Many people know Irving from his wildly successful The World According to Garp, or book turned movie Cider House Rules. Those are only two of Irving’s masterpieces.What makes John a good storyteller? I believe it is his characters, developed in Dickensian tradition and style. Below are two of his best books.

A Prayer for Owen Meany – This is Owen Meany’s story, the story of what he was born to do. It is a crazy tale – a tale of a little boy who believes he must be a martyr one day, whose every event in life seems to shape him and train him for this destiny from his New England bording school days to his Christmas pageants. The book inspired the movie Simon Birch and remains my favorite John Irving novel. When you read the last page, you will set it down and say, “Wow!” SC

A Widow For One Year – I am always impressed when a man can write from a woman’s viewpoint and do it well. John does. He tells Ruth Cole’s tale, from three ages, when she is young girl of four, a middle aged woman searching for answers in Europe, and a few years later. Like all of Irving’s books, this is a story of loss, of struggling with one’s past and finding that moment of life where personal peace is glimpsed. SC