The 158-Pound Marriage

The 158-Pound MarriageCaveman get lonely Caveman get wife Caveman get bored Caveman wife swap Caveman get jealous Caveman get lonely Caveman get wife Caveman get bored Caveman wife swap Caveman get jealous I could go on. A tale about the trials and tribulations of relationships that are fraught with infidelities, an area of expertise in the writing mind of John Irving, I was expecting a whole lotfrom this book than I actually got As with most Irving novels, there s plenty of Vienna for the reader to sink their teeth into after all the John Irving I ve read over the years I feel almost as intimate with Vienna as I am with my own Toronto, and I ve never even been there , and no bears to mar or confuse this story which is a nice change for early Irving, but the tone and characteristics of the antagonists, and they re all antagonists in this one, just sort of fell flat for me and didn t ring with the usual realism that make John Irving s characters so sympathetic I felt their jealousy for their scorned and spurned lovers, but I didn t care about it or them as much as I should have It was a very quick and easy read, but probably not one I ll ever read again which is a shocking review for me to make, indeed, since I think John Irving is one of those writers who wasn t meant to be read, but rather he was meant to be re read, re visited, and re loved I will do none of those things with The 158 Pound Marriage, but rather just go back and re read Garp the next time I want to read about the sexual politics of couples as he told the same story in that book, and did a much better job withfulfilling characters The second wind of the cuckold, indeed relationships really aren t all about the sex john irving kicked evenass before he was widely read read it. It s John Irving One cannot go wrong with John Irving. Das waren sehr m hsame 278 Seiten und ich habe ehrlich gesagt keine Lust noch mehr Zeit auf dieses unheimlich z he, mir leider nichts sagende, Buch zu verschwenden. This is the tale of two couples who decide to share each other, or become a m nage quatre, in an attempt to even out things in their relationships It s Edith and Severin in one corner, Utchka and the unnamed, unreliable narrator in the other The title of the book relates to wrestling, but the fighting image is close enoughanyway, Edith and the narrator have two things in common they are both trying to be writers and they both met their spouses while traveling in Vienna Severin and Utchka share a native language and have both lost family and suffered as children during WWII Severin teaches German, but it s his position as a wrestling coach that is important to him John Irving has an outstanding talent for character development, and these well drawn characters play a part in a fascinating drama Is this all about sex, or somethingWhat are each of the four getting out of this arrangement Unsurprisingly, one person will eventually call an end to this entanglement, and even though they all know that this is inevitable, it doesn t prevent the emotional upset that ensues There is some interesting use of symbolism throughout the book, and Irving s writing style is always very pleasing I enjoyed it, though it always bothers me a little when the narrator remains nameless In this case, I d like to know who to slap, though I admit that by the end, I was pulling for him to make things right again with Utchka, the only one who seems to understand herself and who is understandably very hurt. After reading John Irving s A Son Of The Circus a few months ago and enjoying it see my review , I decided to read another of his books I chose The 158 Pound Marriagebecause, unlike many of Irving s other works it was a slim volume ideal for carrying whilst commuting.The narrator is an academic who writes historical novels His wife, Utch, was born in Austria soon before the Soviet Union marched in at the end of WW2 Severin, also born in Austria, teaches German and coaches wrestling at the same university as the narrator His wife, Edith, is an aspiring novelist.The two couples decide to become a foursome By mutual agreement Severin spends occasional nights sleeping with Utch, whilst Edith and the narrator sleep together It is an arrangement that appears to be working, but from the beginning of the book I suspected that things turn sour It is clear from the outset that the narrator is wary of Severin, but the reverse is not true Severin turns out to be a colourful character full of mystery, some of which is gradually revealed as the tale unfolds Inevitably, things end badly, but I will not reveal any details.Compared to A Son Of The Circus, The 158 Pound Marriage is colourless and dull It was only a refusal to give up, that kept me going until the last page However, I have not been put off reading John Irving, and plan to tackle some of his better known novels in the future. I love John Irving I really, really love him I was very curious to read this because it is one of his early novels and I was told it was bad and very mean spirited I think it is still better than most novels and only mildly mean spirited Irving demonstrates his usual brilliant humor, his fascination with physical deformity and physical fitness, and his delightfully complex characters That being said, I found the transitions from scene to scene vague and quick Several times in this novel I don t know where I am in time and place The narrative voice is first person, weaving in memory after memory it gets confusing Irving often dances around being a mysoginist asshole and in this novel he just IS onebut I forgive himbecause I a forgive him his sins If I were to meet John I would ask him why he is so into wrestlingI must say it baffles me but theI read his books theI want to watch a wrestling match. The Darker Vision And Sexual Ambiguities Of This Erotic, Ironic Tale About A M Nage A Quatre In A New England University Town Foreshadow Those Of The World According To Garp But This Very Trim And Precise Novel Is A Marked Departure From The Author S Generally Robust, Boisterous Style Though Mr Irving S Cool Eye Spares None Of His Foursome, He Writes With Genuine Compassion For The Sexual Tests And Illusions They Perpetrate On Each Other But The Sexual Intrigue Between Them Demonstrates How Even The Kind Can Be Ungenerous, And Even The Well Intentioned, Destructive I can t seem to get sick of Irving This is one of his shortest novels I ve read and that threw me off a bit because I ve been reading a lot of Irving lately and all his novels are thick I picked this book up because I heard that it was similar to the world according to garp which I loved This book was about two married couples that enter into a foursome At first it was a bit unclear how this foursome started and Irving was a bit vague about that but once you get deeper into the story it starts to unfold and each of the four character story is told and you love some and hate the others Though there are four people in the foursome its told from the perspective of one of the husbands who isn t talking about himself but narrating the life of the other husband and how the three are living in his world I don t want to give the ending away but this novel was enjoyable to read One thing thats different from this novel from the other works of Irving I ve read is that its not a crazy twist or plot involved, yes its a odd topic but its simple and Irvings prose as always is fantastic and on point.

JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942 His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty six He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty seven Mr Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp He received an O Henry Award

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  • Paperback
  • 176 pages
  • The 158-Pound Marriage
  • John Irving
  • English
  • 04 February 2019
  • 9780345417961

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