Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Joint Book 1.16: The World According to Garp

Dear Jenny,

Earlier this year, as we were bemoaning a few WMFuNs we had read, we got to talking about The World According to Garp and that it's a WMFuN but that we remember loving it so much. And we wondered if it would hold up for us, since we both read it when we were younger (you said it was high school for you, I read it the summer after my freshman year of college. So... 18 and under.)

So we decided to re-read it together this year as one of our joint reads and see if, in fact, it has held up.

Here's our reading/discussion schedule:
  • Jan 10: Chapters 1-3
  • Jan 19: Ch 4-10
  • Jan 31: Ch 11-19 (remainder of the book)
When I first read this book, I remember finishing it and thinking, "That was one of the best books I have every read." Instant favorite! Other than this one, I have had this experience with One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Great Gatsby. And, when I was very young, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. All of these books remain favorites for me today.

My copy (pictured here) is pretty cool -- it's a little 20 year anniversary hardcover published by The Modern Library in 1998. It's a fun "chubby" size -- the cover is not much bigger than a trade paperback, but the book itself is thick. And that photo on the front is a young John Irving with his "GARP" license plate. Ha! I spotted it about 10 years about ago at Powell's and snatched it up cause I thought it was cool. For the most part, I'm not a book "collector" but if I see a cool version of a favorite, I'm grabbing it.

While preparing for our read-along, I also looked for this book on Kindle (easier to transport and read on the go) but it's... not... available... on... Kindle. What?! Feels like a very long time since I last experienced that roadblock -- and it's especially odd when many other Irving books are available.

I also looked into the aBook but it has the absolute worst narrator! Seriously -- some terrible super-flat monotone. Ugh!

Sooo... it looks like I'm hauling my chubby little hardbound copy around with me this month. Oh well. At least it's for a book I love.



  1. My only comment on the schedule is that I'm not around on the 23rd, can we talk the evening of the 25th?

    I have been loving it so far. I've finished this week's reading to clear the decks for...the tournament of books! Whee!

  2. I'll be in CA that week, so scheduling evening talk is a challenge with the time difference and commitments.

    I'm traveling on the 24th, which is why I moved it up, but I just realized my flight is not until the afternoon. Early-ish in the AM on the 24th work for you?

  3. I'm out of town visiting my Dad the 22nd-25th, so I don't think I'll be able to talk at all. Hmm. We can do whatever we want, so maybe we just skip that weekend and push into February? Or discuss the whole second half of the 31st?

  4. Oh crud -- I thought we were pushing *this* weekend to Monday because of FL. Sorry about that -- I didn't take good notes.

    So... are you available this Sunday then? If so, let's do it then!

    And then... yeah -- let's just do the last half of the book on the 31st. You know we're going to burn through it. (It's holding up! It's TOTALLY holding up! I <3 John Irving, WMFuN and all.)

  5. Yes, I can do this Sunday. That's fine! I am loving it. Totally happy about this reread!