In One Person

In One Person

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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The author's most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, this novel is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself "worthwhile."
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781451664133
1451664133
9781451664126
1451664125
Branch Call Number: FICTION Irving John 05/2012
Characteristics: 425 p. ;,25 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Aug 16, 2016

I can't decide whether Irving is the most popular of literary writers or the most literary of popular novels. I've been working my way through his considerable body of work and have yet to find a book of his that isn't worthwhile. Yet for all his success (He's also won an Oscar.), I feel he's not taken as seriously as some more "literary" authors. Maybe he encourages this, as he cites the unfashionable Dickens as one of his favorite writers and has never been associated with any trendy movement. His 13th novel may be his most ambitious and impressive yet. It takes as its theme sexuality, in particular the blurring of gender lines and sexuality fluidity. In a less skillful, less nuanced author's hands, this could be heavy-handed or overly political. It is political, but Irving has never been a message writer and so the issues he's dealing with are rooted in his characters. It has some similarities with "Middlesex," but I think Irving's book is more successful. It is impressive that an elderly New Englander can write so empathetically about characters of different sexual stripes. A great novel for our time and far better and more daring than any of his much younger competitors (All the New York Jonathans).

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Merryfeather
Nov 11, 2014

This might be the best Irving I have read yet. He takes on transsexuality and does a wonderful job of it. As with all of his novels that I have read, his regard for sexuality of all kinds is frank and honest.

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mymaewest
Sep 15, 2013

Fabulous book!

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archiedog1
Sep 09, 2013

An interesting read to say the least. I found myself drawn into the story the more I read. Your attachment to the main character evolves as the story does. Definitely the kind of book that you either love or hate.

rooneylcb May 15, 2013

I read this as a book club choice. If I hadn't had to read it I would have given up after the first few chapters. Very hard to follow as his stories switch from one era to another within the same paragraphs. Also found the ending very dissapointing. If I was asked what the plot of the story was, I would have to say, not sure. If this had been an autobiography I wouldn't have expected a plot but it wasn't. By the way, this was the general opinion of the 8 other members of our book club.

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esk1033
Apr 13, 2013

I just finished reading IN ONE PERSON.
I find Irving`s characters quirky and interesting. His characters intertwine with great detail and colour. I loved Billy`s relationship with Elaine. They were on a plain most people can`t or refuse to achieve. I just wanted Kitteridge in their relationship shown more. Loved this book!!

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Lauren31
Mar 12, 2013

What can you say about any of John Irving's books? A master story-teller, and In One Person is no exception. It reads like a memoir, even though you know it's not. The storylines had me in tears more than once, for the complex relationships and the what-ifs. My one (small) disappointment is that I found the storylines wrapped up a little to easily at the end - everything works out and you're not left wondering.

brianreynolds Feb 26, 2013

John Irving's <i>In One Person</i> reads more like a fictionalized memoire than a novel, more like a fictionalized plea for the understanding and tolerance of LGBT individuals than a story. The protagonist (with a G father and cross-dressing maternal grandfather) grows up B in the 50's and 60's and frankly exhibits an amazing lack of self-doubt and angst, suffers a surprising minimum of violence or humiliation, encounters an incredible network of others with gender conflicts, and enjoys a most fortunate economic and social standing in his small New England community. Perhaps the greatest joy in this work is the reappearance of Roberta Muldoon from <i>The World According to Garp<i/> reincarnated here as Miss Frost. That cameo and its unfortunately brief story line did hold my interest and to some extent made this book worth wading through.

jdaigle3 Jan 29, 2013

I picked this book up on the basis of it being fairly new and having seen it in many peoples hands. That said, it was nothing like what I expected. It seemed quite a circular book. It felt like it was the author making up a story about how he got to the point that he was writing this book. Still, I could not seem to put in down because there was always something happening and I had to see how it worked out only then something else would happen.

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lgold08540
Jan 06, 2013

i agree; i really tried to get into this book but it was too slow; predictable plot.

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