Saturday, March 31, 2012

John Irving "Encourages" Aspiring Novelists

My warped sense of humor causes me to find this John Irving piece kind of amusing.  I know (or, I hope) that Irving was trying to encourage aspiring first-time novelists to keep at it, but if I were one of those, this would probably scare the crap out of me.  This is nothing against Irving, by the way, because I generally admire the man's writing and he has written at least two novels that I consider to be among my all-time favorites.


  1. Sam -- I have seen this clip before, but watched it again here, and I concur [with you]. It certainly is not encouraging, especially when Irving is shooting himself if he were a novice writer today! And yet, the whole import of what he is saying is - exactly as he put it - "telling".
    The stakes are higher nowadays -- you've got to be not only good, but really good, to make it in the business. To break in, as it were.
    [I was going to say that it's pretty much the same with the music business, but then I realized that rap music exists!]
    I a quite a fan of Irving -- and I'm wondering which are the two favorites of yours.
    For me it would be Prayer For Owen Meany and A Widow For One Year -- although I also really liked The Hotel New Hampshire.

  2. Cip, for me it's Owen Meaney and Cider House Rules, although Widow is one I did enjoy very much, too. Been trying to get my hands on an ARC of his new one, but no luck so far.

  3. I've never seen this clip - greatly enjoyed it, but am glad I'm not an aspiring author!

    Prayer for Owen Meany, for sure - and then...too many to choose just one. ;-)

  4. Sort of makes you want to pick up your pen and start that novel, doesn't it, Debbie?

  5. A Prayer for Owen Meany remains one of the most brilliant books I've ever read.

    I love his characters

  6. I'm giving away 25 copies of Owen Meaney on World Book Night, Michelle, to some of the folks at the senior living facility my dad lives in. That's April 23 and I'm looking forward to spreading the word about this great novel.