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John Irving

Sometimes playful, sometimes philosophical, John Irving has written a number of good reads during his long and prolific career. Of his many works, I personally prefer The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany. The World According to Garp (also an excellent movie starring Robin Williams, Glenn Close, and John Lithgow) relates the saga of one T.S. Garp, a writer (and wrestler) growing up in the shadow of his protective single mother (and feminist cult-personality) Jenny Fields. Garp is a multi-faceted life of an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.

Conversely, A Prayer for Owen Meany chronicles the story of an extraordinary boy with a distinctively squeaky voice who believes himself to be God's instrument. He is. We follow Owen (and his childhood friend, the narrator), through their youth and into the turbulent maelstrom of the Vietnam era. Sadly, the sliced and diced film version, Simon Birch, didn't really do it justice.

Swerve to Irving.

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