The World According to Garp by John Irving
(Modern Library)

83%

8 Critic Reviews

What Mr. Irving has done is to take such extremes and treat them as if they were domestic routines. As the novel concludes, ". . . in the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases." If we could so consistently see ourselves as terminal cases, we too might joke about and laugh at our tragedies.
-NY Times

Synopsis

The World According to Garp is a comic and compassionate coming-of-age novel that established John Irving as one of the most imaginative writers of his generation. A worldwide bestseller since its publication in 1978, Irving's classic is filled with stories inside stories about the life and times of T. S. Garp, novelist and bastard son of Jenny Fields--a feminist leader ahead of her time. Beyond that, The World According to Garp virtually defies synopsis.

----"Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it," said critic Terrence Des Pres. "Irving's blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous. . . . Friendship, marriage and family are his primary themes, but at that blundering level of life where mishap and folly--something close to joyful malice--perpetually intrude and disrupt, often fatally. Life, in Irving's fiction, is always under siege." Time magazine commented: "Irving's popularity is not hard to understand. His world is really the world according to nearly everyone."

----This Modern Library edition includes a new Introduction by the author.

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editons of impor-tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoringas its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
 

About John Irving

See more books from this Author
John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times–winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. A Prayer for Owen Meany was published in 1989. 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.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published January 1, 1978 by Corgi Books. 448 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The World According to Garp
All: 8 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 26 2011

...Irving's style and zest remain superb, and his fondness for children--his anxiety over them and their welfare--is as rare and fine and affecting and pure as Heller's or Cheever's.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT on Apr 13 1980

What Mr. Irving has done is to take such extremes and treat them as if they were domestic routines. As the novel concludes, ". . . in the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases." If we could so consistently see ourselves as terminal cases, we too might joke about and laugh at our tragedies.

Read Full Review of The World According to Garp (... | See more reviews from NY Times

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Roz Shea on Jan 24 2011

Perhaps that is what John Irving does best --- create a fictional world populated with characters with whom we identify and commiserate, love and hate, deplore and admire.THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP has earned a permanent place in American letters and is studied in American Literature classes throughout the country.

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Melissa Howard on May 01 2010

The World According to Garp is for anyone who has the heart and the stomach for brilliant psychological portraits, hysterical situations, and brutally graphic descriptions of intimacy and trauma.

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Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by Kriegerfrau on Sep 07 2010

That gave me chills as I read. If you've only seen the movie and liked it, give the book a go. I think I'll move on to more of this fantastic author.

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Stuff

Good
Reviewed by Karen Tay on Sep 20 2012

Irving has written a lot of great books over the years...But Garp will, I think, stand as his greatest work of fiction, even better than Cider House Rules, which has sold more copies and arguably has more of an emotional core but not quite the same brilliance of characterisation.

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Between The Covers

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Apr 02 2011

I loved The World According to Garp and it’s definitely a book that I will be reading again in the future. In fact, I’m sure that I’ll find something else to love about it with every subsequent read.

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Words to Read By

Good
Reviewed by sbk on Mar 19 2013

This novel felt very characteristically Irving, probably because thematically, it echoes many of his other works. Recurring themes in Irving's works that also occur here are wrestling, writers, bears, Vienna, unusual sexual relationships, absent parents, and tragic accidents.

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Brian Lee Kloosterman Jr. 17 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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