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A Widow For One Year by [Irving, John]
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A Widow For One Year Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Length: 562 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

"Wickedly knowing, mischievously post-modern and magical realist along the lines of Gunter Grass, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Robertson Davies" (Time Out)

"Gripping, full of horror and humour" (Literary Review)

"A compelling chronicle of love and loss... His most intricate and fully imagined novel" (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Irving's storytelling has never been better" (New York Times)

"His best since Garp" (Time)

Book Description

A masterpiece from one of the great contemporary American writers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2193 KB
  • Print Length: 562 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; New Ed edition (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055299796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552997966
  • ASIN: B007Z2H3LU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Did not enjoy this as much as his other books.
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Format: Paperback
Having not read a John Irving novel since The Cider House Rules, I wasn't sure I could reacquire the taste for his methods of storytelling. By the very first page of A Widow For One Year, however, I was hooked. This book has the usual Irving mixture of tragedy, comedy, romance, and, of course, sex. And yes...I am man enough to admit that by the end of the book I was moved to tears!
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Format: Paperback
Forget about magical realism; forget about the exploration of grief and loss, and the complexity of human relationships. This book has an awful lot of sex. No, make that: a lot of awful sex. Still, maybe that's what people like, and maybe that's why so many are prepared to forgive Irving for falling so far below his usual high standard. I think that one reason I found this book disappointing was the the main character was not at all engaging; I didn't really care what happened to Ruth Cole, except in the first part when she was a four year old girl. In fact the first part of the book is by far the best, conjuring up real atmosphere, drama, and at times farce. I was gripped. But then we move on to Ruth's adult life and away from Long Island, and the story starts to fall flat. One thing that annoyed me somewhat was that all of the characters are writers (a bit of navel gazing on Irving's part?), and passages of their writings are embedded here and there in the story. This works well in 'Garp', but not in this book. This book is no 'Garp' and the writers in it are not of Garp's stature. Still, the book gets three stars from me. After all, it is by John Irving. Irving stands head and shoulders above most other novelists, so a mediocre book by his standards is still a good one compared with most other novels. Perhaps I was just expecting too much. Anyway, if you like Irving, you'll probably find this book to be OK. But if you're not into Irving yet, don't start with this one. 'The World according to Garp' or 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' will give you a much more favourable first impression.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book
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Format: Paperback
I am writing this review on Amazon, because of the brain dead reviews I read on Goodreads.
The place is inhabited by fools, with no grasp of what a brilliant author John Irving is, or what they were reading.

Of course this is another brilliant and intriguing story, but I believe it is more.
I think John Irving sat down to write this book in order to shares with you the reader, the secrets of how to be an author.

How does he do that, and weave it into a best seller?
Because he is brilliant.

The first thing he teaches you is that to be a young children's book writer, if you want to be. All you need is an A4 page of words, and your finished. The rest is illustration.
Later he shows how to lead a reader and tell them whats going to happen next in the book. But still surprise them.
All this time he has got you gripped into the story of the lives of a family, and the people they come in contact with. These characters are all connected. Not only by their relations of daughter, mother, father, son, or lover. But also how that relationship impacts on their characters, and the make up of their lives. It is a story of love at very many levels, it's destruction, and it's eternity.
Or were you reading a different book.

In conclusion I want to say. Buy it, read it, and let it change your life.
I wish I had a slither of John Irving writing ability, and for the people who don't understand book. Don't worry it takes all sorts to make a world.
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Format: Paperback
I've read and enjoyed a few other John Irving books and this book did not disappoint. If you liked 'The World According To Garp' and 'Hotel New Hampshire' you'll love this book. Told in three distinct sections (much like acts of a play), it presents the life of Ruth Cole centrally, but also the many colourful characters who inhabit her world. Although readers will need to suspend their realism for some of the more unlikely coincidences, this in no way takes from the book. And the fact that so many characters in the book are themselves authors, one gets great insight into John Irving's own probably journey with this and his other books. I would highly recommend this novel, a must for John Irving fans and a good start for a first time reader.
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Format: Paperback
The plot is on the same scale as some of Dickens' works - it covers some thirty or more years, and conveys the subtle changes that befall the three central characters in that time.

I was at first reluctant to open this book as my previous experiences with Irving have not been entirely happy ones; I had thought him to be rather misogynistic in his portrayal of female characters, and the lack of depth that he was prepared to attribute to them. Here, however, I am glad to say that I couldn't detect it at all.

There's a real affection for the characters in the writing, and some very funny set-pieces are played out.

This edition (The Ballantyne Readers' Circle imprint) features a Q and A session between the author and his editor - not perhaps the most challenging of interviews, but it gives a fascinating insight into the way that Irving approaches writing - one thing he insists upon is knowing exactly what happens from the beginning to the end of a story before he writes any of it, and it shows in how pleasantly structured the plot feels as it progresses; as a reader one feels capable of trusting the writer to convey one to a satisfying conclusion.

And the ending is wonderful :)
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