Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Prayer for Owen Meany: a good book holds my hand

Its been a while since I blogged so this is an effort to return to that and to tell you about John Irving’s 1989 book A Prayer for Owen Meany. This was a charity shop find, its a thick book so good value for a £1 but the covers conceal the challenge of lots of speech in upper case which made me feel that the character, Owen Meany, was shouting at me. This was not in keeping with the his persona, and was considerable as his story drives this book: I wonder what others thought of this.

Anyway, that apart, i enjoyed this book. The different time frames are very skilfully interlaced, there is a cast of engaging characters who interact in comic, tragic and unexpected ways.  I can now add this to my list of books that have ‘held my hand’ as I waited, once more this summer, in a hospital. This time I was there for a CT scan prior to my radiotherapy and had the pleasure and security of being looked after by former students.

There are likely to be other ex-students around next week when I go to The Royal Marsden at Fulham Road for the first of four brachytherapy treatments and I know I will experience a great sense of deja vu as I walk through the doors to where I had my first job after leaving school.

More on next week later. Meanwhile, I’ll post this and continue to listen to the wonderful Melvyn Bragg bringing out the best in his academic guests in BBC R4’s In Our Time. This week its all about the cell, the cell cycle, and that wonderful word meiosis has just been said. 

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