Book Review – The World According to Garp


I could not finish this book!  I have made it through the best and worst of books simply to make it to the end.

The World According to Garp is a good book.  John Irving is very talented.  He creates an alternate world with characters too bizarre to be imagined but they are.  I found myself considering the characters and situations as if part of my own reality.  Driving to meetings or hiking, my thoughts would naturally drift to Garp’s current affair or Jenny’s parenting decisions and style.  Yes, John Irving is brilliant and sucks the reader into his world of strange people.

I think I would classify the book as a black comedy.  I’ve considered myself a fan of black comedy but now I wonder.  It simply became too depressing for me to move on.  The characters are all weird.  If met at a party, one would expect to feel immediately awkward around them.  Sometimes their awkwardness slipped off the pages, making me feel out of sorts!  Powerful writing to say the least.  But it simply goes too far into the bizarre.  When it comes to children, I draw the line with certain things and John Irving didn’t draw the line.

I rented the movie with the intent to watch upon completion of the book.  However, I found I didn’t care to suffer through to the end.  The movie cast is exceptional: Glenn Close, Robin Williams and John Lithgow.  I wanted to see how well it was done since so many movies adapted from books are demolished.  However, I’m okay living in ignorance, unable to compare the book quality with the movie in this particular instance .

I do look forward to reading more John Irving.  He is a detailed and insightful writer.  Until it became too weird, I found myself amused by the odd situations and quirky characters.  I hope to find the same individuality and sometimes shocking traits in characters of his other novels.  As of now, I don’t have the gumption or depth to respectively finish or appreciate The World According to Garp.  The story is simply too painful.

Jeri Schott

I'm an unpublished writer.

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I’m an unpublished writer.

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