A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel by John Irving

By John Irving


i'm doomed to recollect a boy with a wrecked voice—not as a result of his voice, or simply because he was once the smallest individual I ever knew, or maybe simply because he was once the tool of my mother's loss of life, yet simply because he's the explanation i feel in God; i'm a Christian due to Owen Meany.

in the summertime of 1953, eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are enjoying in a bit League 3-hitter in Gravesend, New Hampshire. one of many boys hits a nasty ball that kills the opposite boy's mom. The boy who hits the ball doesn't think in injuries; Owen Meany believes he's God's software. What occurs to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is impressive.

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The shed, although tumbledown, is really rather handsome when looked at with a sympathetic eye, the wood of it weathered to a silky, silvery grey, like the handle of a well-worn implement, a spade, say, or a trusty axe. Old Brides-in-the-Bath would have caught that texture exactly, the quiet sheen and shimmer of it. Doodle deedle dee. Claire, my daughter, has written to ask how I am faring. Not well, I regret to say, bright Clarinda, not well at all. She does not telephone because I have warned her I will take no calls, even from her.

The waves were depositing a fringe of soiled yellow foam along the waterline. No sail marred the high horizon. I would not swim, no, not ever again. Someone has just walked over my grave. Someone. The name of the house is the Cedars, as of old. A bristling clump of those trees, monkey-brown with a tarry reek, their trunks nightmarishly tangled, still grows at the left side, facing across an untidy lawn to the big curved window of what used to be the living room but which Miss Vavasour prefers to call, in landladyese, the lounge.

I was too ambitious. She says she cannot get her fingers around the notes. Your mind, more like, I do not reply. Recreant, recreant thoughts. I wonder that she never married. She was beautiful, once, in her soulful way. Nowadays she wears her long grey hair, that formerly was so black, gathered into a tight loop behind her head and transpierced by two crossed pins as big as knitting needles, a style that is to my mind suggestive, wholly inappropriately, of the geisha-house. The Japanese note is continued in the kimono-like belted silk dressing-gown that she wears of a morning, the silk printed with a motif of brightly coloured birds and bamboo fronds.

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