Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Book Review: Prayer For Owen Meany

Goodness gracious...I'm not sure that it has EVER taken me as long to read a book as it took me to read A Prayer For Owen Meany. Unless, of course, you count Anna Karenina, which I have still never finished. Anyway.

A Prayer for Owen Meany is apparently the book that the movie Simon Birch was based off of. I haven't ever seen Simon Birch, but after conferring with Justin, I'm not sure that there are many similarities between the book and the movie other than the fact that Owen/Simon always yells when he speaks.

Overall, the writing was fairly enjoyable. The characters were well developed. However, the way that the book was written was odd and not particularly enjoyable for me. The narrator, John, jumps back and forth between the present (at which time we know Owen has already died), and his growing up with Owen. As I said, we know that Owen dies, but we don't exactly know how. And the entire book basically leads up to the 20 pages where John describes how Owen eventually dies. And then the book is done. It's odd, because it feels like a huge build up to the climax with no resolution. In actuality, the resolution WAS there, we just read it before we read the climax. It was kind of strange. But then again, I kind of have an intense personal dislike for books that I feel don't give appropriate time to the resolution. That's the most important part of the book in my opinion!

Also, I found it really aggravating to read pages and pages of Owen SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME. Yes, I understand he always yells when he talks. That doesn't mean it's easy to read pages and pages of all caps!

So, overall it was a decent read.  Not really one that I'd recommend to many people, but I have a feeling that's more an issue of the book's structure than anything else (I still don't understand the hundreds of rave reviews for this book on Amazon). At least I'm finally finished and can move on!


  1. Thanks for the review! What's the update on the Lizard?

  2. ugh i can't stand books that don't give enough time to the resolution. i hate when the happy ending finally happens but it happens in like one paragraph and the book is over. so frustrating!


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