsuitable for children of any age. It uses the 'F' word through out the book, and features numerous sex scenes involving teenagers, relatives (incest), and in one case, contemplates sex between a teenager and a married adult. Furthermore, t...
This book is obscene, and unsuitable for children of any age. It uses the 'F' word through out the book, and features numerous sex scenes involving teenagers, relatives (incest), and in one case, contemplates sex between a teenager and a married adult. Furthermore, this book mocks and belittles Christianity, throughout ... calling Christians 'idiots,' 'simpletons' and 'self righteous fanatics.' At one point, it refers to Jesus disciples, using profanity ... And takes the specific words of Jesus, ... from his Sermon on the Mount ... and says they're untrue. It also mocks the Virgin birth of Christ, implying Jesus mother was retarded ... (which seems to be a recurring theme of Irving's books (World According to Garp also contains a virgin birth mockery.) The book also contains several Manger 'scenes' where the 'baby Jesus' is depicted by an adolescent Owen Meany, --lustful and with an 'erection.' This book is technically 'fiction' ...but in reality, it uses a fictitious theme, to attack real life characters ...primarily Christians, and the Republican Party ... (It refers to Ronald Reagan as a 'young drunk,' for example.) This book was assigned to my 15 year old daughter, in her 'honors' english class, at a public high school. It is on the approved reading list in another school district near by. It is not anything any parent would want their child reading in school (or anywhere else for that matter). (...) (A parent will be shocked by the frequent obscenity.) In a country where teenage pregnancy is on the rise, and HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases rampant ... we don't need to be purposely focussing our children on such carnal desires ... Finally, this book has been characterized as 'humorous' by readers and critics ... However, you will only find it humorous ... if you don't mind the most sacred Christian figures being mocked and belittled ... I for one, am not laughing ...

posted by Anonymous on October 26, 2005

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 16 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Torture

    I hated this book! It was pure torture to pick it up and read. But for some reason I stuck it out to the bitter end where I sobbed like a big baby and was glad to have finished for the sake of the story and not just because I was done with it. However, I will never read another John Irving book again - Ever. I really dislike Irving's writing style.

    11 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2012

    ¿A Prayer for Owen Meany¿ is an unrealistic but ultimately inter

    “A Prayer for Owen Meany” is an unrealistic but ultimately interesting novel by writer John Irving. Disappointingly, the majority of Irving’s writing is painfully detailed, and he often adds superfluous character descriptions. The overall story is well thought out, and the events fit together well, but the execution is subpar.
    The narrator of the story is a young boy, and eventually man, named Johnny Wheelwright. However, the story’s real focal point is Johnny’s best friend Owen Meany. Owen is a dwarf child with a unique voice that is written in ALL CAPS in the book. Owen is an interesting character, but not especially lovable. He can be selfish and nagging at times, but the real trouble of the book is that you are forced to sympathize with and aggrandize Owen, whether you want to or not. The events that occur to him and that are supposedly “fated” create Owen’s true uniqueness, but Owen’s character gets to unrightfully take credit for that. These same events also create sympathy for Owen’s character although they were completely out of his control and mask how frustrating his character really is.
    As a story, the novel is completely unrealistic. Irving uses God and religion as a major force in the book and uses God to explain many completely unbelievable occurrences. The book is heavily religious (and political too), and I do not recommend it for people who do not enjoy books based solely in fate and religion.
    The story can also be inappropriate at times, especially for younger readers. Irving explicitly details the sexual and pubescent encounters of the young boys, to the point of making the story uncomfortable to read.
    Overall, the story fits together well, but as a whole is simply unrealistic. The writing is very “thick” and overly detailed and can be very opinionated or inappropriate. Some of the scenes are interesting, but the book is very “hit or miss” based on the reader.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    Boring

    Boring...this book dragged on forever. I found myself skipping pages at first and then I skipped chapters and then I just closed the book and moved on to something else. I went back to it months later, thinking that I had missed something and was not in the right place mentally when I first attempted to read it... I was wrong, it was still BORING!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2015

    Disappointed

    I saw the movie Simon Burch that was based on this novel. Loved the movie but not this book. Owen Meany was named perfectly because he was mean a lot of the times to his friends and family and his weird relationship with his parents was never explained. . I will just stick with the movie and forget the book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2014

    This book simply did not develop its characters enough in my opi

    This book simply did not develop its characters enough in my opinion. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    Watch the movie

    I very rarely say this, but save your time and watch the movie. The movie "Simon Birch" is more creative and the story is told so much better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Not for Public Education

    I wish I had read more reviews before reading this book. The authors use of foul words and personal lifesyles are NOT the norm for society but teaches the youth it is okay and some never outgrow PG13 training ....and a GOOD or GREAT story can be written without gutter and infintile descriptions. Take out all the offensive material the story is good. If you can, try to read how he came up with the story before you read. I will not read again.







    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Tedious.

    Interesting ideas drawn out over a too long story. Found it hard to get into, and while well written, not engaging.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Don't feel jazzed enough to want to recommend it.

    Didn't finish it. It seemed to just ramble on & on with little progress made in the story. I had other reads on my bookshelf that were tempting enough to encourage me to switch to one of those.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    George Payne English 12 Ms. Hornbuckle 8/16/2012 A Prayer for O

    George Payne English 12 Ms. Hornbuckle 8/16/2012 A Prayer for Owen
    Meany Book Review John Irving was a very influential man. He won the
    National book award in 1980. He made "A Prayer for Owen
    Meany", an American classic, in 1989. A Prayer for Owen Meany
    portrays enduring friendship and faith on a huge scale. It makes the
    audience want to gain more faith in God. The title itself "A Prayer
    for Owen Meany" shows the religious background of the book. The
    main characters in the book are Owen Meany, John, and Dan Needleham. My
    favorite character is John, it took alot of guts and courage to be
    friends with Owen. I know people mustv'e looked at him weird, but he
    kept his friendship and didnt care what those around him thought, that
    took bravery. I know if it was me i wouldnt be able to be friends with
    Owen. Owen and John gave a good example for enduring friendship, and
    Owens unbelievable faith makes believers want to start practicing their
    fait more and makes nonbelievers convert. A Prayer for Owen Meany is a
    very powerful book. Its a book about faith, friendship, and one of the
    great mysteries of the world "God". For Owen to do all of this
    stuff because of voices in his head and dreams, is extravagant, it took
    huge faith for that, which is why this book has inspired me to practice
    my faith more.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2012

    A prayer for Owen Meany, a book by John Irving was a long but po

    A prayer for Owen Meany, a book by John Irving was a long but powerful
    novel. John Irving had a way with words that made the reader visualize
    and imagine what exactly he was talking about. For some people his style
    inspires them, maybe puts them in a dream world of his detailed stories.
    For others, they get lost in those minor details that meant only
    something to John. The book is fiction, all though most of the events
    could have possibly happened in real life. The perfect type of person to
    read this book is someone who is a Christian person, who may believe or
    like to argue controversial subjects. Also someone who has strong faith
    in the Lord and likes to read about compelling friendship that last for
    years. This work is intended to show the reader how a peculiar boy named
    Owen Meany brought faith into Johnny’s life. The full title of the book
    is A Prayer for Owen Meany. The title does not so much suit the book,
    since Johnny does not really ever talk about praying for Owen that much.
    John Irving should have chosen another title like, My friend Owen, or
    something along those lines. The cover of the book is ok, the only thing
    that is relevant is the red truck that Owen drives, other than that the
    picture is not very pretty and has nothing to do with the book. Looking
    at it did not make me want to read the book. It looks boring. The main
    characters in the book are Owen Meany and Johnny Wheelwright. They are
    best friends throughout the book and they teach each other new things in
    life and in faith. Between the two characters they make the theme by
    showing their faith in God and their friendship together. John Irving’s
    writing style is boring; he has very long drawn out and detailed
    paragraphs. It was hard to read with wanting to fall asleep. The main
    point of the book is the great friendship and faith between Owen and
    Johnny. That also shows the main idea is how Owen gave Johnny faith as
    he became older. Owen had so much faith in the Lord, he once said, “I
    TRUST THAT GOD WILL HELP ME, BECAUSE WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO LOOKS VERY
    HARD.” God did help him, throughout his whole life. In my opinion the
    book was long and boring. There were so many details that I did not
    particularly care to read about. I did, however, enjoy the story line
    that followed Owen Meany and Johnny’s friendship. It is a unique story
    though and will remind the reader how strong faith in the Lord can be.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Review 1334857260305

    This is a really nice book! 1334857260305

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    500 plus pages about NOTHING

    After four attempts to read this book (the first three times I could not get out of the second chapter), I finally forced myself through this. It was not an enjoyable read. While Irving does develop his characters thoroughly and has an impressive writing style that is easy to read, this was one of the dullest books I have ever read. The plot is incredibly limited and while he might think he is presenting the reader with broader questions about religion and friendship, I found myself bored and rolling my eyes the last two-thirds of the book. I was not touched nor moved at all. This is a waste of a story for such a talented author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 16 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1