A Son of the Circus by John IrvingA Son of the Circus by John Irving

A Son of the Circus

byJohn Irving

Paperback | September 1, 1998

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“Usually, the dwarfs kept bringing him back—back to the circus and back to India.” – Opening lines of John Irving’s A Son of the Circus.

Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a Canadian citizen—a fifty-nine-year-old orthopedic surgeon, living in Toronto. Once, twenty years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa. Now, two decades later, the doctor will be reacquainted with the murderer…

John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. 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 Acade...
Title:A Son of the CircusFormat:PaperbackDimensions:688 pages, 8.3 × 5.5 × 1.5 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:067697046X

ISBN - 13:9780676970463

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Got me hooked on Irving If you only read one John Irving book, this should be it. His descriptions of life in India take you right into its sights and sounds and smells. His characters and stories draw you in so you want to find out what happens. The pages fly by as you keep reading, reading, reading.
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing and Wonderful What can I say about this book besides great and wonderful things? When we chose this as our monthly selection for book club I was only slightly interested. The subjects of India, of dwarves, held no appeal for me. I struggled through the first 250 pages. I criticized the writing. I complained about the plot. And then complained about Irving’s overuse of the semi-colon. And then…I got it. I was mesmerized with the writing, with the plot, with the many characters in this 633 page book. I loved this book. I loved the way Irving’s imagination took me into places I couldn’t think of on my own in a million years. “Son of the Circus” is filled with tragedy, with love, with impossible plots that sometimes make no sense but nonetheless are all connected and intertwined in some way that eventually lead to the conclusion of the book, a very satisfying conclusion. I would have missed out on a very incredible book if I had not continued to push myself past the first 250 pages. This one will stay in my head for quite some time.
Date published: 2012-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A different kind of Irving For whatever reason I kept avoiding reading this, even through I have read every other John Irving book. Why I waited I do not know. Even though it reapeats quite a few of Irving's favorite elements, this is a very different setting, and it feels just as real. John Irving classic, no doubt!
Date published: 2009-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another Irving Classic Picking up on the same themes he always does, Irving weaves a sad, captivating novel. By saying he uses the same themes, I do not mean to say this in a derogatory sense; I read Irving because I love how he toys with faith, love, and sexuality in a way that is always unique. This time, Irving adds a wonderful plot of mystery and intrigue that keeps one wondering throughout the novel. In the meantime, he tells a story of the low, the poor, the opressed and the unloved. It does not paint a great picture of India, but it certainly does give an interesting one. As the mystery unfolds, Dr. Daruwalla cintinues to try to come to grips with who he is and his own identity. What is home? How do we know who we are? These are essential questions that in some way are not ever fully answered. We can identify with his desire to help people who need help, knowing that there are millions upon millions of others who also need the same help. This is one of Irving's best novels to date and is deserving of the accolades it has received.
Date published: 2000-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brillant John Irving is the master of description. This novel gives you a vivid glimpse of a world unknown to most Canadians. His description of Bombay and Goa is captivating and disturbing all at once. His Characters are well developed and believable. A must read for anyone who truly believes that just because you're born somewhere, doesn't mean you belong there.
Date published: 2000-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Son of The Circus One of the most brilliant books that I have read by Irving, as an Indian who had recently visited Bombay I was amazed at how Irving was able to capture the very essence of Indian society. The plot was excellently layed out and yet for the reader presented itself believably spontaneously! It is a book that will be forever imprinted in my imagination, and one that I will cherish and re-read only to enjoy some more! A must read for any person who has ever been to the Circus, and for those who have not when you read this book you will have attended the largest Circus' of them all.
Date published: 2000-06-25

From Our Editors

A Hindi film star and an American missionary are twins separated at birth. A dwarf, a former circus clown, mistakes the missionary for the movie star. And stalking one of them is a serial killer. In one of his most humorous, startling novels in years, John Irving’s best-selling A Son of the Circus is unforgettable.

Editorial Reviews

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER“The novel may not be ‘about’ India, but Irving’s imagined India, which Daruwalla visits periodically, is a remarkable achievement—a pandemonium of servants and clubmen, dwarf clowns and transvestite whores, missionaries and movie stars. This is a land of energetic colliding egos, of modern media clashing with ancient cultures, of broken sexual boundaries.” New York Newsday"A comical, contemplative thriller as richly woven as the finest of Indian carpets.... [The] novel to beat for the year's most rewarding read." The Toronto Star"His most daring and most vibrant novel.... The story of circus-as-India is told with gusto and delightful irreverence." The Washington Post Book World"Startling, haunting, flawless, unforgettable." The Edmonton Journal"Breathtaking.... An epic tale of deception, murder, obsession and sexual confusion, Irving introduces some of his most memorable characters since Garp." The Winnipeg Free Press