'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.
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'I believe it to be a work of genius...because of its absolutely irrepressible flow of invention and suggestion, expressed in some of the most fascinating prose written in fiction today. Originality has distinguished all Mr Irving's books, but in A Prayer For Owen Meany it achieves a new pitch and a new profundity' - Independent
Marvellously funny... What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh? - Spectator
'Marvellously funny...the author's wit is an intrinsic part of the book, as the happy brilliance of a sunshaft seems to be part of the landscape it brightens. What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?' - Spectator
May justly join the classic American list - Observer
A heartbreaking masterpiece of a novel... tremendously ambitious and fiendishly clever - Sunday Express
Intelligent, exhilarating and darkly comic Dickensian in scope. Quite stunning - Los Angeles Times
So extraordinary, so original, and so enriching - The Washington Post
John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.