Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Prayer for Owen Meany & Thoughts on Fiction

My book club is reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I am through the first 100 pages, the book is 300+ pages, and I have learned so much about the characters, I can't believe there is more to the book!

This is a good book, I'm just shocked by how detailed this author is getting. I do not have anything against details, in fact, I'm grateful that Irving is so thorough. When Irving writes "Episcopal priests have made quicker decisions than you." the next four pages are filled with the narrator's anecdotes regarding the Congregational church's pastor and the Episcopalian rector, including how the narrator prefers 'pastors' over 'rectors' because of the connotation of 'rector'. So, while the book is detailed, the anecdotes and back stories are so engaging I hardly realize that one particular aside has gone on for four pages!

I prefer fiction, as anyone who knows me knows. It's not that I don't appreciate self-improvement, and non-fiction books, I just look at those as work. With fiction I get a mini-vacation from current time and place. While recently reading The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis I was transported to early 20th Century London and then onto young Narnia. What a wonderful trip I had!

I really feel that people who read only non-fiction are missing so much in life. The imagination keeps us young and lively. I always learn a little something about life and people from reading fiction, especially literature. But even the shallow-fiction that I read every so often provide me with such enjoyment that I can hardly not talk about it!

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