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Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
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Last Night in Twisted River (2009)

by John Irving

Other authors: Halvor Kristiansen (Translator)

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2,0011093,355 (3.78)113
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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
I enjoy John Irving's writing style. he makes me laugh and sometimes cry. His characters have consistent qualities. A young boy attracted to older women is a frequent theme. This book is a lot about a young boy's idealization of an older man and the trials of his biological father as they are running to escape the law for a crime the boy committed. All the threads of the story come together in a realistic way. John Irving 's portrayal of women is interesting, idealized and kind. ( )
  padmacatell | Sep 8, 2014 |
good story. excellent character description. i thot about this alot and i think my problem is thst the characters have no resl soul. i come away not knowing what they live and have passion for..... author uses the bully pulpit to mock george w. and republicans. hes very good at telling us what he is against but never tells us what he is for! this tells me he is just regurgitating what he has heard from people he wsnts to impress without showing us his own soul.....no soul....all political correctness. and bte the political discussion had no place in the novel at all. he just rammed it in. too bad... ( )
  pife43 | Jul 23, 2014 |
A good story hijacked by an editorial. ( )
  lanewillson | Jun 21, 2014 |
If you've ever thought about writing a book, John Irving gives some insights into his writing process in this book. I enjoy John Irving's bizarre take on life, and this book did not disappoint. ( )
  vdunn | Apr 30, 2014 |
My only problem with John Irving novels is that nothing will ever be as good as A Prayer for Owen Meany. This was good. The characters were developed deeply and thoroughly, but the end left something to be desired. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
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The coy hints of connections between the author and the narrator have been forced onto a plot that can’t accommodate them, and the fact that Danny is a famous novelist too often seems a mere contrivance, giving Irving a convenient opportunity to include rambling background information and to air his own ideas about writing. In his bid to make something “serious,” Irving has risked distracting readers from what otherwise could be a moving, cohesive story.
 
I thought I was heading for another “The Cider House Rules,” my personal favorite of his novels. But the full reading experience ended up being more like “A Widow for One Year,” where one outstanding section has to carry the weight of the whole book. And at 554 pages, that’s a lot to carry.
 
Irving playfully invents a story that’s as much about the pleasures of reading one of his novels as it is anything else, until it poignantly turns into a paean for a dying art and a plea for the idea of the story. This could all seem self-indulgent. Instead, it’s Irving’s best since the ’80s.
 
Irving's story is engrossing, and he gives us a satisfying assortment of fully realized characters: Carl, a cruel, ignorant police officer; Ketchum, a hard-drinking, violent logger who devotes himself to protecting the cook and his son and whose favorite exclamation is “Constipated Christ!”; Six-Pack Pam, whose name pretty much says it all; and Lady Sky, the aforementioned parachutist, who becomes the love of the cook's son's life.
 
Mr. Irving uses coincidences, cliffhanger chapter endings and other 19th-century novelistic devices to hook the reader, while at the same time orchestrating them to underscore the improbable, random nature of real life. Some of his inventions — like a murderous blue car that appears to have zeroed in on Danny’s son — are ludicrous at first glance, but the reader gradually comes to understand that they are writerly metaphors for the precarious nature of life in “a world of accidents.”
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Irvingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kristiansen, HalvorTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I had a job in the great north woods/ Working as a cook for a spell/ But I never did like it all that much/ And one day the ax just fell" -Bob Dylan, "Tangled Up in Blue
Dedication
"For Everett-my pioneer, my hero"
First words
"The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long."
Quotations
Constipated Christ!
Don't get your balls crossed.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Une mustang bleue fantôme bleue , un chien héroïque , une ange atterrie dans la fange : le chef Irving nous réserve toutes les surprises de son art consommés dans un roman qui se dévore et se déguste jusqu'à la dernière page . Bombe glacée pour tout le monde au dessert .

In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear.  Both the boy and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County--to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto--while pursued by the implacable constable.  Their lone protector is a fiercly libertarian logger who befriends them.

In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River depicts the recent half-century in the United States as "a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course."
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In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County-to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto-pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. A tale that spans five decades.… (more)

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