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Description

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended.

In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of John Irvin's book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview that begins when the audiobook ends.

This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©1989 Garp Enterprises Ltd (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critiques

“John Irving, who writes novels in the unglamorous but effective way Babe Ruth used to hit home runs, deserves a medal not only for writing this book but for the way he has written it. . . . A Prayer for Owen Meany is a rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late twentieth-century fiction—it is an amazingly brave piece of work . . . so extraordinary, so original, and so enriching. . . . Readers will come to the end feeling sorry to leave [this] richly textured and carefully wrought world.” (Stephen King)
"Roomy, intelligent, exhilarating, and darkly comic...Dickensian in scope....Quite stunning and very ambitious." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"This moving book comes across like a concerto in this audio version, with a soloist—Owen's voice—rising from the background of an orchestral narration. This book, one of the finest of its time, gets the narration that it deserves." ( AudioFile)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

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Performance

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Histoire

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • 29/07/2015

Painfully nostalgic

It's been about a quarter of a century since I read this the first time. I was amazed at how fast the beginning of the book moved. I remember the end of the book dragging on, but that's not true. Irving juggles time so that the actual book is always moving. It's the book's nominal timeline that drags. I am even more impressed the second time around with how Irving has constructed this book.

Normally, for me to enthusiastic about a novel, at least one of the characters has to undergo some kind of development. Despite having a slate of really interesting, well-defined characters, it is hard to say if any of them develop over the course of the book. The book is told by the narrator, John Wheelwright, as an extended reminiscence of the most important person in his life, Owen Meany. It is hard to say if Owen is ultimately a positive influence on John's life. I think that sort of murky mystery is part of my fascination. But frankly, I cared a lot more about what was going on with Owen than about the narrator. Sorry, John.

Somehow, I did not realize how much this book was about Vietnam the first time I read it. Not about the war per se, but about its effects on a generation of Americans. And from that perspective, I do care a great deal about what happens to John Wheelwright. It's just that Owen steals every scene that he's in.

For those of us who remember the era in which it is set, this is a dead-on evocation of what the America of those times felt like. I said painfully nostalgic in the heading, but that does the book a disservice. The fact is that Irving has layered together a great story that is at once timeless while being totally specific to a time and place. It doesn't get much better than that.

There is a bonus feature at the end: an interview with John Irving. This was an excellent addition with some key bits of insight and background information. Heartily recommended.

22 sur 22 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 28/03/2011

Outstanding

I listen to a lot of books while i drive my roadtrain in Western Australia, it keeps me going through the long nights. When I got this book I was a little concerned with its length and seemingly lack of interest in the plot etc.. Well all I can say is the narrator was fantastic and the story was great, quite often i wanted to sit in my truck after arriving at my destination after a 12 hour shift to listen to a bit more.

114 sur 120 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tango
  • 16/08/2014

A Modern Classic

If I could choose one phrase to summarize this masterpiece, I couldn't do better than the title of Jan's review - "Not written - crafted...exquisitely" (nicely said, Jan!). Although APFOM has an interesting plot and a shattering ending, if you read this book just for the story, you will miss the best part; APFOM is truly a modern classic with some of the best and most engaging use of literary devices and provocative thought I've ever seen. To list a few:

1. Enveloping and evocative use of setting - both historical and geographic - to set the tone and pacing
2. Masterful use of the first person form. First person is challenging when you want to portray detail for many characters. A Prayer not only provides detail characterization for a great cast of eccentrics, its primary protagonist is not the POV character. In lesser hands, the reader would not be able to relate to Owen Meany with all his strangeness when portrayed only from the POV of his friend, John Wheelwright, but Irving not only slowly makes you understand Owen, but truly love him.
3. Foreshadowing, allusion, and symbolism so subtle and finely woven into the narrative that you will not realize until the ending that you have been told repeatedly what is going to happen and still the ending is gut-wrenching and shocking and inevitable.
4. Some of the most insightful commentary on religion and faith that I have ever read in fiction. The beautiful, tragic, and repulsive aspects of religion are all woven into this narrative with little jewels of wisdom scattered throughout. One of my favorite quotes, "My belief in God disturbs and unsettles me much more than not believing ever did. Unbelief seems vastly harder to me now than belief does, but belief poses so many unanswerable questions." In the end, A Prayer is a real tribute to active Faith.

I read the book many years ago when it was first published and I think it can be advantageous to see this book in print to understand how Irving wrote it (Owen's dialog is in all caps and Irving often throws a word said in Owen's voice into the middle of John's sentences) so you will appreciate the phenomenal narrative interpretation of the book by Joe Barrett - truly an outstanding performance of a challenging book. I have had a permanent place on my bookshelves for APFOM for years, but not re-read it just because the ending is hard. However, I couldn't resist the audiobook when it was on sale and now I realize I should have picked it up long ago because it is more than worth full price. If you have read the book, I strongly encourage you to listen to the audiobook - you will not be disappointed. And, Irving packs so much beautiful prose and food for thought in this book, it is one that really should be read or heard more than once.

59 sur 62 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Esther
  • 29/05/2011

The Best ever audio book

I have listened to many books in the past but this has to be the best in my estimation. John Irving is a genius and Joe Barrett reads this book to perfection. A totally mesmerising story that has weaved its magic into my soul; I will be thinking about these complex characters for years to come. I will be downloading more of this author and will look for other books by this reader. Thank you John Irving

63 sur 67 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annette
  • 17/03/2011

A Prayer for Owen Meany

I have always enjoyed John Irving's writing, but I haven't read anything by him in many years. This book did not disappoint.John Irving's has a wonderful skill of turning a phrase and makes the common ideas seem ridiculous and is always questioning convention. Brilliant! Joe Barrett's narration of this book is also brilliant. The range he uses to individualize each character enables the listener to "see" each character individually. I was a little skeptical to buy this book since I love John Irving and I didn't want the narration to "ruin" the story. I am enjoying this production tremendously and will encourage anyone to give it a listen.

41 sur 44 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MaDonna
  • 22/05/2011

EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT!!

I really enjoyed this book, keeps reader interested and waiting for the next part. Highly recommend!

11 sur 12 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine
  • 29/06/2012

A wonderful story

Excellent narration of a difficult subject - how to reproduce "The Voice" of Owen Meany - it could have been irritating but Joe Barrett has succeeded in making it believable.
John Irving has everything in this story - growing up, family life, tragedy, mystery, politics, religion, faith and humour.
I love this book.

28 sur 32 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patti
  • 14/06/2013

Very Intriguing

I did not connect John Irving to Cider House Rules at first. But after listening for awhile, the same delightful humor style came rushing back and I was thrilled. How Irving unravels this story, interweaving current with past is tricky and clever. And just as in Cider House Rules, he plays out a rather political theme ever so carefully that you do not even realize it is happening.

The narration is also rather clever. At first it was annoying when "the voice" was used even for one-word illustrations. But it truly added to the story. I began to anticipate it.

There is a wonderful interview with John Irving at the end. That was great, getting some insight on his writing style.

There were so many fascinating twists and turns to the story. It also brought back some wonderful (I see I am using "wonderful" a lot but truly that is how I feel) memories of my own childhood. It all made me wonder why I have not read more of John Irving. I plan to do just that!!

14 sur 16 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John S
  • 10/01/2014

Favorite book of all time.

John Irving is not for everyone, and if you have not listened to one of books choose this one. If not this one, then Cider House Rules. I have over 500 books in my Audible library and this by far is my favorite. John Irving books are by no means" thrillers", but the characters he creates are memorable, especially Owen Meany. Sad, funny, poignant this book should be on everyone's list of great American fiction. Told during the turbulent 60s the book is set in a small town in NH and follows the life of the main character (narrator) and Owen Meany, who is deformed in body but not in spirit . The ending will bring tears to your eyes:


And they were also lifting up Owen Meany, taking him out of our hands. O God -- please give him back! I shall keep asking You."

35 sur 42 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marlène
  • 24/03/2011

I love the atmosphere and the clever reflections

When the helplessness of certain characters, the weirdness of Owen, the sad death of a young woman become qualities on which this intricate and incredibly clever story is based, you can only raise your hat. The suspense with which you wait for the end may well keep you up - like me - for hours...

25 sur 30 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle-Kunde
  • 27/02/2010

Dieses Buch hat alles

Zu erst einmal: Wer dieses Buch nicht kennt ist leider arm. Kaum ein anderes Werk hat mich je so beeinflusst, begleitet und immer wieder Wieder aufs neue begeistert wie die Geschichte von Owen Meany, the boy with a wrecked voice. Es geht um die großen Fragen nach Glaube, Vertrauen, Freundschaft und Liebe sowie das Befinden Amerikas in den 60er Jahren des 20. Jh. Einfach mitreissend und lebendig erzählt und vorgetragen ist dieses Höhrbuch ein Muss!

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anin
  • 28/10/2012

Kaufen! Kaufen! Kaufen!

...wenn man John Irving Fan ist oder werden möchte.

Für mich eines der besten Bücher überhaupt und zudem noch wundervoll gelesen! Joe Barrett liest sehr facettenreich und hat seine Rollen authentisch und ansprechend angelegt. Im Prinzip ist alles genau so umgesetzt worden, wie ich es mir vorab beim Lesen in meiner Fantasie ausgemalt hatte.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Freesienfee
  • 16/06/2011

Wunderbar

Irving ist ein wunderbarer Erzähler. Auch diese Geschichte ist komisch, tragisch und sehr anrührend. Sehr gut gelesen zog sie mich vom ersten Moment in ihren Bann. Irving bearbeitet seine Themen wie Tod, Versagen, Krieg, sein Verhältnis zu Amerika aber es wird nicht langweilig. Er hat etwas zu sagen und rührt mich immer an. Wie die vorangehenden Rezensenten bin ich begeistert.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • lea1109
  • 10/07/2010

Eine Glanzleistung des Erzählers!

Ich habe bisher erst wenige Hörbücher gehört, ca. 10, und fand die meisten ziemlich langweilig. Bisher konnte mich nur Pride and Prejudice, gelesen von Emilia Fox, überzeugen, aber A Prayer for Owen Meany finde ich noch besser. Dass es sich dabei um mein Lieblingsbuch von John Irving handelt, ist umso höher zu bewerten, weil ich bei diesen Büchern, auch bei Verfilmungen, extrem kritisch reagiere. Ich kann dieses Hörbuch jedem Fan des Buches nur wärmstens empfehlen, auch Leuten wie mir, die Vorlesen eher als phantasietötend empfinden und sich englische Hörbücher nur kaufen, um ihr Hörverständnis zu verbessern.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Müller
  • 03/02/2017

Eines der besten Bücher von John Irving

Was wäre für andere Hörer sonst noch hilfreich zu wissen, um das Hörbuch richtig einschätzen zu können?

Eins meiner Lieblingsbücher von John Irving, als Hörbuch toll gesprochen. Owen Meany's "Stimme" bleibt im Ohr.

Viele - auch längere - Zitate aus Literatur und Bibel-Texten sind nicht immer einfach zu verstehen. Wenn man den Ehrgeiz hat, jedes Wort und jeden Satz klar zu verstehen, ist es wohl sehr hilfeich, wenn man nachlesen (oder eben sehr gut Englisch) kann :)

Leider ist die Aufteilung auf Kapitel zum Navigieren etwas lieblos gemacht, Kapitel, die über eine Stunde dauern, sind einfach nervig, wenn man beim Navigieren mal die falsch Taste drückt.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Flominyk
  • 20/01/2016

John Irving apparently has a magical ability TO...

... TO MAKE ME CARE ABOUT HIS CHARACTERS!.
O.Meanys Stimme klingt in der vom Sprecher ausgewählten Weise zwar schräg und streckenweise schrill, aber für mich war sie vollkommen erträglich. nach einer Weile war mir Owen als interessantester Akteur des Buches sogar so ans Herz gewachsen, das ich mich auf seine nächsten 'Auftritte' gefreut habe.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lilli
  • 28/10/2015

John Irving good as ever!!!

Great choice of narrator. I was immediately sucked into the story. Hard to make breaks. at the same time you have to because of how intense the story is.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 27/01/2014

Quite wordy

Well written story, but quite wordy. Neither Owen Meany nor John Wheelwright are especially gripping characters.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 16/01/2014

hard to endure

This speaker emphasizes the voice of Owen Meany in a way that as the one who is listening, you need braeks every 10 minutes. It's simply intolarable to hear the unnerving croaking voice. I'm realy sorry, I didn't read the book by myself. I probably would have liked it. Now I can't even stand thinking about it, because this terrible voice starts whining in my head at once.

1 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nfroevel
  • 29/12/2011

Fabelhaft und einzigartig

Brilliant, ich liebe es. Der Leser liest wunderbar, liebevoll...John Irvings Sicht der kleinen Dinge.Es ist so tragisch, so humorvoll, ich habe so gelacht und am Ende geweint. Eines meiner absoluten Lieblingsbücher.It gives me shivers.