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Customer Reviews for

Until I Find You

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
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5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Doesn't disappoint

I eagerly anticipate reading any of John Irving's novels and his latest certainly does not disappoint. The characters, as always, are flawed, yet endearingly so. The situations are at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Throughout the novel's pages, every emotion is evo...
I eagerly anticipate reading any of John Irving's novels and his latest certainly does not disappoint. The characters, as always, are flawed, yet endearingly so. The situations are at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Throughout the novel's pages, every emotion is evoked, leaving you feeling as if you've experienced the characters' joys and pains along with them. As far as the length, who wants to give up new friends quickly?

posted by Anonymous on July 30, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

started well but faded

I liked the first third of the book. The tattoo artists and tromping around Scandanavia i found great reading. But as Jack grew older i basically lost interest. Emma was the most interesting character but she died off early. I slogged through the rest of the book becaus...
I liked the first third of the book. The tattoo artists and tromping around Scandanavia i found great reading. But as Jack grew older i basically lost interest. Emma was the most interesting character but she died off early. I slogged through the rest of the book because i can't just stop reading a book, i force myself to finish. The Hollywood name dropping and Jack's success as a movie star just didn't do it for me. In the end i didn't care. I enjoyed Hotel New Hampshire, Owen Meany and Garp so i expected more.

posted by Anonymous on December 12, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2006

    Sad to see the old lions lose their bite

    I love John Irving. A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of the most compelling, intuitive and thoughtful novels ever penned. Until I Find You, on the other hand, is an old man's sexual fantasy run amok. The women characters are either flat, two-dimensional, nuts or simply incomprehensible. Jack himself is a dull blank slate. And the gratuitous sexual molestation strains credibility, good taste and interest. By the 50th time Emma took his 'little guy' into her hands and cooed at it I wanted to throw the book at the wall. John, you can do better.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    started well but faded

    I liked the first third of the book. The tattoo artists and tromping around Scandanavia i found great reading. But as Jack grew older i basically lost interest. Emma was the most interesting character but she died off early. I slogged through the rest of the book because i can't just stop reading a book, i force myself to finish. The Hollywood name dropping and Jack's success as a movie star just didn't do it for me. In the end i didn't care. I enjoyed Hotel New Hampshire, Owen Meany and Garp so i expected more.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Like not love

    I enjoyed this book because I enjoy John Irving's writing style. The characters were vibrant and quirky as usual. My favorite character was William Burns because of his many layers. He is the mystery of this novel and I very much enjoyed meeting him finally. However, I didn't enjoy the plot all that much. The sexuality in this sometimes seemed far fetched. I can understand a few events happening to one character but everything was over the top. I liked the overall theme of how we all are performers in life and how it affects us but felt this novel fell a tad short of Irving's usual adventure. Expressing the latter, I must also reveal that this novel still falls under an epic novel and will take you for quite a ride. Keep an open mind.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2006

    I have a son!

    I did not enjoy reading this book. That having been said, I still think it is a good book worth reading. There is something to be said for Irving's ability to envelope the reader into his worlds to the point that we empathize greatly with the characters involved. The ending brought the book back for me because of how the author articulated the father's feelings of joy that his son found him. I agree with several of the reviews I've read that spell out how unattached to Jack we feel throughout the course of the book. However, by the end of the book I felt like I could empathize with the relationship between Jack and his father upon finding each other. The entire book Jack is searching for something (his father, his identity) and at the end Irving provides a conclusion in which that something is found - but from the father's point of view. This was hard to understand during the course of reading the book because it seemed to drag and did not keep me at the edge of my seat like Owen Meany and Cider House did. Looking back, though, Jack's character is supposed to be detached because he himself does not know himself. This is an intelligent literary device that is overlooked as simple poor writing. I'm not sure Irving will ever top Owen Meany, but I look forward to every attempt of his to do so.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2005

    Irving fan recognizes old friends .....

    Hester the molester, Jenny Fields, Garp, even a mention of Binky! And of course Ruth's voyeuristic tendencies with prostitutes. Bears and elephants and wrestlers, OH MY! It is always worth the five year wait for the next John Irving tale. I must say though, that this is the first time I've recognized characters from the past. It was a pleasant reminder of just how gifted Mr.Irving is and why some twenty years ago I fell in love with Garp. For those of you who have never read an Irving novel, get ready for a treat. For all the rest of you, be happy that the past five years are over!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    Doesn't disappoint

    I eagerly anticipate reading any of John Irving's novels and his latest certainly does not disappoint. The characters, as always, are flawed, yet endearingly so. The situations are at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Throughout the novel's pages, every emotion is evoked, leaving you feeling as if you've experienced the characters' joys and pains along with them. As far as the length, who wants to give up new friends quickly?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 18, 2006

    amazing

    I think this is my favorite Irving. I literally cried, and laughed while reading it, there is something so emotionally raw, all-consuming in it. I am amazed by Irving's original voice, and dizzying talent as always, incredible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2005

    The Search for Understanding

    I've always enjoyed reading John Irving's novels with his eccentric, but caring characters and wildly implausible incidents that somehow seem both real and satisfying. Irving's humor, intelligence and compassion always insured an engaging experience. All of that is also true with this book, except that these events are more personal and less camoflauged. The author's deliberate vulnerability makes the intimacy painful to the reader. It's difficult to reccomend this book because it deals so thoroughly with child abuse-- sexual abuse, as well as abandonment, neglect and betrayal. Still, the writing is wonderful. The author's strategy in organizing the book has the story weaving in and out and back on itself. By adding new layers of experience and perspective, he transforms the scenes that he'd described earlier, changing the characters, the order, and even the consequences. The whole first half of the book (told in chronological order) is retold in the second half as if it were a puzzle being solved. It is as if the lighting on a familiar set were changed to reveal and highlight subtle, new aspects, redefining the scene. It's also very much about storytelling-- many kinds of storytelling: his purported memories, Emma's scary stories,later, her novels and the screenplay, his acting, his trans-gender roles, his mother's lies, his father's tatoos, his psychiatrist's theraputic journaling. There are as many layers as an onion. It'll take me a while longer to think about and understand it better. It's a wonderful book, but not an easy one to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Gerrrrate!

    His best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Baffled by it

    I did not like this book at all and have really enjoyed Irvings other works. I have never written a review before but felt so strongly about how bad this book was that i had to do it. I kept hoping that it would get better as the book progressed but Jack became even more unlikable and uninteresting. Bssically the story revolved around his and everyone else,s obsession with his penis and though i thought there might be some underlying theme or story of value tucked away into the midst of the pages I never found one. I could not finish it. I practically paid someone to take it out of my house.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Irving needs an editor

    Before one supposes I am going to bash Irving I would like to say I have been a life long fan of his. Additionally I enjoyed "Until I Find You.' But this is a long read - this book is a monster really. To be honest I bought this book (hardback) back when it was first published and I just could not make myself read it. The first portion of the book details (and I do mean details) the main character's travels through Europe with his mother who is in persuit of the child's father; a tatoo addicted, organ playing, seducer. The child goes to school in (where else) New England and becomes a (what else) wrestler. The book warms up near the middle and we get multi-dimensional secondary characters who are interesting to explore - but never the main character. As is typical of Irving novels, the main character is a dope and a bore. Overall it's an exploration of what really happened in his younger years - which all becomes apparent when he starts asking questions as an adult. This particular novel might be more of interest to someone who has a few Irving novels under their belt. If not, check out A Prayer for Owen Meany as it is much more entertaining (and one of my all time favorites).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Another John Irving Treasure

    John Irving never ceases to amaze me. He is a genius story teller, and his writing is brilliant. With the main character, Jack, you will look through the eyes (and heart) of a 4-year old child, in a way that only John Irving could make happen. Follow Jack to adulthood, with all his disappointments and disillusions, his flaws and foibles. I laughed, I cried, I loved and I despised. John Irving has a deep understanding of human nature, and the unique ability to transfer that insight into wonderful stories and characters. He makes you look at the world around you, and the even more complex world INSIDE you. His novels are magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    I'm so disappointed

    I await every new John Irving novel with eager anticipation, until this book I have never felt like the wait wasn't worth it. However, I just couldn't get into this story or make myself care about Jack and his mother, and the various other people who floated in an out of their lives. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, and I feel it was a waste of John Irvings normal level of talent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    Disappointed.

    Comparing Until I find you to A prayer for Owen Meany, Cider House Rules, Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp may not be fair but that is the water mark that John Irving has set and Until I find you was not up to his normal standard. Usually John Irvings novels push it a bit too far but ultimately you say 'OK I will buy it'. I did not find myself saying that in Until I find you. I have seen comments where people felt that some of the incidents surrounding Jack approached porn. I did not feel that way. I thought it was just plain ridiculous.His character development didn't compare to earlier novels. I really didn't feel much for Jack. I know that was the point 'the actor' didn't have much of his own personality but I had trouble caring about what happened to him. My favorite character Emma didn't last and the other intriguing character William, you only got to know him for a short while towards the end of the book when he had already slipped. There was a hint of a possible relationship between Jack and the medicine Dr, but that was just left hanging. I will definitely read John Irvings next novel without question.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    Vintage Irving with a hole in the heart

    The main character of 'Until I Find You,' a typically oversexed boy-man named Jack Burns, is the hole in the center of this lackluster and rather disappointing new novel by John Irving. While I initially thought that my problems with this book came from the uncomfortable and distracting proximity between Burns and Irving himself (who recently admitted to being raped by a woman at the age of 10), but after further consideration I think it's the third-act plot twist - the revelation that the verisimilitude of Jack Burns's memories, which populate the first half of this 900-page novel, is highly suspect. I'm puzzled at Irving's narrative decision here: why spend several hundred pages drawing an exquisite framework for a character (the scenes in both Toronto and Amsterdam are particularly engaging, and the character of Alice Burns, Jack's mother, is one of Irving's best) and then pulling the rug out underneath it? Despite his engaging trip through Europe and school years in Canada and New England, Jack Burns was never a truly interesting character - he was more of a cypher. And when we discover that this history is totally wrong, we're left with nothing. Irving does, however, deliver the goods in the final 200 pages, as Burns finally confronts his true past, and comes face to face with the father he truly never knew these moments are sublime. It's a nice ending, but at what cost?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2005

    Journey of a lost childhood

    Four year old Jack and his tattoo artist mother search for a father who abandoned his wife and son. If you think that's all there is here, read on your're in for a wild ride! Some may be turned off by the detailed sexual abuse of a child, but it explains Jack 's involvement with older women and his somewhat sketchy sex life. You can't help but feel sorry for Jack, especially his dependence on his mother who seems to be protective and possessive, but as the story progresses turns into the mother from hell. Irving's description of Jack as a child is sad and sweet, as if it were Irving's own child. The women in Jack's life leave a lot to be desired, even his beloved friend Emma. Yes, this book is a long journey (took me 5 days to read, and i read fast), but i think it's well worth it. The scenes between Jack and his father at the sanitorium in Zurich are both touching and funny. I was rooting for Jack all the way and loved the culmination of his long journey to find his father.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    Touches the heart

    What can I say? I loved this book. I am the type of reader who doesn't normally read the mainstream stuff, but I am hooked on this author. He writes each of his novels like it was his first. I generally look for 1st time authors because their works are often times truly inspired. For a taste of what I mean try a 1st book by an author named Zintel. Title: A Year Since Yesterday. I wish you all happy reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2005

    Summer Reading With An Old Friend

    The review status for defining a book asks that we give stars to a title. When sitting to read John Irving books, the books title always opens a world of entertainment. The subjects touched upon in Irving's newest book 'Until I Find You' sets in motion an interesting 'journey' both emotionally, intellectually and comically. The release of Irving's book a week before the widely anticipated Harry Potter newest, sets in motion the model of our inherited modern world. There are those who define literature and fluff in different ways one enchants our imagination while the other stimulates our heart. Irving has a special place in the world of modern literature -- his themes are about the real world experiences of everyday people. These individuals no matter how ridiculous their circumstances represent a human conflict measured by hopes and dreams. Sit down America, turn off the television, find a safe place and read Until I Find You.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    Great if a little overlong

    I like contemporary life novels with a real human feel and this ticked the boxes even if I needed a lot of coffee breaks at times.Very moving

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2005

    Maybe a good book, but a BAD AUDIOBOOK

    I purchased the audio version of this book, but I'm afraid I had to stop after 8 of its 28 discs. The fault lies more in the narrator than in the book, I'm afraid. I wouldn't give the story itself 5 stars, but I'm sure I'd definitely give it more than 2 stars if I ever purchase the book and read it. The narrator just didn't make this story interesting. Normally, I'd listen to an audiobook through to the end--even if I wasn't completely enjoying it--wanting to give the novel itself a fair chance, but I just couldn't bear to listen to this one anymore. I've been a big fan of Irving's past novels, but since I've grown tired of his familiar use of similar European locations, prostitutes and wrestling, I have no problem with giving this novel a 'pass.' I still think THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is his best novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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