I can’t even start to describe the feeling I had when reading the first pages of The world according to Garp by John Irving. It has been a long time since a book grabbed my attention so completely that I stayed up late at night to finish it as soon as possible.
In the World According to Garp the reader is confronted with the life of someone who is three things all at once. Garp (this is the full name of the main character) is a man, a husband and a writer. He grows up at a private school for boys where his mother, Jenny Fields, is a nurse. Later in life his mother becomes a well-known writer after she publishes a book about feminism. Garp himself also chose a career as a writer but not with great success.
The writing style of The world according to Garp is very easy and understandable. The dialogues between the characters are recognizable and very funny as well. The life of Garp has weird events but with hilarious twists and therefore The World According to Garp is well-balanced. The way John Irving describes the personages and every day situations are very lively.
The book also contains short paragraphs of the books which Garp writes. So by his reading parts of his books you get a double understanding of his emotions and his thoughts.
The main themes of The World According to Garp are lust, fear and the sexual revolution that takes place inAmerica. Garp is a very fearful and protective father. His fear for losing his sons becomes reality when his youngest son dies in an accident. John Irving has tried to describe the anger and sadness that the Garp family goes through after the death of their son and brother. Losing a child must be the hardest thing to have to go through in life. John Irving puts these difficult feeling across on paper with great understanding and respect. And also with class.
The World According to Garp is not only a readable book but it also has a storyline full of flashbacks and depth. John Irving has put day-to-day issues of a family into the book mixed with funny scenes and special characters. This book makes you want to read on and on, and after finishing the book you miss spending time with the Garp family!