The World According to Garp

by John Irving

Knopf Canada | November 7, 2000 | Trade Paperback

4.6154 out of 5 rating. 13 Reviews
Not yet rated | write a review
This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields - a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries - with more than ten million copies in print - this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 640 pages, 3.15 × 2.03 × 0.48 in

Published: November 7, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676973825

ISBN - 13: 9780676973822

save
28%

In Stock Hurry, only 0 left! Not yet released

$16.72  ea

Online Price

$22.00 List Price

or, Used from $5.04

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

– More About This Product –

The World According to Garp

by John Irving

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 640 pages, 3.15 × 2.03 × 0.48 in

Published: November 7, 2000

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676973825

ISBN - 13: 9780676973822

Read from the Book

Chapter One — Boston Mercy Garp''s mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater. This was shortly after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and people were being tolerant of soldiers, because suddenly everyone was a soldier, but Jenny Fields was quite firm in her intolerance of the behavior of men in general and soldiers in particular. In the movie theater she had to move three times, but each time the soldier moved closer to her until she was sitting against the musty wall, her view of the newsreel almost blocked by some silly colonnade, and she resolved she would not get up and move again. The soldier moved once more and sat beside her. Jenny was twenty-two. She had dropped out of college almost as soon as she''d begun, but she had finished her nursing-school program at the head of her class and se enjoyed being a nurse. She was an athletic-looking young woman who always had high color in her cheeks; she had dark, glossy hair and what her mother called a mannish way of walking (she swung her arms), and her rump and hips were so slender and hard that, from behind, she resembled a young boy. In Jenny''s opinion, her breasts were too large; she thought the ostentation of her bust made her look "cheap and easy." She was nothing of the kind. In fact, she had dropped out of college when she suspected that the chief purpose of her parents'' sending her to Wellesley had been to have her dated by and eventually mated to
read more read less

From the Publisher

This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields - a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries - with more than ten million copies in print - this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

From the Jacket

This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields--a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes--even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. In more than thirty languages, in more than forty countries--with more than ten million copies in print--this novel provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

About the Author

John Irving published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Academy Award. Mr. Irving lives with his family in Toronto and Vermont.

From Our Editors

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.

Editorial Reviews

"A wonderful novel, full of energy and art."
-The Washington Post

"Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it. . . . Irving''s blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous. . . . Brilliant, funny, and consistently wise; a work of vast talent."
-The New Republic

"The most powerful and profound novel about women written by a man in our generation.... A marvelous, important, permanent novel by a serious artist of remarkable powers."
-Chicago Sun-Times

Bookclub Guide

1. In the preceding essay, John Irving writes about his frustration in trying to determine what The World According to Garp is about. He finally accepts his young son''s conclusion: "The fear of death or the death of children - or of anyone you love." In your opinion, is this the most overt theme of the novel?

2. Feminism comes in many flavors in the novel. The most obvious, perhaps, are Jenny Field''s straightforward brand of feminism, Ellen Jamesian''s embittered, victimized type, and Roberta Muldoon''s nurturing, female-embracing style. But are there other characters who portray less distinct, murkier shades of feminism? What is feminism in the lives of Helen Holm, Charlotte the prostitute, Mrs. Ralph, and other women in the novel? And what does feminism mean to Garp?

3. How does The World According to Garp ultimately assess the prospects of understanding between the sexes? Support your opinion with examples from the novel.

4. In the novel, we read about a variety of biographers'' theories on why Garp stopped writing - and what motivated him to write again - albeit for a very short-lived time. Helen agreed that Garp''s collision with his own mortality brought him back to his craft. If you were the biographer of T. S. Garp, what would your theory be?

5. Garp''s vehemence against "political true believers" is a major force of the novel and he maintains that they are the sworn enemy of the artist. The Ellen Jamesians are a farcical portrayal of this notion. In your opinion, what is the relationship between art and politics-and is it possible for them to successfully coexist?

6. After the terrible accident in which Duncan is maimed, many pages pass before Walt''s death is acknowledged to the reader. And then, it is given a tragic-comedic twist; Garp announces in an Alice Fletcher-like lisp that he "mish him." What was the effect of this narrative device on you? Was the sorrow intensified or assuaged?

7. The narrator''s voice is ironically detached and almost flippant-even when delivering the most emotionally charged, heartbreaking moments in the novel. In what ways does the narrator contrast and play against the novel''s dramatic elements? How is it similar - and different - from the voice of Garp?

8. People who have read and loved The World According to Garp consistently comment on the extraordinary ability of the novel to provoke laughter and tears simultaneously. Was this your experience as well? If so, how do you think this effect is achieved?

9. What is the significance of the meta-fiction - the stories within the story? How does Garp''s "writing" voice compare to our perception of him as a character?

10. Over the years The World According to Garp has entered the canon of literature. How do you think it is perceived now in comparison to when it was first published in the late ''70s? Is the American moral center much different today than it was then? For example, despite Garp''s and Helen''s indiscretions, their relationship is still portrayed as loving and supportive. Do you think that today''s social climate is as accepting of these kind of transgressions?

11. In his afterword, John Irving admits to having been "positively ashamed of how much lust was in the book. Indeed, every character in the story who indulges his or her lust is severely punished." How do you feel about that condemnation? Is the world an arguably more precarious place because of lust?

12. What do the peripheral characters contribute to the novel? Is there a common thread they share . . . Mrs. Ralph, the young hippie, Dean Bodger, Ernie Holm, "Old Tinch," the Fletchers?

13. The World According to Garp has been heralded as a literary masterpiece while at the same time enjoying phenomenal commercial success-a rare feat for a novel. What are the elements of high literary merit in the novel? Likewise, what aspects of the book land it squarely into the mainstream consciousness? In your opinion, how is this balance achieved?

14. Have you read any other John Irving novels? If so, did you find any similarities between them in style or tone?

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart