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Writing a woman the way some man might like her
This is my first John Irving book. I'm sorry, but it is surprising to me that this book was written by a 77 year old man. It reads more like the inner world of a 27 year old man. The female characters are not believeable - except perhaps for the elusive Marion. She was smart she disappeared in the middle of the first of the three part story. None of the characters kept my sympathy for very long, the one character who had promise was Eddie - and he made impotent by the author because ... he didn't drink or he respected women? This indeed is self-indulgent writing with little depth and, like the characters, no courage. Does John Irving always write such unbelieveable women characters?
A keeper - thought provoking
I read this book when it was released and was fortunate to eventually find a leather bound, signed and numbered edition.
I have all of John Irving's books and WIDOW FOR A YEAR is one of my all time favorites - NEVER begin to make the turn until the traffic is cleared - NEVER! DO NOT turn those wheels until you are actually turning.
I am introducing this to my book club this month and I am hopeful they will enjoy this amazing piece as much as I did.
A book that has the unique ability to trigger off the deepest compassion for the protagonists' fates as well as spark off a fascinatingly sensual pleasure in the reader. A book that makes you dream of beauty...A book that enables you to appreciate your own world and the place you inhabit in it!
jeni dela cruz
i hope the film gives justice to the book. a haunting love story. erotic.
Once again Irving has wowed me with his special art of story telling. And his penchant for developing a plot and throwing in a zinger at appropriate points is masterfully demonstrated here. And the settings are both interesting and educational (Amsterdam's red light district, for example). It is a wonderful book...perhaps Irving's best yet, and that's saying something.
Definately too long and drawn out. I almost gave up on it half way through. I didn't care for any of the characters...I could not get emotionally involved or attatched like I usually do when reading a good novel. I didn't feel that any of the characters had grown or accomplished anything. I felt they were the same characters at the end as they were in the beginning with little or no growth. It was very disappointing to read the entire book and there was no forward motion within the characters...only time moved forward but the characters remained stagnat.
From the moment I started reading the novel I couldn't put it down. I actually had to force myself to do other things so as to not read it in one day. The characters seem so real that you feel like you truly know them, you can see them in your mind. I believe that is the best part of the novel, all of the characters are very realistic. They linger with you even when you're done reading. I think I'll always remember this group of characters, especially Marion and Eddie. A truly great novel, wonderful plot, and you'll leave wishing the story would keep going.
A Widow For One Year is the only John Irving book, I really got into. I was 14 when I first saw it staring up at me from the floor of a local used bookstore, but the opening sentence intimidated me, so I was no prepared to buy it. I, instead, borrowed it from my aunt. I can remember reading it in grade 9, it took three days, non stop. I would read amusing passages out to my friends and then go back to reading. When John Irving came to Halifax to give an impromtu reading at the Rebecca Cohen, he focused a lot on A Widow for One Year at the time of his reading, The Fourth Hand was due for release in a couple months, but most of the questions asked by the audience concerned A Widow For One Year. My favourite character was Marion, she was the one who stayed with me long after I closed the book, her & Eddie's love affair. I think, the love affair was important in the story because it opened Marion and gave us the basis of her leaving Ruth. One last happiness. This is definately worth a look.