Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Prayer for Owen Meany (5)

This is a post about big, scary, old books. You know the ones. They’ve been sitting on your shelf, slowly gathering dust, bought with good intentions, or to impress someone cute. Maybe you wanted to be just like Rory Gilmore or Hermione Granger and wanted to read everything, but found yourself liking the idea of reading the book a lot more than the book itself.

There is something so satisfying in being able to say “There, I’ve done it. I’ve finished.” And it is especially satisfying when it’s been a long time coming.

This was a long time coming. I started reading A Prayer for Owen Meany when I was called back to be in the play Book-It was performing. This was, oh, October 2011. I read as much as my character, Aunt Martha, was in, but then I got stuck. I got stuck amid the chapter our play was about. There was something about living that story for four hours a day that made me really not want to read them any more. Our Mary was even funnier. I could watch her tomorrow.

I tried again when the play was over. Still no. I put it down. And then I was in the remount the next year and I still hadn’t finished the book. How embarrassing…I re-read the chapters we were doing and finally got to dive into new material. Chapter Eight.

kind of like this...but don't tell John Irving I said that.
A Prayer for Owen Meany was beautiful. It was interesting. But the problem was, I knew what was going to happen. From the liberal hints of my castmates who had done their homework, and the liberal foreshadowing, it wasn’t a matter of what was going to happen, but how. And it was lovely, and so worth it and so satisfying, and surprisingly not depressing when I finally got there.

Once I was reading the book, I liked it. But when I wasn’t reading the book, I had more fun discussing episodes of Doctor Who and Game of Thrones. I enjoyed savoring the book. And I was well-versed enough in the basic themes and character that I didn’t get lost when I put it down. I had three chapters I could recite in my sleep. 
think of Mr & Mrs Eastman just like this
The novel follows Johnny Eastman (father unknown) and his relationship with is best friend Owen Meany.
I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was an instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
 It is an epic of a tale, following the boys from the age of 11 and told by present-day Johnny Eastman. Owen is the kind of best friend who knows exactly what his life's purpose is and who tries to help Johnny figure out a path of his own. Owen wants to know who Johnny's father is, but Johnny isn't sure he wants to know.

Owen knows exactly how he is going to die.

You know what? Just go read it. It took me two years to read all I can remember is the beginning and the end and some really funny parts in the middle. Hester the Molester...I don't even know what to say except I can't wait for you to meet Hester.

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