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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
Beautifully written and populated with interesting well developed characters. The novel demonstrates so well how a large or small decision once made influences the rest of one's life and the life of those around you and how the future is tied to the past so that some things simply become inevitable.
Published 3 months ago by Genio

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my least favourite Irving novel, but I still enjoyed it
The novel began like a poem, a sad, true poem about the waning days of logging. It didn't continue with the same beauty, but it was a great tale of a camp cook and his son encountering tragedy and running from the possible consequences of an accident. The often over-the-top story line in Last Night was made almost believable because of Irving's amazing ability to bring...
Published on Nov. 7 2011 by Samantha


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my least favourite Irving novel, but I still enjoyed it, Nov. 7 2011
By 
Samantha "Critical Reader" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Last Night in Twisted River (Paperback)
The novel began like a poem, a sad, true poem about the waning days of logging. It didn't continue with the same beauty, but it was a great tale of a camp cook and his son encountering tragedy and running from the possible consequences of an accident. The often over-the-top story line in Last Night was made almost believable because of Irving's amazing ability to bring his characters to life. The four generation story of ordinary life back-dropped with melodrama was made especially interesting for me when I found out that some of it was somewhat auto-biographical. Also, the news (for me) that he writes from beginning to end (after writing the last sentence of the book first) without a rewrite explains a lot. There was some poorly integrated scenes and some ineffective repetition that an editor should have nixed. Because he spent very little time characterizing the last generation son, it seemed uneven. However, I am always eager to read the next sentence that John Irving writes. It is always an adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read., March 29 2014
By 
Genio (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Beautifully written and populated with interesting well developed characters. The novel demonstrates so well how a large or small decision once made influences the rest of one's life and the life of those around you and how the future is tied to the past so that some things simply become inevitable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars John Irving: Last Night in Twisted River, Feb. 19 2013
This review is from: Last Night in Twisted River (Paperback)
There used to be times when writers made their autobiographical novels happier and more satisfactory than their actual fate had been. Memories of good people and happy moments were supposed to compensate for their disappointments of life. Irving, on the contrary, says that he gave to his hero-writer the worst fate imaginable, a fate, which thankfully Irving himself didn't have.
An author, certainly, has the right to give any kind of life to his characters that he wants, but where, then, is any wisdom, catharsis or joy, which, supposedly, would attract the reader to the writer?
I didn't like reading this book. One would take it better if it were cleaner and clearer. I was irritated by Irving's calling his characters by their profession or by their age. E.g.(she)" believed Ketchum had loved the cook even more than the logger once loved Rosie." Would you guess that Ketchum and the logger is the same peson?
The ending is wrong. Considering that the book is full of tragedies(Danny - the writer, and every woman in it lost a child), it would be fitting if Danny had drawned in the snow storm when he went to meet Amy.
As it had not happened, one must believe that they lived happily ever after, hopefully enjoying the political development in their ex-country to the brim.
There are interesting recipes and cooking instuctions in this book.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste, Nov. 21 2009
By 
Gary R. Munn "PeaceLover" (Richmond, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I guess John Irving must be an acquired taste. He hasn't had really great reviews on some of his books since Garp. Personally, I love his books. His quirky characters are always memorable, and more are created here. I was especially glad to see a return of a bear, wrestling, and Exeter Academy!! I look for them in every book Irving writes. In my opinion, one of the Great American Authors!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but could have been so much better, Jan. 17 2010
By 
Andrea (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
John Irving's novels are in a class by themselves. There is no mistaking his stories for anyone else's and this is one of the reasons I've always loved them. Yes, Irving tells essentially the same story in each novel but I think his talent lies in being able to sell you that story every time. It can be comforting to read one of his novels and recognize the recurring elements as you go. Last Night in Twisted River, then, is the ultimate comfort read for Irving fans; it has nearly every one of his favourite 'Irvingisms' - I think Vienna and prostitutes are the only ones he left out.

This overabundance of recurring elements is, I believe, both the book's greatest asset and its greatest weakness. The first third felt like vintage Irving, bringing back memories of Owen Meany and The World According to Garp. The final third was nearly as good and the chapter called 'Lady Sky' was brilliant. It would almost work on its own as a short story and is, for me, the most memorable part of the novel.

The middle of the book is where things took a turn for the worse. The timeline became too confusing to keep straight and so many of those 'Irvingisms' showed up that it became almost eye-rollingly predictable. If you've read all of the classic Irving novels, it's difficult not to make those connections and see what's coming next.

Here's what bothered me most about this novel: in The World According to Garp, what I really loved were the original stories that Garp wrote. In Twisted River, Irving develops a very similar character in Daniel but rather than original work, the plots of Daniel's novels bear a remarkable resemblance to those of Irving's early novels (and are released in almost the same order). Also, *mild spoiler alert* the novel Daniel is working on for the last part of the book turns out to be this exact novel, Last Night in Twisted River, with repeated sentences and everything. This was somewhat disappointing knowing how much more original it could have been. *end spoiler*

All in all, if you are already an Irving fan, this mostly an enjoyable read ' just don't expect it to be up to the calibre of Garp or Owen Meany. And if you haven't read an Irving novel yet, don't start with this one.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twisted, for sure...., Dec 3 2009
By 
Judith B (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
I had a hard go with this book. John Irving and I have a "twisted" relationship, in that I love some books (Cider House Rules) and...others, not so much. What put me off from the get-go in this one was what I am calling "editing errors," where was the copy editor when major errors like a contusion the size of a baseball arising on a woman's head...after she was dead!? Or, the use of home clothes dryers in a cookhouse in the NH backwoods...in 1954? Not very likely. Or, no police investigation when a logger is drowned or an Indian woman "disappears." There might have been reasons for all of this--and Mr. Irving strives hard to give us reasons--but the overall effect is of causing us to lose interest or to get annoyed or to wish we hadn't paid full price for the book. Sadly, although Irving does quirky characters extraordinarily well, this book reads like a well-known author who isn't getting the editing he needs and deserves anymore, and it's showing up in the errors and inconsistencies in the text. What comes across then, instead of a seamless quirkiness that is pleasure to read, it reads more like "I have a kooky plot I want to use, now let's see if I can bend and twist the characters and events to fit my plot." When this works, it's brilliant. When it's a half-hearted affair, like Last Night in Twisted River, it's very disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Irving is the best!, Oct. 22 2010
By 
C. Leduc (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
John Irving is the best story teller of his generation. Last night in Twister River brings us back to his roots, to his beginning as a writer. Those who are initiated to Irving's writing will know what I mean. Even the bears are back...!

Irving is witty, funny, sensitive and intelligent. Last Night in Twisted River is delightful altough it takes a while to pick-up, but once it does you're in for an interesting and entertaining ride. You will fall in love with the characters and the depiction of their world.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A slow go, Aug. 5 2010
By 
Jilly the Reader (Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Night in Twisted River (Paperback)
After reading A Prayer for Owen Meany, which was dense but enjoyable, I figured I couldn't go wrong with another John Irving book. I was disappointed in Twisted River because it was quite a slow read. It is the kind of book that you can read 50 pages, then walk away from it for a month, and return and not even care that you don't recall what happened, because the events that occur in the story are somewhat repetitious - so you won't miss a beat. I like to finish a book once I've started it, but perhaps I gave Twisted River a bit too much of my time. Perhaps I'll read a John Irving in the future, but I'm hoping it will be more of a page turner.

On the positive side, the characters were interesting and you can't help but feel sympathy for them and their losses. The character of Ketchum is especially enjoyable. Not sure if I necessarily agree with Irving's assessment of Canadians political opinions, however - but it is fiction!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A SLOW READ, July 10 2010
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"Like a long slowly moving hearse, the maroon semiwoodie took the haul road out of the settlement. As they drove south-south-east, sometimes within sight of Twisted River, the dawn was fast approaching."

I was eager for this book, and planned to take in on my holidays earlier this year with me. The book is five hundred and fifty four pages, but that's okay because I like fat books which hold my attention.

The book centres around Dominic a cook who sets up his business in a Sawmill settlement accompanied by his young son Daniel, who one night kills the girlfriend of the constable thinking she was a bear. Afterwards the chase is on for they must leave immediately. They move from New Hampshire to Boston, Vermont, Toronto and then back to New Hampshire all the while opening restaurants as they flee.
The action and intrigue I looked for was not there to the magnitude that I expected. They were far too comfortable in their running away and the suspense was missing.

Otherwise, Mr. Irving painted some very interesting and colourful characters, and because of them I continued to read. SLOW-PACED
Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar - July 10th, 2010
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4.0 out of 5 stars classic John Irving, June 29 2010
This review is from: Last Night in Twisted River (Paperback)
I loved this book. I was lucky to hear John Irving read it aloud at word fest which added to the excitement of reading this. It was very much back to his old style and possibly for me his saddest story yet. I could not put it down and the whole time it was like being with an old friend.
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Last Night in Twisted River
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving (Paperback - June 15 2010)
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