Tuesday 12 April 2016

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

I love most things John Irving. Avenue of Mysteries is fairly typical Irving-fare. 

If you're new to this author, you can expect delightful descriptions of quirky characters, who do things that are unexpected. You will often smile, definitely gasp, and shake your head at least a few times. It's fun and entertaining.

Avenue of Mysteries does not disappoint on any of those aspects. Juan Diego is both a fourteen year old boy, growing up on a dump in Mexico and an older man, taking a trip to the Phillipines. His memories collide with his current journey, and we discover what has made him what he is - his mind-reading, but un-understandable sister, the devout catholics around him who influence him, and of course the prostitutes, drug dealers, circus performers and a doctor and some professors and writers who are one and all part-fascinating, a little weird, and definitely lovable.

I enjoyed most of this book. However, towards the end, I found myself skimming to finish it, and it was a bit of a let-down. An interesting portrait of dreams and reality, truth and mystery, judgement and mercy, memories and experiences remains in my mind, and I'm not sorry I read it.

3 stars

ISBN: 9781451664164

You may also enjoy: Some Luck by Jane Smiley or A spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler or Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr.

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