The So Far Review: The World According To Garp

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Once in a while, Chicago Subtext will barge in and interrupt mid-page to ask Chicagoans about their current read. Meet Jocelyn Geboy, office manager and writer, spotted in Lincoln Square with a book in hand. This friendly Chicagoan took to the idea quite well and, as luck might have it, the timing was impeccable.

**What are you reading?**
The World According to Garp by John Irving

**Based on your bookmark, what just occurred in the story?**
Garp just caught his wife cheating on him. He's racing into the driveway and causes a car accident. He hits the car where she and her lover are, and everyone in the family ends up in a mass accident, loosing body parts and disfigured and really in trouble. It's bad. The wife ends up-- Is this okay to say?-- uh, the wife ends up biting her student's penis off as a result of this accident. Because of this, she quits her tenured job at the college [at which she teaches]. They leave their home and are residing with Garp's mother who is this feminist icon and has a huge home at the beach which is a safe haven for all sorts of women and so they're there and repairing their family life and marriage and bodies. They're recuperating from their injuries and also, it was at this point in the book that I realized their son, Walt, was dead.

**What do you think so far?**
I knew going into this two things: (a) I loved A Prayer for Owen Meaney and (b) This was a movie, and Robin Williams was in it, so I thought there would be some humor. This is heart-wrenching and heart-breaking. At this point, I have well over one hundred pages to go and I can't imagine what else can happen to these people. I'm in it to win it, but it's disturbing. Maybe disturbing to "the good", you know?

**Why did you select this book?**
I got it from the library because it's John Irving and I've read his stuff before and this is one I've always meant to read. It's always looked interesting to me.

**What did you read before this?**
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd.

**What, do you suppose, you'll be reading next?**
There's a whole pile from the library; Slaughterhouse-Five is next. Who doesn't love Vonnegut?

Filed under: so far review series

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