THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP,
Or maybe the world according to John Irving?
By Kiriko Mechanicus.
The world according to Garp is a book by John Irving written in 1978. It’s a story that leads you into the entire life of a boy named Garp. The book starts when his mother is still a young girl, and ends with the life of Garp’s children. Reading the book is like living a second life in a few days. It leads you into the head of a child, teenager or an old man called Garp.
The book starts with Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields. Jenny comes from a good family but she doesn’t have any interest in money. She’s a very independent woman and lives her own life as a nurse. She’s beautiful, young and reads a lot of books; many men want her. But the father of Garp is a mentally sick Japanese soldier, who can only say one word: Garp. His mother raises Garp at an all boys’ high school. He has crazy adventures as a kid. He also has these adventures as a teenager. Garp is handsome and gets along with the girls a lot. He falls in love with a girl named Helen, who will only marry a man who’s a writer. He moves to Vienna with his mother because they’ve both decided to become writers. Back in the US, Jenny, becomes one of the biggest feminist leaders of the world. Garp becomes a stereotypical writer. He is a royal customer of prostitutes, cheats on his wife and he has no success at all with his books. This becomes even clearer in his next book, which is about rape and murder. He disgusts all of Jenny’s fans because of his offensive book. When Jenny dies, they all accuse Garp of committing the murder. In the end, a fan of Jenny wearing a nurse costume kills Garp.
This book is funny, painful, romantic, horrifying yet heartbreaking. It’s amazing how Irving can show you an entire life in just one book. When you get to the end, you actually feel as if Garp is one of your best friends. In the beginning, it reminds you of your own youthful young days as a child. When Garp is a teenager, you can relate to the struggles of a young man who’s trying to figure out who he is. And as a grown man, Garp is a loving father and a jealous husband, just like many other men in this world. The world according to Garp helps you to understand life just a tiny bit. The rest you have to figure out yourself.