Feature

Novel of the week: Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving

The &ldquo;essential power&rdquo; of <em>Last Night in Twisted River</em> proves strong enough that Irving&rsquo;s excesses &ldquo;do not overwhelm it,&rdquo; said Floyd Skloot in<em> The Boston Globe.&l

(Random House, $28)

The final 450 pages of John Irving’s new novel may represent “the most disappointing wipeout of his career,” said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. A “superb story” comes first: In a 1950s logging town, a 12-year-old boy is being raised by his widowed father and his father’s foulmouthed best friend. But after a fatal accident, “as funny as it is tragic,” abruptly sends father and son on the run, we spend the next 50 years tracking the boy’s development into a John Irving–like novelist. The author of The World According to Garp shamelessly “loots his own canon” for eccentric touches, said Daniel Mallory in the Los Angeles Times. There’s a character missing a hand and even bear attacks. But Irving’s recycling act produces “a tale as introspective as it is retrospective.” His subject is how writers use art to tame life’s randomness, said Floyd Skloot in The Boston Globe. The “essential power” of this story proves strong enough that Irving’s excesses “do not overwhelm it.”

Recommended

Biden gets thumbs up from Macron
Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden.
welcome back

Biden gets thumbs up from Macron

China's U.K. embassy scoffs at G7
Angela Merkel, Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, Jan Hecker.
those days are over

China's U.K. embassy scoffs at G7

10 things you need to know today: June 12, 2021
G7 leaders.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 12, 2021

Biden has 'every intention' of discussing Alexei Navalny during meeting with Putin
Alexei Navalny.
Biden's trip abroad

Biden has 'every intention' of discussing Alexei Navalny during meeting with Putin

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bad for Democrats. Good for democracy?
A voter.
Picture of Joel MathisJoel Mathis

Bad for Democrats. Good for democracy?

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
royal drama

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name