In One Person by John Irving
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I was looking very forward to reading this book before I got it. The last John Irving I had read was The Cider House Rules and My Movie Business about making the movie for Cider. Both were good books, not excellent, but very good. Irving has a unique style of writing, some writers occasionally go off on tangents, for Irving the whole book is a tangent. The plot is moved ahead by rememberances of this that have passed in a usually non-linear remberence.
What I ultimaely liked about Cider House was that you could write a novel about abortion and make a 500 page book contain 495 pages that were not about abortion, with so many side roads and side stories you get lost on the way. But the thing that I think held the book together was the abortion thread, that despite the many pages about things like the main character's first fumblings with a girl in a drive in movie theatre ( I remember that from reading the book 10 years ago), the book was going somewhere.
With In One Person, who knows where the book is going, and frankly, who cares. I got this along with two other people I know and all of us have put it down and stopped reading. I had been determined to plow through until I hit page 180, and the person the narrator had sex with was just to ridiculous, so unbeliveable, I gave up. I am done.
The main character is not relatable or nice, or anything other than bland. The only character I cared about was Kitenridge and even him I couldn't remember his first name - and he says in the beginning nothing ever happened with Kitenridge so I knew it wasn't going anywhere.
The book is a hodge-podge of genders and crushes and Shakespere and summers in Austria, but it really doesn't go anywhere, it's not going to be anything you care about, and while I would have brief moments where I cared about what happened, something else would turn me off and I would always be looking for any excuse to read something else.
Untimately as I said, despite all this I was still determined to get through it, then the sex on page 180 happened and I was done. The spell, however lightly cast, was broken.
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