Friday, May 15, 2015

The World According to Garp by John Irving

When I was in college, an English professor mentioned that wearing a Brooks Brothers suit was indicative of the type of man a character was supposed to represent. Recently, I revisited one of my favorite books, and I think stating that The World According to Garp is one of my all time favorite books probably says something about me as a character. But I unabashedly love this book.

John Irving, a literary giant in my humble opinion, discusses the life of T.S. Garp, the illegitimate son of Ms. Jenny Fields. Jenny Fields is a feminist, and writer, whose work is arguably more well-read than her writer son. Garp marries a woman named Helen, an English teacher, and they begin a family becoming the parents of two boys. The novel covers Garp's relationship with his mother, his wife, and also his career as a writer, including excerpts of his fictional works. An older novel, it remains relevant in relation to modern hot-topics like feminism, gender roles, and sexuality. Irving explores the depths of the human condition, what it means to be a man or a woman, all while engrossing the reader in the mire of relationships.

A finalist for the National Book Award, you don't need me to tell you this is a fantastic book - and who doesn't enjoy revisiting the classics? Additionally, in 1982 the book was made into a movie starring the late Robin Williams. The film also stars Glenn Close and John Lithgow, both nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. While immersed in the world of John Irving, you may also try The Hotel New Hampshire or The Cider House Rules.  

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