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  • The World According to Garp

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Adam Sims
  • Length: 21 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A masterpiece from one of the great contemporary American writers.  

Anniversary edition with a new afterword from the author.  

A worldwide best seller since its publication, Irving's classic is filled with stories inside stories about the life and times of T. S. Garp, struggling writer and illegitimate son of Jenny Fields - an unlikely feminist heroine ahead of her time.  

Beautifully written, The World According to Garp is a powerfully compelling and compassionate coming-of-age novel that established John Irving as one of the most imaginative writers of his generation. 

©2020 John Irving (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A wonderful novel, full of energy and art, at once funny and heartbreaking...terrific." (Washington Post)

"A diamond sleeping in the dark, chipped out at last for our enrichment and delight...As approachable as it is brilliant." (Cosmopolitan)

What listeners say about The World According to Garp

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A classic narrated perfectly

Having read The World According to Garp many times over the years I was excited to listen to this recording. I was not disappointed. The narrator did a perfect job of presenting the characters. Highly recommend.

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  • Sue
  • 21-05-2020

one of my favourites of all time

i first read Garp as a teenager over 30 years ago. i loved it then and i love it now. A classic.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-04-2020

Audible version cuts 2 chapters

the book is great, but the in audible version 2 chapters are cut ( Walt catches cold and The world according to Marcus Aurelius) in the middle.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-2020

plot spoilers in forward

in case you dont know the story, huge plot killers in the introduction. so stars off for that.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fanshawe61
  • 22-08-2020

Maiming is the name of the game

Irving shouldn't need any introduction: he is obviously a masterful storyteller. Like Paul Auster, he isn't exactly a stylist, but for narrative drive and human observation he can go the rounds with almost any writer (O.K., maybe not Nabokov, Bowles, Mishima or Mary Gaitskill...). Adam Sims' reading is quite simply superb: he manages to modulate every character's dialogue or interior monologue with ever-so-subtle inflections without ever being arch, self-conscious, or irritating. (Would have to go a long way to beat Jeremy's Irons' reading of 'Lolita', but that's a very high bar). Should be noted that, previously, the ending of two chapters were lopped off, but Audible reacted and have restored the full intended unabridged version.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2021

Classic John Irving

I read this book years ago, now revisiting on audible. absolutely loved it, even more this time. The voice performance brought nuance I had missed the first time.

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  • Alcidae
  • 13-12-2020

Far too long

This book showed some promise at the start. Sounded like it would be reliably funny and original. May have had some originality in moderation but in it's great length got annoying, then tedious. The author had some moderate sympathy with 70s feminists but was under the misapprehension this gave him a deep insight into women and the female perspective which he clearly doesn't have. E.g. the 'Ellen James' movement in the book, which is an extreme parady on women's relationship with victimhood and is deeply annoying as it is not insightful, but merely shows the character Garp's own bias, and since his perspective seems to be never far from the writers, shows the writer's bias also.
It made have been made worse by the reader. Initially I did not mind him, but his sardonic tone soon sounded less worldly, and more fashionably cynical in a rather childish, petty way. The characters might have seemed fresher in a shorter book, but we're just clichés in this as they hardly seemed to evolve, despite the long period of their lives the book covered. All the women were headstrong and withering and the main female characters hardly varied from each other except in age. Roberta Muldoon is unfathomably loyal to the Garp males, despite the central character often treating her carelessly and insensitively. All the characters could have been investigated and understood in a deeper, more authentic, more curious way. There was too little between the writer and the main character, who we are supposed to believe is another highly talented writer. This story was too much of a writer's indulgence for this listener.

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  • Pocket
  • 21-08-2020

A novel that demands a response

Listened to the book in record time. An unusual but compelling read.. I've been building up to reading this book for years.. Now that I've taken the plunge a sense of having been cleaned has come over me. And a reminder of the sexual oppression and violence that millions of women still face today.

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  • f j Napier
  • 24-03-2020

John Irving novels are amongst my most favourite

it's been a long time since i read this book, and I enjoyed it as much 30 years on.
I loved Irving's foreward, especially listening again when id finished the novel.

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