Customer Reviews for

The World According to Garp

Average Rating 4.5
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(69)

4 Star

(18)

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(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A story built upon true character...

This was my first John Irving book. When I first started, the book seemed a bit crowded with detail that seemed to slow the story down, but the style of the writing was not what made me a fan of the book. It was the characters that sold me. To me, the story was abou...
This was my first John Irving book. When I first started, the book seemed a bit crowded with detail that seemed to slow the story down, but the style of the writing was not what made me a fan of the book. It was the characters that sold me. To me, the story was about how people define themselves. What events make us who we are, and how the goals we set for ourselves help shape what we become. Garp is a writer who is always striving to create his greatest work. Ironically, the story that gains the most notoriety is the one written when he was at his most innocent in life, his first. Life can hinder the imagination because we relate life experience to our storytelling. It fashions how we see and interpret things. Admittedly, some of these characters are extremes, but you have to appreciate the irony and humor of Jenny, a woman whose misinterpreted independence turns her into a pivotal player in the feminist movement. Each character is defined by the choices they make, the paths they lead. Although it is not the most upbeat ending I've ever read, the power of the book shows how different events have such dramatically different consequences on each person. The roles of sexuality, greatness and political correctness, family, and marriage are all explored in very real and graphic ways. By following each character to their end (literally) you can appreciate how the cycle of life continues and how each character left their mark on those around them. By the end of the book, you can't help but feel sorry to see this eccentric cast of characters go. A good read.

posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Quite a read

I read quite a bit of fiction and I really like Irving's style. He is a very honest author, telling you the truth of what it would be like to be in the character's shoes. I think that the graphic sections of the book were not too much, but came very close to the edge ...
I read quite a bit of fiction and I really like Irving's style. He is a very honest author, telling you the truth of what it would be like to be in the character's shoes. I think that the graphic sections of the book were not too much, but came very close to the edge - which I liked. I need to be shocked and this book did it while keeping the characters real. My only complaint: it moved a little slow.

posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2004

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Too Wordy

    I just can't get past all of Irving's secondary and tertiary stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    Horribly disturbing book

    Horrible book. Three people told me that it's their favorite book, so being a huge reader I decided to take a crack at it. I kept turning the pages wondering when it was going to get to the good part...before I knew it, I was done with the book and I realized that the only part in the book that I liked was Garp's made up short story. When I asked one person why they think it's such a good book, they told me because it's like real life, you can relate to people's emotions...I found it hard to believe...I've never met a person who is close to being either like Jenny Fields or Garp. I don't like this new age literature.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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