Until I Find You

Until I Find You Every Major Character In Until I Find You Has Been Marked For Life Not Only William Burns, A Church Organist Who Is Addicted To Being Tattooed, But Also William S Song, Jack, An Actor Who Is Shaped As A Child By His Relationships With Older Women And Jack S Mother, Alice A Toronto Tattoo Artist Has Been Permanently Damaged By William S Rejection Of Her This Is A Novel About The Loss Of Innocence, On Many Levels

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

➳ [Read] ➮ Until I Find You By John Irving ➾ – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 820 pages
  • Until I Find You
  • John Irving
  • English
  • 14 August 2019
  • 9780345479723

10 thoughts on “Until I Find You

  1. says:

    I have very much enjoyed the other novels by John Irving I have read Garp, Owen Meany, Widow for One Year , but I did NOT in any way enjoy Until I Find You All the classic Irving tropes are here wrestling, prostitutes, New Hampshire, older women, people of small stature , but all are deployed in an absolutely forced, joyless, airless manner The best thing I can say about this novel is that Irving s prose is typically readable That is also the ONLY positive thing I can think to say about the book The entire text feels like an exercise in expanding the relatively banal post modern quote that prefaces the text, except that the quote generally about the fallibility of memory and storytelling is about four lines long, and the novel is 820 seemingly endless pages And at the end of the text, I didn t feel that the quote had been the slightest bit illuminated or developed or enriched I don t want to spoil anything, but the prevailing feeling I have about the novel is that s IT The story hangs together on contrivance and uninspiring, unsurprising twists Previous Irving books create worlds where unbelievable acts of fate or outlandish characters become truly believable Irving follows the old professorial dictum to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar Yet the world created in Until I Find You fails to cohere The characters never sound real when they speak no one s actions ever make sense to us, nor do we the audience believe that they even make sense to the characters themselves Never at any point did I truly care about a single character in this novel, and no one ever achieved anything other than the sketchiest inner life or set of motivations Managing to keep each and every character a two dimensional functionary within a novel so enormous is actually an accomplishment, though a dubious one, to be sure With prose so fluid, I found myself turning page after boring, contrived, unbelievable page, waiting for something ANYthing to hook me, for some coincidence to startle me, for some connection to be revealed to me But page after page after page after page disappointed There was simply no depth, no truth, no emotion.I recently read Anna Karenina, and was shocked at the amount of activity that takes place within each and every chapter, and to each and every character Every person in Tolstoy s novel has a rich inner life and wonderfully nuanced viewpoints those were 1200 pages that felt like 200 Until I Find You is the polar opposite you could convince me that I have been reading that book nonstop for the last three years It could be 800 pages or 8,000.There s really very little else to say about this lifeless cinderblock of a book I enjoyed almost nothing about it, and can only reiterate my surprise and sadness at being so utterly disappointed by a book I had been so excited to read, written by a novelist I had previously enjoyed so much What a sad waste.

  2. says:

    This is the most personal book I have read of Irving s and I am a huge fan I ve read everything save one book, the one that was a very successful movie Until I Find You is a tough book to get into The first few chapters are painstaking and seem laborious but you cannot put the book aside Then in a single moment it becomes essential to know the story, know what happens to this little boy, because you care about him in his over the top quirky yet very sad yet oblivous existence For an Irving reader this is an oddity because though his empathy, poignancy and humor are all there, and you do laugh and cry aloud, his usual snarky and wonderful laugh mechanisms are not in this book There is plenty to laugh at but the humor is softer, sweeter, mindful You get the sense that he is not creating laughter as armor to defend someone from harming him rather he is using it to make you love these characters even .I loved Own Meany best before I read Widow for One Year, but now I am unsure Irving can top this very personally felt and lovingly written book.

  3. says:

    Until I Find You is repetitious, overwritten, overlong and untrusting of the reader Almost no important detail, key anecdote, phrase in a foreign language, or memorable line is used just once, and few are used just twice or even three times Even the uninspired elements get repeated again and again Inexplicably, however, the occasional detail Emma s moustache, for example is heavily emphasized, and then completely dropped without being resolved or mentioned again It s been a while since I ve read a John Irving novel, but I don t remember him being this poor a writer This must be an Irving book because all the typical Irving obsessions wrestling, cross dressing, boarding schools, adultery and exceptional children are here, but I remember him being a better storyteller Even the novel s point of view has problems, with Irving seemingly unsure whether to stay the whole time with the main character Jack Burns is it the third person narrator or Jack, an Oscar winning movie star and screenwriter, who doesn t remember the names of well known Hollywood films and whether Jack s view of the world is reliable There s a big reveal halfway through the book that Jack s early memories were incorrect, but what are we to make of the events we see through his eyes later in the book It doesn t help that Jack is an incredibly bland character, with few opinions and little internal life This is acknowledged in the course of the novel, but even such an acknowledgement doesn t make the book any easier to get through, as its main character is so uninteresting.Perhaps Irving s previous books had better editors I can think of no other reason why this one pales so miserably in comparison Somewhere in this 850 page, flabby mess of a book, I suspect, is a good if not great 350 page novel.

  4. says:

    Penis, penis, penis Jack chanted That about covers it pg.312 Seriously, this book has much to offer than penises, although, I have to admit, that penis is probably the one word that sticks out the most oh, and tattoo too.Can t blame any reader if they throw in the towel sometime in the first half The life and story of Jack Burns can get under your skin pretty fast From the books I read by John Irving this is probably the most lugubrious one It was my second reading and I realized what little I remembered of the plot from my first encounter, or remembered falsely Funny old thing memory This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  5. says:

    Help Some hack has kidnapped John Irving and is publishing novels under his name As so many, many have said I ve loved John Irving s work for years, but this book is a mess were there no editors Or and here s a scary thought is this actually the edited version Irving is getting up there in years he was 63 when Until I Find You was published , but one still wouldn t have imagined he d be capable of writing such a joyless, tic ridden, self indulgent, slightly icky minded shambles of a novel And not even early onset Alzheimer s could explain the endless repetition of catch phrases and character details I ll say it again were there no editors that become so freaking irritating you want to scream Why was Irving not embarrassed to write such clumsy attributions as Blah blah blah, Alice said, maybe As if that maybe was supposed to make us go all mushy inside because of his amateur, cloddish attempt to limn the transient nature of memory I mean, come on, John I didn t go to Exeter like you, but I managed to figure out a thing or two in life All of this is a shame, most of all Much of the press around the book seems to focus on its autobiographical nature and on Irving s effort to mine personal experiences, a strategy that has served him well in his previous novels but which falters miserably here This is the sort of book Irving should have written for therapy if he needed to and then burned it s nothing strangers needed to read I hope he s got books in him, but I pray to god that work like Until I Find You is out of his system for good.

  6. says:

    This is a case for me of a pure gut emotional reaction, and I m not ashamed to admit it.First of all, this book has totally sold me on John Irving I read A Prayer for Owen Meany , and had the hardest time getting into it I really liked about the last hundred pages, but getting there was a chore, to be quite honest.But this book, this book had me from the first line to the last And it is directly because of all of the personal parallels You have the musician I m a musician, a pianist actually you have the tattoo addiction 4 of my own at last count, the last one being a true test of iron will, but it is freakin SWEET The single boy and his single mother, father estrangement, the feeling of a rudderless life, everything.And at the end, when Jack has discovered certain key people of his life if you ve read, you know what I mean, if not, go read I was a puddle This was the polar opposite of my experience with Suttree That novel was a cold masterpiece that at the end had me feeling academic but cold This one chimed every emotional cord or chord in me.

  7. says:

    if you re not into john irving or if you ve never read him before, i wouldn t start with this one but if you re an irving lover, definitely go for it.no matter what the critics say, for me, irving can do no wrong reading his books actually take me out of my life i m running out of ones i haven t read maybe i ll have to start rrrrerrrreading.also, irving can always be counted on for good author photos.

  8. says:

    I have read 10 of John Irving s books his first 9, and this one Clearly, he does something that I keep going back for Maybe it s no coincidence that I also read all of Dickens novels in chronological order, back in my twenties The two are very different Dickens is much funnier, for instance but they have much in common It doesn t surprise me to read others mention of the links between them Of the scope, the sheer heft factor of their books, many complain I like it It s hard not to like a character, Jack Burns for one, when, after 800 pages, you feel you ve known him his whole life I think incomplete knowledge and hasty summation of others is at the root of human conflict I am a sucker for writers who are both essentially compassionate and unequivocally outraged by human cruelty, especially if they don t just wring their hands, but leap from their armchairs, sprint after the offenders, smash out their tail lights and put them on notice, a la T.S Garp Irving also is a tonic to me because I feel understood when an author writes frankly about sexuality I don t have to share a character s particular predilections to enjoy the reading, and I feel respected when things aren t whitewashed for my protection I concur that cruel sex isn t immoral because of the sex, but because of the cruelty I believe that any morality that s used for superiority, used to judge or condemn others, is really just tarted up cruelty For these reasons, Irving is right up my street.Both Irving and Dickens zero in on the invisible because conventionally unregarded strings that most of us are still dancing at the ends of, with the other ends tethered to our childhoods Most of us throw our hands up about our pasts, stamp history on the whole bundle, and close the door upon it If we re like sailing ships, our history is the wind, beyond our control, still pushing at us it takes skill and tenacity to steer the present, consciously, against this wind, and most of us don t have the grit for it Both Irving and Dickens have troubled to regard childhood, to steep themselves in it, and their writing about childhood rings with this truth as a result childhood is magical, yes, but Pan s Labyrinth magical than Pinocchio Blue Fairy magical it s magical because ordinary human actions can be transformed, distorted, elevated to myth, when perceived by a child A single instance of loss, of gratitude, of injustice, all parts of the passing parade of human experience as understood by adults, can become or as mysteriously not become lifelong, permanent, and defining for a child As a former child, present parent, and future feature of my childrens memories, it helps me to remember this, and reading these authors gets me there.As for Until I Find You, in particular Well, it s not Irving s tightest work, and Irving s tightest work is none too tight I have to conclude that he s serving a purpose other than spare, lean writing It has a different effect on the reader than saying, So Jack and his mom went to a succession of major Scandinavian cities, met assorted tattooers, and stayed in various hotels, to have to go through the somewhat circular experience, the full theme and variations, with Jack It pays off when he has to refactor his memories, because we have them too, and they were so many pages ago that they feel like our childhood memories In many respects, reading the book is like living life than like experiencing a finely crafted, precision engineered storytelling Mrs McQuat almost gets to serve as a needed counter weight, but dies too early Claudia s daughter comes and goes with Jack seeming to sleepwalk through both the experience and the ramifications the bat exhibit and The Wurtz I could make a long list of the dangling threads that just keep dangling Irving has no regard whatever for Chekhov s gun look up Chekhov s gun in Wikipedia , and I guess I don t either.

  9. says:

    I have read many many many John Irving books and this one is unequivocally my favorite It s also the John Irving book that seems to incite the most vitriol And I don t know why It s a simple story about a man, a man searching for his father, and searching for himself It s a road novel, back and forth and back and forth over Europe and America the mother and son characters move It s also about the history of tattoos and you get to learn all the nifty language and parlance and colloquialisms of a fasciating sub culture But most of all it is about how our memories decieve us, they lie to us And how our parents lie to us and decieve us And how when we re young, when you re innocent and green and wide eyed and naive you aren t aware of the wierdness that surrounds you That surrounds your parents You think it s normal This huge sprawling novel reminds me of one line from Alan Moore s Lost Girls. You see, there s the way things seem and the way things actually are, and one is so often the total reverse of the other

  10. says:

    It s better than a sore penis, Jack said From Until I Find You Well, maybe not John Irving s longest novel also takes the longest to become interesting if it ever does I bailed before getting close to page 820, all ambition sapped from me by this strangely uninvolving work that, by my limited reckoning, never would have been published if submitted by an unknown While containing familiar Irving elements don t they all , there is an utter lack of verve and momentum It s as though the work were ghosted by an Irving replacement like series Westerns or action detective novels that are A known author name here novel by fill in writer here I can see it Just throw in some prostitutes, child sexual abuse, talk about penises, have characters go back repeatedly to red light districts with lots of prostitutes, add some wrestling how are you on bears The early part of the novel contains Irving s typical scene setting and history Usually, his novels perk up at some point, and suddenly you realize you re in the tale, and it s smooth sailing from there A Son of the Circus a much better, and really underrated novel was like this about 100 pages of interesting yet not completely engrossing exposition, then you re suddenly off and running Not here.In the early part of the tale, 4 year old Jack Burns is taken by his mother hither and yon in search of his tattoo obsessed, church organ playing father, whom Jack had never met Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm Alice, a tattoo artist, visits whorehouse after whorehouse talking to prostitutes, visits church after church and listens to their organs talks to tattoo artist after tattoo artist, most with Tattoo in their names Almost nothing of interest happens in the book s first part Oh, there s a vintage Irving moment in which a housekeeper and young Jack put their bodies against each other, hold their breath and let their hearts beat together You must be alive You must be alive, too That s darling, and it s early after that, it s tough sledding Irving has Jack GIVING A MAN A TATTOO at 4 years old This isn t funny a 16 month old doing it might be or a 7 year old it s just dumb The only other real relief from traipsing around Europe pointlessly is a scene in which Jack is saved from the ice by a tiny soldier, who of course later has sex with Jack s mother not everything is tiny Preceding the novel itself is a blurb from William Maxwell s So Long, See You Tomorrow a much better novel this mention actually is what made me decide to give the book a read about memory, that it s a form of storytelling that goes on continuously in the mind and often changes with the telling This implies that what we see through 4 year old Jack s eyes isn t necessarily what happens Irving never develops this during the reading I did before tossing the book aside but the way he handles it, if that s what he s doing, is not even interesting Perhaps, later, much good happens and Irving rights this listing ship I ll never know But if a writer expects people to read an 820 page book, he simply MUST find a way to keep them interested in the first quarter of the novel I hate bailing on books, particularly those from authors I ve loved in the past, but I will if a writer does this to me If Irving were trying something completely different, I d be forgiving He s not It s like Rod Stewart going from a rocker who could do no wrong on his own and with the Faces from 1970 73 to completely losing it and later doing crappy show tunes except Irving is throwing in the same elements he always does, but without making them the slightest bit interesting Unlike Rod, he s not abandoning what he does best he s simply doing what he always does very badly and at excruciating length.I gave up on Until I Find You better title Until I Toss You in the Trash , picked up the new Tim Powers novel, started reading, and it felt as if I were awakening from a sleepwalk Enough I ve spent words on Irving s book than it deserves.

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