This week, I had a fancy to do something where a bit more audience participation was required… so, here follows the opportunity for you, the reader, to have a bit of a gas about your favourite book (yes, just one) and why it’s your favourite. Hopefully, other readers will pick up some good reads through this, myself included.
I shall start the proverbial ball rolling with one of mine.
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
This was my first John Irving book, read about a year ago although published twenty two years ago, in 1989. It’s a phenomenal book that grabbed me on many levels. The narrator tells the reader at the very beginning that his best friend, Owen Meany, ‘was the instrument’ of his mother’s death and his reason for believing in God. Not only that, he tells the reader that Owen ‘was the smallest person’ he knew and that he had ‘a wrecked voice’. Already I love Owen Meany – how could you not? This kind of immediacy in plot and characterisation is so compelling that I danced through the religious references and detail that otherwise would have tripped me up. To add to this, Owen Meany ‘speaks’ in capitals throughout to highlight the hideousness of his whining voice, which adds to the comic element… and there is a lot of humour in this book. At time’s it’s awful and hilarious all at once. The main reason that this rises above so many other books that I have read though, is the plotting. A few pages before the end of the book, you hit the climax, and it is one heck of a climax. But what is so clever about this is that the seemingly insignificant bits and pieces from earlier all lead to this moment, and suddenly, everything makes sense. I gasped, I went “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” and “Oh my God!” all at the same time and had to stop reading for a couple of minutes before I could go on. I have only read two other books that gave me such a sense of overwhelming shock – John Boyne’s, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and Markus Zusak’s, The Book Thief… but I’ll save those for another day!
So there you have it. A most amazing and memorable book. Now it’s your turn… click on the comments link below to give me your favourite read, and why.