A Prayer for Owen Meany

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There are three things about Owen Meany that are unusual. The first is that even when he reaches adulthood he is under five feet tall. The second is his damaged voicebox, trapped in a permanent scream that alternately amuses and scares those around him. The third? He calls himself THE INSTRUMENT FROM GOD, and he might be right.

Written by John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) is best described as intentional Glurge with an undercurrent of despairing Post Modernism. Critical reception has generally been positive, as has its reception by high school English teachers.

In 1998 it was turned into a film called Simon Birch which omitted most of the second half of the novel, changed most of the characters' names and backstories, and changed the ending; it is for all practical purposes a completely different work.


Tropes used in A Prayer for Owen Meany include: