Read The Water-Method Man by John Irving Free Online
Book Title: The Water-Method Man|
The author of the book: John Irving
ISBN 13: 9780671468125
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.58 MB
Edition: Pocket Books
Date of issue: October 3rd 1982
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1956 times
Reader ratings: 7.2
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I've spoken with several Irving aficionados concerning the finer points of reading John Irving. It is almost universally decided that his first three novels were the throwaways (the practice sessions, if you will) of an author trying to find his voice. Not terrible, unreadable drivel. But basic novels without a cemented voice. Having read Setting Free the Bears, I can almost see what my informants meant. Almost. While The Water-Method Man feels and reads nothing like Irving's debut novel, I can see hints of his voice from what I read in the first 60 pages of The World According to Garp, which I abandoned not because I didn't like it but because I was liking it a lot. I was reading two other amazing novels at the time and paused my read of Garp so that I could give it more attention at a later date.
One of the questions I've been asked numerous times since beginning my John Irving challenge, wherein I will be reading all of his novels in order of publication within a year's time, is "Why Irving?" The answer comes in three parts.
1. I wanted an author who was polarizing, a love 'em or hate 'em type, much like my hero, Stephen King, who was the subject of my last challenge. He or she should also be overall respected in the literary world. An award winner, and whatnot.
2. I needed an author with at least 12 novels to his or her name so that I could at least read one book of theirs a month. Irving has, at last count, 15 novels. I will not be doing short stories or his nonfiction because I cannot pinpoint at what time in his career these were written. Which brings me to...
3. I needed an author who most agree has gotten better with age. Or, at the very least, an author who peaked at some point, so that I can watch the honing of their craft and possibly even the eventual downfall.
Irving fit all of this criteria, and I have most of his novels. I think I'm only missing three or four books. And the ones I do not have, I can find cheap enough at my local UBS, as they have multiple copies of all of his works.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me talk about this particular book.
One of the main problems I had with Setting Free the Bears was the disjointed narrative. The book's structure is not entertaining. There's what feels like a 100-page infodump in the middle of the book. In The Water-Method Man there are some of the same infodumps, but they are spread out through the narrative. The story itself bounces all over the place and it's not always clear when you are in the timeline, but I was never confused for more than a page or two. Only thing I would've changed is more of a hint toward the front of each chapter to let me know when we were. And that's my only complaint.
The Water-Method Man is a much more mature, albeit overall immature, experience. It is, after all, a book about a man who's indecisive and afraid of commitment and one of the bigger idiots I've read about. Bogus Trumper, whose name I cannot say without giggling a little, is a man-child in possession of all the stupidity. Trumper is oblivious to the obvious, but not in an unbelievable way. That's my bitch with most authors who tackle dumb characters. They create bumbling oafs that aren't realistic. Trumper is one of the best idiots I've read about, because he never comes to terms with his idiocy. Again, he's oblivious. Truly dumb people rarely ever acknowledge how brainless they are. And neither does Trumper.
There are several laugh-out-loud moments in this book. Scenes of what I will call Beautiful Chaos. There is a scene in Setting Free the Bears that does the same thing: crazy, frenetic, Laurel-and-Hardy comedy on an adult level. Idiocy written beautifully. The "Smell My Dick" chapter is one of the funniest things I've read. Whenever I look back at this book, I will think of that scene.
Irving also handles unbelievable situations in a believable manner. The condom reveal was asinine and should have severed the cables on my suspension of disbelief, but the scene was written so well that I never noticed how fucking implausible it was. I went along with it, which is difficult for me. I cannot stress how much a scene like this one would normally kill my enjoyment. Here, I honestly didn't mind at all.
In summation: If The Water-Method Man is one of Irving's worst outings, I am thrilled to continue this challenge. I was a mite worried after reading Setting Free the Bears, but no longer. I'm stoked to begin The 158-Pound Marriage next month. Until then, keep your urethras open!
Final Judgment: Come see our wacky, waving, flailing, literary-prose man!
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Read information about the authorJOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven.
Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. He received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for his short story “Interior Space.” In 2000, Mr. Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person.
An international writer—his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages—John Irving lives in Toronto. His all-time best-selling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany.
Avenue of Mysteries is his fourteenth novel.
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