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 haven't read John Irving before, 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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