A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of the novel, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a "sexual suspect," a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of "terminal cases", The World According to Garp.
His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving's In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy's friends and lovers, a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself "worthwhile".
©2012 John Irving (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
A very well narrated (apart from the German) but sadly mediocre story. Not one of Irving's better works. It rambles on and on without any apparent purpose accept to say that LGBTs (and Qs!) should be accepted in society. Hardly a novel observation. Ok, I'll be fair, I wasn't aware of the addition of the Q category. It seems like he was scraping the bottom of the barrel and found some scraps that didn't make it into Owen Meaney (for good reasons) and pasted them together. Either that or he found it necessary to indulge inand publicise his personal sexual fantasies. I can't imagine why audible have this in their catalogue instead of Garp, Cider House, or really any of Irving's other novels (which I really wish would be in the catalogue). Must have been going cheap. If you're new to Irving, don't start here! Get Owen Meany or Son of the Circus which are both great.
John Irving always seems to float around certain themes and images: in this book, he gives us a full, believable, insightful story about the long term development of non-conformist lifestyles, struggles to find identities, and the support and barriers encountered along the way. Fun, too, easy to read, and tightly written.
A prayer for Owen Meany has been in my top 5 for many years so I was instantly drawn to this latest book by one of my favourite authors and I was not disappointed. Once again he explores our ideas of gender, sexuality and family relationships with a cast of characters that are rounded and real. The book covers decades and, as in real life, not all the ends tie up a nicely as you might hope and with other authors would have turned into a Hollywood style ending that never happens in reality. Thoroughly recommend it.
If I could sum up In One Person in three words I would say - Top Three Irving.
I cried through a lot of this book
Very Droll. Not at all what I was expecting. It just went on and on about a boy's fantasies about men. (could have changed later but I just couldn't bare to listen to the second part). Nothing romantic or unusual. Very boring!
"Irving at his best!"
John Irving has returned to his earlier form with his favourite themes. Reminiscent of Garp and Hotel New Hampshire there are complex characters, wrestling, sexual ambiguity and wretched mothers. If you like Irving's earlier work and aren't concerned about profanity you'll love it.
"John Irving - Tormentor"
I have text recognition issues so yes, the audiobook is better for me.
He's a great reader and characterises really well. He's a great actor too.
Irving manages always to skirt sentimentality (for me, anyway) yet draws sentiment in the most matter-of-fact way when announcing the premature deaths. Without wishing to spoil this story for those who've not read it, (self) deceit and death feature and the reader not spared.
I started to listen to this book when I bought it over a year ago. I really didn't like it. Listened for about 20 minutes. When I started it again a few days ago, it consumed me. I hugely enjoy Irving as a writer and story teller. I rate this among his best.
"Irving has lost his magic"
Irving's earlier books drew one into a surreal reality that was simultaneously wickedly funny and disquietingly wise - Garp, Cider House Rules, Hotel New Hampshire come to mind, and Owen Meany, and Son of the Circus. In fact, all of them, the earlier ones.
Somewhere between then and now he seems to have lost that magical edge. "Last Night in Snowy River" was a little better than "Until I find you", but this last offering is probably the last I'll read. Which is seriously sad.
Wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
He should stop trying to be controversial and just tell us a story.
JBH is a great reader. His pace, inflections and voices always work. If it wasn't for his reading I wouldn't have finished the book.
Not a chance!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.