Monday, October 26, 2009

Publishing Event of the Year: New John Irving!

Forget Dan Brown and Stephen King, and with apologies to the late Senator Kennedy (whose memoir came out in September), in my mind, the fall publishing season hits its crescendo tomorrow with the release of the new John Irving novel — Last Night in Twisted River.

I've been a huge, huge John Irving fan since I stumbled across The Cider House Rules several years ago, and I've since read just about everything he's published, including A Prayer for Owen Meany and A Widow For One Year, which are two of my all-time favorite books. 

So I couldn't be more excited to read Twisted River! But when a favorite novelist publishes something new, I'm always a little bit apprehensive, as well. Even if the new book is legitimately terrible, it's still not easy to read someone you admire getting trashed by snooty reviewers. Sadly, that was the case for both of Irving's last two books — the abysmal Until I Find You, and the mediocre The Fourth Hand.

Thankfully, the reviews for Twisted River have been very positive. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- and the LA Times gushes that "reports of Irving's demise are greatly exaggerated."  Twisted River is "majestic yet intimate, shot with whimsy, dread and molten pathos."

Finally, if my enthusiasm isn't quite enough to sway you to check it out, maybe Mr. Irving himself can. Here is video of Mr. Irving discussing the story. " appall is a good thing..."

(By the way, does anyone know why new books, DVDs and CDs always come out on Tuesdays? I've heard plenty of theories, but never heard the REAL reason. Help!?)


  1. Ooh! I love John Irving! I'm also super psyched about this book!

  2. I get so excited when my favorite authors release new books too! I've never read John Irving. What would you recommend I start with?

  3. I'd recommend starting with A Prayer for Owen Meany. Most people say The World According to Garp is Irving's best book, and I loved that one too, but for my money, you can't beat Owen Meany!

  4. That's exactly how I feel about Irving - his last three books were dire (I would include A Widow for One Year in this statement). So I'm hoping Last Night in Twisted River will be a return to form. A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favourite.

    (Hi, a new follower here from South Africa, wandered onto your site from Bookcrossing.)

  5. Thanks, Marissa - glad to have you as a reader! Check out the review of Twisted River later on in the blog. It more than met expectations!