Customer Reviews for

Until I Find You

Average Rating 4
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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 6 people found this review helpful.

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 in...
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.

posted by Anonymous on July 16, 2006

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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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  • 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 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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    Posted March 15, 2012

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