Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
A Novel

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Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from John Irving's In One Person.

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. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River depicts the recent half-century in the United States as “a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.” What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author’s unmistakable voice—the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller.
 

About John Irving

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John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times-winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award, in 1981, for the short story "Interior Space." In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules-a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Last Night in Twisted River is John Irving's twelfth novel.
 
Published October 14, 2009 by Random House. 577 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Last Night in Twisted River

The New York Times

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John Irving’s new novel follows a father and son through 50 years in “a world of accidents.”

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

The Guardian

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John Irving has sown autobiographical themes throughout his novels, but always obliquely, in ways that resist simplistic comparisons.

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The Guardian

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Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving 554pp, Bloomsbury, £20 The Androscoggin is one of the big log-driving rivers of New Hampshire, and the driving force of its waters is also the driving force of John Irving's new novel.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

BC Books

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What is interesting in this novel is how Irving gives the writer Danny Angel a similar career trajectory that Irving himself experienced — prep school (Exeter), then the Iowa Writers Workshop, an amazing fourth novel that makes him an international sensation, a difficult experience with Hollywood...

Dec 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

Book Reporter

“Somehow what struck him about Daniel’s fiction,” Dominic thinks, as he reflects on his son’s novels, “was that it was both autobiographical and not autobiographical at the same time.” LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER is easily Irving’s best work since THE CIDER HOUSE RULES and A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY...

Jun 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

The Globe and Mail

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John Irving's new novel is the work of a mature and mellowed author trying to understand what drives him to write

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AV Club

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Since his protagonist is a novelist, he’s keenly aware of the ways life is like and unlike a novel, of the way real people coalesce into the archetypes we call “characters,” and the way coincidental events in real life—like the novel’s magnificently strange inciting incident—would play if they sh...

Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

Entertainment Weekly

And so it rolls, this new John Irving novel, galumphing along like logs bumping their way down river rapids, clunkety-clunk-clunk.

Oct 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

The Washington Post

Everything that makes John Irving such a wonderful writer is on display in the opening section of his 12th novel, "Last Night in Twisted River."

Oct 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

The Telegraph

John Irving’s 12th novel opens in New Hampshire in the early 1950s and ends in Ontario, Canada, half a century later, by which time the 12-year-old boy of the opening chapters has become a successful sixtysomething writer, working on an autobiographical novel about a 12-year-old boy who,...

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The Telegraph

John Irving aficionados, and there are many, could easily write a list of everything they would look for in a classic Irving novel.

Nov 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

Tampa Bay Times

As Danny grows up, Irving makes his protagonist into a thinly veiled stand-in for himself: Danny attends the Iowa Writers Workshop at the same time Irving did and has the same teachers (Vonnegut, Cheever), his novels are mirrors of Irving's, and they have the same fractious relationship with the ...

Nov 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

About.com

As Danny grows up to be a published writer, his novels tell us his version of stories heard earlier, stories that revolve around and evolve from that last night yet still tinged with the logging accident that set events into motion.

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Kepler's

When his twelve year old son accidentally kills the lover of the crazed and crooked constable, it sets off a lifetime adventure of running from the avenging lawman.

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AARP

John Irving's army of devoted fans—some of them befuddled by the grim tone and tattooed "ink addicts" of his previous novel, Until I Find You—will rejoice in Last Night in Twisted River.The novel echoes many of the author's past glories, notablyThe World According to Garp and The Cider House Rule...

Nov 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Last Night in Twisted River: ...

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Brian Lee Kloosterman Jr. 17 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 2 out of 5

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