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Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel by John…

Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2010)

by John Irving

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2,3131222,736 (3.77)124
Title:Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel
Authors:John Irving
Info:Ballantine Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 592 pages

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Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving (2009)


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English (106)  German (6)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All (124)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I liked it but thought it was way too long. I probably would have dropped it were it not for the Ketchum character. I worked in a logging camp many moons ago and Ketchum was completely believable. This was an audio book, read very well. I loved every bit of blasphemy that came out of his mouth. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
OK, not one of Irving's best works. Twisted is in the title, but there are a few too many twists in the plot and characterizations, as well. ( )
  TDWolsey | Dec 8, 2016 |
I have always been a big fan of Irving. There are always elements of tragedy and healing in his books that never fail to move me. This book differed from others he has written in that he actually reveals his writing process through one of his main characters, who is a writer as well. Interesting stuff. Would recommend it to anyone, in particular Irving fans. And to those fans...do not get put off by yet another appearance by a bear. That may cause some eyes to roll, thinking "not another damn bear", but I urge you - read on. ( )
  bpeters65 | Jul 16, 2016 |
I listened to 10 out of 20 audio CD'S and still cannot connect with Irving's narrative. It is time to let this one go. ( )
  BALE | Jun 23, 2016 |

I love John Irving he is so quirky and interesting but have to say that this book wasn't my cup of tea!
Domonic Baciagalupo is a cook in a logging and Sawmill settlement in Northern New Hampshire, his son Daniel who is 12 years old lives with him. They are close as Daniel's Mom has died in a dreadful accident, (which in itself is peculiar, as we later find out!)
One night in a confused and tragic event Daniel mistakes Domonic's lover for a bear! Domonic loves his son so much this event starts a lifetime of running and fear.
A determined (unstable, drunk) police officer is on their trail and they have to avoid him at all costs.
Ketcham, Domonic's one true friend (and who is tied up tight as a kipper to the pair!) with plenty of nouse and attitude is doing his best to see that this happens.
There are complications and twists thoughout the story, but it does seem to be very slow in places.
Irving I have noticed with most of his books manages to (randomly!!) get a bear in the story somewhere and it is no different with this book!!
As I say I really like John Irving's style of writing, but this book just didn't click with me personally. ( )
  Glorybe1 | Mar 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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 editionscalculated
Kristiansen, HalvorTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"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
"For Everett-my pioneer, my hero"
First words
"The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long."
Constipated Christ!
Don't get your balls crossed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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