In One Person

In One Person

by John Irving

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In One Person 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have only started this but already, I am having a hard time putting it down (for work, to eat!). It is beautifully written....the prose is descriptive & captivating, the story is excellent, and the characters are quirky & lovable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have only just startedthis, but I findit to be as well written as even John Irving's best novels. He has been my favorite author since I read "The World According to Garp" in the early '80s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Compelling characters. Social commentary. Ludicrous scenarios written believably. And as always the best foreshadowing of any author i have read. His use of language always astounds and amuses me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually love his books but I am about half way through and becoming bored and will probably pick up another book to read and come back to this one (someday). As usual, the writing is great but the story is interesting for a while and then drags on for too many pages before it becomes interesting again. Instead of 400+ pages this could have been written in much less. This is a disappointment as in the past I could never put one of his books down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of john irving's since garp . This book has not let me down. I wish the wrestling was another sport, maybe ice hockey. However, all the oddities that irving does so well , are present and accounted for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Irving's previous novels very much. I put this one aside half way through. It is predictable, jumps all over the place, and frankly boring.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Despite my original misgivings on what I erroneously believed the book was about- a love story with a transgendered person- I was quite surprised to see that the romance was but one aspect of the novel, and that the story John Irving writes is full of interesting characters and a heartfelt look at the life of a person who grew up challenging sexual norms. It was a moving story that had me in tears at points. We see Billy Abott grow up, with his family trying to shield him from the so-called scandals that led to his birth, and we get a birds-eye seat into his life as he comes into his own and makes what he can of these very so-called scandals. Although Irving does not dwell at length on the AIDS epidemic, he nails it when he does cover the period when gay men were dying and their friends were struggling to cope. I have to admit that the transgendered world is foreign to me, but what I saw was that many people find themselves in bodies that do not suit who they are, and they make courageous efforts to be at ease in their won skin. Irving takes note that many gay men are not comfortable with a man who claims to be bisexual, and I am one of those. That part of the novel was a stretch for me, but then, the book celebrates sexual diversity as normal, and who am I to argue with a universe where diversity is one of the crowning achievements? I do take issue with the idea that there as many transgendered persons as Irving would have us believe, at least in one family. But maybe some day we will learn that such is genetic, I wouldn't be surprised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not get very far in this book. It is sooo boring. Irving seemed to go over the same point 20 times in 3 pages. I do not recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Irving did it again. This is an interesting story written on an interesting premise that is little explored.Overall it is a well-crafted story, with Irving at its best once again. It is a story that deserves to be treated with respect. In One Person is a well-observed story with witty lines, a great plot, colorful setting and fast pacing. I will move on to Fateful Ties, another recommendation. So far it is making me have trust in the person who recommended them.
MarieMI More than 1 year ago
I love John Irving's books, and he is my favorite author. This was not my favorite of his books, but I do appreciate his heartfelt journey into this misunderstood realm. He tackles heartbreaking topics, and injects humor, sadness, quirky characters, and moral issues. I can't think of another author who encompasses all of those things in one book!
Disappointed0 More than 1 year ago
Irving is my favorite author by far and I anxiously await his new novels. I pre-ordered this one and couldn't wait for it to arrive. But I have been so disappointed. I am not interested in the story or the characters. All of his other books (except the 158 Pound Marriage) were hard to put down, this one is hard to keep reading. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. There are definite Irving-isms throughout the book. They aren't enough to make it interesting.
SigmundFraud on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Contrived ending but well written with an interesting plot.
BALE on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some reviewers have complained that John Irving¿s, In One Person, is too contrived, that there are too many gay, lesbian and bisexual people in his small town and private local school, and life itself, to render true. Yet when you count up the actual people in his small town and school who are ¿afflicted¿, it only amounts to a handful of people and/or families. The school, being private, allows students from all over the US and world. Therefore, small town, or not, the school will have a diverse cast of characters. Additionally, people tend to surround themselves with like-minded people. For the protagonist, being bisexual, it is natural it will include those from both sexes. Since he is a bisexual, it is also natural that people are going to refer young adults to him to help them deal with and understand their conflicting feelings. Lastly, a writer will use poetic extremes to illustrate a point. I do not think this novel is a masterpiece, but it is well conceived and written. I enjoyed the novel and was sorry to see it end. The characters were interesting and diverse, the plot was well developed, the writing was exquisite and the ending was tooled by an author who has lived and gained wisdom over his lifetime, which was reflected in this novel. Thus, I gave it a rating of 4 stars; but, if an option, I would have given it 4.25. This is a novel worth reading. It will leave one thinking, often, about those who are ¿different¿ then the norm and the injustices they suffer. It will also leave you satisfied, having read a finely written novel.
tvordj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a really wonderful book! It's a coming of age story in the first half about a teenage boy, Billy, who realizes early on that he's bisexual. He gets "inappropriate" crushes on other boys, men and older women. It takes place in the late 50s and early 60s when he's young and then takes us through the rest of his life in less detail as he grows up and older.The story is filled with quirky characters, which Irving is well known for in his more famous books like World According to Garp etc. There's interesting characters like a cross dressing grandfather, a near-alcoholic uncle, an aunt and grandmother who are domineering women, a handsome bully schoolmate that both Billy and his best friend Elaine have a crush on and a transexual librarian, also someone Billy is infatuated with.The story is told by Billy who is looking back over his life and it jumps around a little bit, as if someone was telling you the story and is reminded of incidents, tells you, then gets back to where he was. It's not hard to follow.It does get a bit grim and sad when describing the Aids epidemic in the 80s as Billy looses a lot of friends, old and new.I think the book is very good at portraying an out of the ordinary life and how it affects him and his relationships, and how he and his life are affected by those around him, by his background and family and experiences as a boy.
maneekuhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent novel by John Irving. Sometimes funny, witty, insightful, other times sad, disturbing, even gruesome.....it tells the story of Billy from his birth in 1942 until recent times. We meet all the interesting people that he encounters, that shape his life from his Grandpa Harry who plays only female roles in local Vermont theater productions to Miss Frost who is the town librarian and one of Billy's first loves. Much of the first half deals with Billy surviving his family in every meaning of the word while trying to understand and deal with his sexual nature. He is a self-described bisexual but he doesn't want others putting labels on him, nor judging him, until they know him. Over the years we meet many of Billy's partners and get to know them for better or worse.He becomes a writer, a rather successful one, strongly influenced by all those relationships especially from his private school years. There is a big mood shift at the two-thirds point of the story when Billy begins to learn of the passing of several of his classmates, victims of the Viet Nam war. A bit later, other friends are among the early victims AIDS. Billy visits a classmate with whom he toured Europe just before entering college, and he describes in great detail all of the man's medical problems and symptoms. But Billy survives all this and in the final excellent chapters he comes to closure with critical characters who had been missing from most of his life. Throughout the book Billy cries for tolerance and understanding, and he touches on all of the issues that he and his GLBTQ friends live with and deal with. While I am not a total convert, I recognize an excellent story well told and I recommend it. Five stars.
brianinbuffalo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's always a risky proposition when I pick up the latest novel of an author who has written one of my favorite books in the past couple decades. The bar is set high. Usually too high. This dynamic was at play with Irving's latest work. I was awestruck by "A Prayer for Owen Meany." "In One Person: A Novel" was a well-written saga that employed a good number of intriguing characters and explored some weighty issues. But I have to be candid. Midway through the saga that spans several decades, it became a bit tedious and even overly-preachy. In my estimation, he overused some devices, including his repeated references to Shakesperian drama. Still, Irving knows how to develop a story, layer-by-layer, then recount the tale in beautiful prose. It's a book worth reading.
petterw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a huge and loyal fan of John Irving. However, this time I was a bit disappointed. I found In one Person one of his weakest and most detatched novels to date. Perhaps the subject matter is more shocking and groundbreaking to an American reader, but I just couldn't be moved by most of the characters, their stories and their challenges. There is little at stake for the main character, he passes through life being different and meeting some obstacles, but nothing much really happens. I get a feeling that Irving wanted to make a statement (important and timely enough) about gay living and how important it is that we accept variety- more than he wanted to write a novel about characters. In his 13th book I am also getting a bit tired of some of the recurring themes from his previous books: wrestling, New Hampshire, Vienna, main character a writer, etc. Still, no Irving book is worth ignoring, but if you really want to read some of his gems, start with his earlier books and work your way through at least 10 brilliant novels.
nivramkoorb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although many critics did not like Irving's previous 2 novels, I did. So when I read reviews that led me to believe that this book was superior to those, I was looking forward to this book. I was disappointed. Being the 10th novel I had read by Irving, I knew that I would enjoy it because it was Irving. Unfortunately, his use of quirky characters felt worn in this novel. The constant impact of minor characters on a person 50 years after they were in his life just gets old after a while. I just didn't get the sense of freshness in this novel. The description of the particulars of the aids epidemic seemed dated when written this long after the peak of the epidemic. I just never got a feel for what Bill(the main character) really felt. This is sometimes a problem in first person narratives. If you have read Irving before than you may like this, but if not then there are other books that he has written that are superior to this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not have bought this book. I liked other books by the same writer. I can only give it a "good" because of the writing. I should have read about the subject matter, but I did not!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of America's greatest living writers.
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It is very distracting to read it when the letters and punctuation go right to the very edge of the page, nearly truncating the end and the beginning of every line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago