Author(s): John Irving
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County - to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto - pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River - John Irving's twelfth novel - depicts the recent half-century in the United States as 'a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course'. From the novel's taut opening sentence - 'The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long' - to its elegiac final chapter, Last Night in Twisted River is written with the historical authenticity and emotional authority of The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is also as violent and disturbing a story as John Irving's breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp. What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author's unmistakable voice - the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller. Near the end of this moving novel, John Irving writes: 'We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly - as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth - the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives'.
A major new novel by one of America's grestest writers.
'Irving's novels are not just page-turners. Time and again, he forces his readers to consider important social issues - war, rape, incest, the fragmentation of the family, feminism, the culture of celebrity - in a way reminiscent of Dickens Irving is peerless at presenting action, writing without a wasted second' Guardian 'The precision of Irving's voice, the raw urgency of his style, his sly interweaving of magic and mischief are all so resoundingly present, that one barely notices just how much they are there' Daily Express 'John Irving has been compared with Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger, but is arguably more inventive than either. Wry, laconic, he sketches his characters with an economy that springs from a feeling for words and mastery over his craft' The Times 'What [Irving] does better than anyone is create memorable characters. No-one is too incidental to warrant Irving's full attention. Every minor character is as well developed as a major one and detail is his trademark' Mirror
John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times, winning it in 1980 for The World According to Garp. In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. Last Night in Twisted River is his twelfth novel.