A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel
by John Irving
Paperback- $10.56

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "Although a long reading..." by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 12/19/14

worth the time spent reading it,

  "" by Debsbookclub (see profile) 01/03/15

This was one of the few books that I could not convince myself to finish. I dreaded each time I picked up the book. I kept hoping it would get better but by the halfway point, I just couldn't make myself continue reading. Two out of our 8 book club members did not finish the book.

  "" by Darbie (see profile) 01/04/15

  "" by Schafemom (see profile) 03/19/15

We thought it had a lot of good themes-loyalty, friendship but thought it was long-winded.

  "Tedious" by Drudwen (see profile) 07/19/15

A long book made longer by repetitive scenes eg Christmas 1953. It took a long time to get to the end, which was extremely disappointing. In its favour the book was beautifully written just the content was so boring.

  "Sorry" by brenstuhr (see profile) 07/23/15

This book put me to sleep every time I picked it up

  "Most agreed that it was a compelling read" by brightpoweruk (see profile) 08/31/15

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice... because he was the
instrument of my mother’s death... I am a Christian because of Owen Meany”

It is 1953 and this is John’s story and part of it explains how his best friend knocks out his mother with an errand baseball hit that kills her. Somehow, despite her tragic and untimely demise, the eleven-year-olds remain best friends for life and the plot becomes progressively more complex.
Some of us were interested in finding out more about the narrator, John. Despite everything, he remains good friends with Owen Meany who is such a strange child and adult. Owen is not an easy character to visualise and his appearance and the way he speaks are significant to the story. Some also found the writing of Owen’s speech in capitals became irritating.
Some of our members found the time frames in the book very confusing. They felt that the narrative travels back and forth in time and it is not always obvious or well explained. Other distractions they mentioned were the religious aspects and the historical content which seemed irrelevant until the end.
It is a long book and the majority of our book club members finished reading it. Some of us did say that it was ‘hard-going’ at first. Our response to it was a split of opinions, but most agreed that it was a compelling read, albeit overlong.
The average score was 6 out of 10.

  "A Masterpiece" by kiwiob (see profile) 11/29/15

This is a challenging read - a real slog - but an incredible, epic, perfect novel once you get through it to the end. John Irving is a genius.

  "" by Lms717 (see profile) 04/20/16

  "" by makers (see profile) 12/11/16

  "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by mrblock (see profile) 12/20/16

Who or what is Owen Meany? Is this the story of John or Owen's life? A boy who is born small and loud and his best friend are tied together for life. Why and how are to be figured out in the story which you don't really get the full story until almost the end of the book. The story gives you much to think about and to discuss. Everyone in our group really enjoyed reading and discussing this book.

  "" by kayclayton (see profile) 10/05/17

  "" by gypsykim (see profile) 11/17/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/09/19

  "" by aderoz (see profile) 01/09/19

  "" by angelk5 (see profile) 01/12/19

  "" by debbycraggs (see profile) 01/12/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/22/19

This book is one of my all time favorites because the main character becomes your adopted friend. This story could be a how-to book about accepting those who are different from us while we fall in love with him and his story.

  "" by AnneCasey (see profile) 11/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/26/21

Remember me

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.


Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...