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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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2,4651273,591 (3.76)127
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Classic Irving, however it seems he has now reached the point in an author's career where no editor dares to edit him! Wonderful characters, but 1/3 too long. Ridiculously rambling with totally irrelevant details. Don't try to skim however, because Irving drops major clues and plot changers in the middle of needless paragraphs describing cooking procedures or how to smoke a bear (!). You have to read it all! Good thing the other 2/3 are brilliant. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I have put this book down twice and read something else. I hope it is just that my mood isn't right for it...but without a doubt I will have to begin over if I ever decide to finish it. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This book is going on my all-time-faves list. Not only is Irving's language exquisite and his characters well-developed, the settings and plot vibrate with humanity and life. There are many little touches for the Irving fan, and the passages about Danny Baciagalupo's writing process will delight any lover of language and the creative process. A must-read; it is quintessential Irving (and you have been warned). ( )
  cindiann | May 3, 2018 |
I love John Irving as an author. This is only my third novel of his, but he is a magical writer. His books are very character driven, and are what I can only describe as a slow burn. The plots of his novels are not really page turners in the traditional sense, but slowly tell the story of his unique characters. In many ways, this book describes how Irving writes a novel through the story of the main character who is a writer. I would have given this five stars, but I thought there were a few parts that dragged a bit, and I did not love the ending. Great read though and looking forward to another Irving novel. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
The story is lush and detailed. As the author says "there are no coincidences in good writing" so Irving is sure to set up all the details beforehand.

Many reviewers say this is not the Irving book to start with, but I see no reason why not. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Dec 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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