Sunday, February 17, 2008

Owen Meany - Chapter 2

If I were a book, I would be A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving.

We're taking a chapter a week, posted on Sunday mornings. The Chapter One post is here.

Not a lot of folks are playing at this point, but there's still plenty of time to join us.

You guys? This is a very good book.

(Take the Book Quiz yourself at the Blue Pyramid.)

While I remember the basic plot of the book, it turns out that I read it long enough ago that much of the detail is fresh to me on this reading.

I didn't even remember the armadillo.

Also, as tends to happen, the material means things to me at this particular moment that it wouldn't have the last time anyway.

I most particularly enjoyed the way that Dan Needham was able to help Johnny see a confusing situation more clearly.

Well--friendship being one thing, and the armadillo quite another--I was so outraged by this discovery that I needed to talk to Dan Needham. As always, Dan made himself available.

Dan didn't just soothe Johnny. He examined Owen's motives, and at the same time tried to help Johnny find an acceptable arrangement for the damaged armadillo.

And so Dan and I became quite emotional, while we struggled to find a way to make the armadillo's appearance acceptable--but that was the point, Dan concluded: there was no way that any or all of this was acceptable.

He saw purpose and meaning in what appeared, on the surface, to be nothing more than destruction and loss.

These are some densely packed chapters, and there are plenty of other things to focus on. Which part did you like most?

Tabby's announcement at the dinner table?
The description of the cousins?
Owen's interaction with them?
The flash forward to adolescent Owen commenting on the development of the Vietnam war?

Heh. Now I feel like an English teacher.


pidomon February 17, 2008 9:47 AM  

so i have to get 2 chapters read on the plane?

Anonymous February 17, 2008 10:12 AM  

I still haven't gotten my copy.

/shaking fist/

Damn you!!

Phydeaux February 17, 2008 10:58 AM  

I, too, liked the passage you refer to above.

I also noted the similarities to both the Reagen and Vietnam references to what's going on today.

/wonders what OWEN would have to say about Dubya and Iraq/

lisa February 17, 2008 12:03 PM  

My favorite part was when Owen introduced himself to the cousins, and they accepted him. Especially how he came back after the embarrassing incident. I also like how Irving alludes to parts of the story that have yet to unfold. Somehow he lets you know there's a great story to come, without making it feel like a teaser. I read it before too, but I remember very little.

pidomon February 17, 2008 9:14 PM  

i think i liked Owens interaction with the cousins the best.
It was liked these three rambunctious children knew the first time meeting Owen there needs would be met with whatever games they played but there was also something special about Owen that almost made him the defacto leader (and he did play them with his words pretty good as well as far as being outside and then coming up with another game as well)

Brave Sir Robin February 18, 2008 7:44 AM  

Also, as tends to happen, the material means things to me at this particular moment that it wouldn't have the last time anyway.

That is very often the case I find.

I once heard on story (probably NPR) about a Professor teaching Shakespeare to Seniors. (as in older people, not high school seniors), and he said, when I teach Lear to college kids, they shrug and say, "eh, crazy old guy running around in the woods", when I teach it to Seniors, they weep.

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