Books by John Irving

JOHN IRVING published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Oscar.


IN ONE PERSON by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 8, 2012

"Woody Allen's bon mot about bisexuality is that it doubled one's chances for a date, but in this novel Irving explores in his usual discursive style some of the more serious and exhaustive consequences of Allen's one-liner. "
Billy Dean (aka Billy Abbott) has a difficult time holding it together in one person, for his bisexuality pulls him in (obviously) two different directions. Read full book review >
LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 27, 2009

"Will entertain the faithful and annoy readers who think this author has already written the same novel too many times."
Irving's new doorstopper (Until I Find You, 2006, etc.) addresses a strong theme—the role accident plays in even the most carefully planned and managed lives—but doesn't always stick to the subject. Read full book review >
UNTIL I FIND YOU by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 19, 2005

"Is this Irving's worst novel? No doubt about it. Will it sell gazillions of copies nevertheless? Absolutely. "
The life of an actor is compromised and traumatized by his many relationships with older women, in Irving's sprawling—in fact, overstuffed—11th novel. Read full book review >
A SOUND LIKE SOMEONE TRYING NOT TO MAKE A SOUND by John Irving
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 28, 2004

Fears and fantasies fill the mind of a small boy who wakes to unfamiliar sounds in the night in this tale excerpted from Irving's A Widow for One Year. Read full book review >

THE FOURTH HAND by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 2001

"Recently Irving has been alternating his usual doorstoppers with slighter books like the miscellany Trying to Save Piggy Sneed (1996) and the memoir My Movie Business (1999). Don't be fooled by The Fourth Hand. He's still between novels."
A handsome TV newsman has his left hand chomped off by a hungry lion, and a former lacrosse star stays in game shape by hurling dog turds into the Charles River . . . hmmm, probably not the new Eudora Welty novel, you say? Read full book review >
MY MOVIE BUSINESS by John Irving
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1999

From the master of the absurdist novel, an ordinary tale of moviemaking. Read full book review >

A WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1998

Irving's latest LBM (Loose Baggy Monster, that is), which portrays with seriocomic gusto the literary life and its impact on both writers and their families, is simultaneously one of his most intriguing books and one of his most self-indulgent and flaccid. Read full book review >

TRYING TO SAVE PIGGY SNEED by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"The many who cherish his energy and generosity as a novelist will find much here to whet their appetites for his next big tale."
An uneven miscellany of fiction, autobiography, and commentary from the author of, most recently, A Son of the Circus (1994). Read full book review >
A SON OF THE CIRCUS by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"Irving has no such excuse."
Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany, 1989, etc.) sets his new book about outcasts and freaks in India, but the story is weighed down by the same stale bag of tricks he has been trotting out since Garp, only now they are more tedious than ever. Read full book review >
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 30, 1989

Irving's novels, which often begin in autobiographical commonplace, get transformed along the way: sometimes into fairy tale (The Hotel New Hampshire), sometimes into modern-day ironic fable (The World According to Garp). Read full book review >

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 17, 1985

"Finally, this effort is sometimes moving or amusing, but also irritating and ultimately disappointing."
As in The World According to Garp, a young man is trying to find his way as he grows up amid institutional, individual, familial, and social craziness in upper New England. Read full book review >
THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE (BALLANTINE READER'S CIRCLE) by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 1981

How many times can Irving, novelist-as-juggler, throw the same subjects, metaphors, and tricks—bears, motorcycles, prep schools, hotels, Vienna, muscle-building, feminism—up into the air? Read full book review >
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1978

"But this hint of staleness will be all but totally disguised to first-time readers: Irving's style and zest remain superb, and his fondness for children—his anxiety over them and their welfare—is as rare and fine and affecting and pure as Heller's or Cheever's."
Book-club spotlighting is bound to introduce Irving's particular brio to its largest audience yet; his newest book is characteristically broad and eager, Heir to a shoe-manufacturing fortune and a Wellesley dropout, Jenny Fields becomes a nurse, which isn't quite the thing for a girl of her station. Read full book review >
THE 158-POUND MARRIAGE by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 1974

"Hardly spiritual, but serious and ebullient — with some elemental symbolism for those looking for a little more."
This energetic, often intelligent novel about a four-way marriage has as much sleight-of-hand as the earlier Nabokov but avoids the master's aestheticism. Read full book review >
THE WATER-METHOD MAN by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 5, 1972

"But then a very likable, imaginative child, with a tremendous comic drive."
John Irving is the hypermotor young man who wrote Setting Free the Bears and this is about another one — volatile, confident but lost, all on the surface since he doesn't "convey" anything, and on some special frequency which doesn't relate to much unless it might be Moby Dick, another grandiose geyser. Read full book review >
SETTING FREE THE BEARS by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 24, 1968

"It's actively, overwhelmingly alive."
A wonderfully fresh, wildly imaginative notion of a book. Read full book review >
THE KING'S BRITANNIA by John Irving
Released: June 15, 1937

"It is more than a book about a ship—read it yourself—make a list of customers to notify and see what fun she still can provide."
Here was a ship and Commander John Irving has told her story to a T. Her beauty, her prowess, her cunning ways all make her as human as Cleopatra for sooner or later she charms even her critics. Read full book review >

"This and all the other Lonsdale Volumes should be in stock always as they cover many subjects on which there is nothing else available."
Just as the Lonsdale Library stands for authentic information on sport so Motor Cruising will supply all necessary information for yachtsmen on seamanship, navigation and engines, their construction, selection, maintenance and handling under power. Read full book review >