Avenue of Mysteries - Read Online

John Irving - Avenue of Mysteries epub book

John Irving – Avenue of Mysteries epub book

John Irving - Avenue of Mysteries epub book

John Irving – Avenue of Mysteries epub book

Avenue of Mysteries

Author : John Irving
Publisher : Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition
Release : November 3, 2015
Genre : Literature & Fiction

Book Review

John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of our most admired and beloved authors in this absorbing novel of fate and memory.

In Avenue of Mysteries, Juan Diego—a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and grew up in Mexico—has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what’s coming—specifically, her own future and her brother’s. Lupe is a mind reader; she doesn’t know what everyone is thinking, but she knows what most people are thinking. Regarding what has happened, as opposed to what will,Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you.

Lupe doesn’t know the future as accurately. But consider what a terrible burden it is, if you believe you know the future—especially your own future, or, even worse, the future of someone you love. What might a thirteen-year-old girl be driven to do, if she thought she could change the future?

As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. As we grow older—most of all, in what we remember and what we dream—we live in the past. Sometimes, we live more vividly in the past than in the present.

Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past—in Mexico—collides with his future.

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2015: Juan Diego got his start in a Oaxacan dump, where he and his sister were self-described “dump kids.” Their mother Esperanza was a prostitute/cleaning woman, and inAvenue of Mysteries we revisit Esperanza, a pair of Jesuits who affected Juan Diego’s life, various circus members, Juan Diego, his sister, and others in a series of flashbacks. Having salvaged books in English and Spanish from the dump, Juan Diego taught himself to read and, ultimately, to write—he becomes a successful author, who eventually winds up in Iowa. Now in his fifties, he takes a trip to the Philippines, where he encounters a mother and her daughter, both of them fans, who insist on taking him around. If you’re a John Irving fan, some of the details to the story will sound familiar. It’s also likely you won’t have a problem with that. What I found most satisfying about Irving’s latest novel was a return of the feelings I remember from back when I first discovered his writing. This is an immersive read that delivers character, humor, and emotion. – Chris Schluep


“An empathically imagined, masterfully told, and utterly transporting tale of transcendent sacrifice and perseverance, unlikely love, and profound mysteries.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A richly detailed, imaginative and beautiful novel, with a series of events that seem equally bizarre and resoundingly universal…. It is a complex and many-layered novel that covers a lot of intellectual, moral and emotional ground, but in the end, it is the simplest, saddest and most wonderful tale of the human condition. It is about what we all fear: finding people to love, and then losing them, too.” (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“In its early pages especially, Avenue of Mysteries is laugh-out-loud funny…. Yet as funny as the new novel often is, Irving’s reconsideration of earlier themes seems more somber here. The novel explores questions of belief and disillusionment, chance and choice, the mundane and the miraculous. Avenue of Mysteries is a provocative and perplexing novel.” (Bookpage)

“Irving has always been a consummately convincing realist, in matters both great and small…. While writers of later generations seldom come close to achieving Irving’s levels of verisimilitude, his realism is transmogrified by his general whimsicality and by his attraction to baroque extrapolations of the absurd. This sort of ambition… is part of what makes Irving such a prodigious entertainer…. This novel is not autobiographical, but it does present an aging artist with a sacred wound, tremendous desire, and an endless appetite for wonder.” (The Boston Globe)

“Juan Diego’s memories of adolescence around 1970 in Oaxaca compose some of the most charming scenes that Irving has ever written. He’s still an unparalleled choreographer of outrageous calamities that exist somewhere between coincidence and fate…. Those conflicting currents of spirituality flowing through “Avenue of Mysteries” add to Irving’s rich exploration of faith in several earlier novels.” (Washington Post)

“This sprawling, imaginative tale about a writer whose life’s journey has all the qualities of a modern Dickens novel is vintage Irving.” (AARP Magazine)

“Like all of Irving’s novels, Avenue of Mysteries is about awakening — to the past, to hidden emotions, and to the truth and weight of trauma and childhood. Only this time, the narrative is dreamier and more ruminative.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“The character is a captivating original; his tale includes humor, pathos, and acute observations. Once again, Irving charms by blending the fantastical with what is deeply, affectingly real.” (People)

“A wild and rollicking ride… Irving plays delightful havoc with this colorful collection of humanity, beguiling us from start to finish.” (Seattle Times)

“Have had a hard time putting down Avenue of Mysteries. A new John Irving novel is always like an unexpected gift.” (Bookreporter.com)

“The novel is a remarkable feat… as Irving ignores the constraints of conventional fiction and tosses all of his ideas into his novelist’s blender and turns it on high.” (Dallas Morning News)

“Irving proves his prose still packs a punch in Avenue of Mysteries.… It’s good to see that this popular and insightful literary magician still has a few tricks up his sleeve.” (Portland Press Herald)

“Once again, Irving’s lyrical writing grabs readers from the first page.” (Library Journal)

“Irving works his familiar themes—Catholicism, sex, death—with a light and assured touch…. A welcome return to form.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Delivers [Irving’s] typical blend of humor and tragedy” (Houston Chronicle)

“The novel’s tone moves easily from drama to comedy to tragedy, the perfect mix for a film adaptation someday. Casting will probably take time — these characters are so unique. Until then, lose yourself in this tale from one of America’s pre-eminent storytellers.” (Associated Press)

Avenue of Mysteries is full of Irvingisms — the transvestite, the circus, the orphanage, the character who can’t speak, the car accident, the missing father, the weird Christianity. These elements are part of the fun for fans: hearing the familiar rhythm, finding the trademark components fit together in a novel way.” (Newsday)

“A vivid writer about sex.” (The New York Times)

“The outsize characters on the two vast alternating canvases Irving paints are more varied than the acts in a circus caravan.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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