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The World According to Garp (1978)

by John Irving

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,043193343 (4.07)434
  1. 151
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (dele2451)
    dele2451: Garp and Owen would make a great literary double feature. I wish I didn't have to wait so many years between reading both of these wonderful books.
  2. 60
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (alzo)
  3. 41
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith (sipthereader)
  4. 31
    Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: Both are left-field, with overlap in themes.
  5. 21
    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Rynooo)

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» See also 434 mentions

English (173)  Spanish (7)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (2)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Tagalog (1)  All languages (193)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
Here's what I wrote in 2011 about this read: "Glad I read it - recalled some of the story from the movie, but book much deeper and better. T.S. Garp was a loving, worried, and fretful soul. The Pension Grillparzer famous story within a story - Vienna and I liked it!" ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 23, 2023 |
This one left me with a good feeling, though I can't recall anything about it, except something about a hotel. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 13, 2023 |
This book just charms my socks off. Much more fun than the movie. I read it in high school and loved it, then read it again a few years ago and loved it again. Twisted, straightforward, and engrossing. ( )
  grahzny | Jul 17, 2023 |
In the eighties I, like millions of others, saw the film and it's amazing story. Robin Williams, Glenn Close and John Lithgow seemingly going where the audience had never gone before. Now, after reading the book, I have even more appreciation for the film. While it is almost always true a film has to leave out some parts of the book it is based on, I had not realized how much more there was in the book. I rewatched the film after reading the book and can see how some of the missing parts are hinted at in dialogue when a character relates the gist of what were lavish events in the plot in the book. More importantly since the main character was a writer the book includes major pieces of his writing which the film doesn't even mention. In addition the book includes sojourns in Vienna which are not in the movie.

While the film is great the book is so much better. The details which Irving includes will feel normal for anyone who reads Irving's other novels. It's all here, wrestling, single parenting, sex, relationships that go outside the box, strong women, broken promises, writing, bears, Vienna, death, dismemberment, cars, failure, success, etc. One theme that stands out in the book is that we are all going to die eventually, some too soon, some lasting longer than anyone would like. A novel feature of this book is that Irving makes a point of telling the reader how every character ends up. He's wrapped up the plot but goes the extra mile to let us know what's in store for all. Definitely worth the read. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | May 28, 2023 |
"He wrote to Helen that 'a part of adolescence is feeling that there's no one around who's enough like yourself to understand you'; Garp wrote that he believed Vienna enhanced that feeling because in Vienna there really isn't anyone like myself around.' ... Vienna was more of 'a museum housing a city' - as he wrote to Helen - than a city still alive. Garp's observation was not offered as a criticism, Garp liked wandering around in a museum...'Viena was in its death phase; it lay still and let me look at it, and think about it, and look again. In a living city, I could never have noticed so much. Living cities don't hold still.'''
243 "He had properly bullied every fast driver in the neighborhood...Garp was not such a fool to imagine he changed their ways; all he hoped to do was make them speed somewhere else."
  ahovde01 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
The World According to Garp was more than single, memorable moments. It was unforgettable as a whole for a simple reason - it was epic. It was what a Great American Novel needs to be: all of life between covers.
These things oughtn't to be funny. Still, the way that Mr. Irving writes about them, they are. They way he filters them through his hero's unique imagination, we not only laugh at the world according to Garp, but we also accept it and love it.

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irving, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abel, JürgenÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ChristopherCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paolini, Pier FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Colin and Brendan
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Garp's mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater.
people who have problems do not, as a rule, think their problems are "funny."
I have nothing but sympathy for how people behave--and nothing but laughter to console them with.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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