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3.3 out of 5 stars
Last Night in Twisted River
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on April 4, 2015
great book and service
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on December 12, 2014
This was not as good as I was anticipating - liked his earlier works much better.
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on November 24, 2014
One of John Irving's best novels. Wonderful characters that you never want to say goodbye to. Impeccable research on time, place and in particular Irving manages to convey the minutiae of our characters daily lives. Their jobs, their relationships, all are exquisitely presented.

If you liked A Prayer for Owen Meany, (still my personal fave) or The Cider House Rules, you will love this beautiful story.
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on March 29, 2014
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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on February 19, 2013
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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on October 22, 2010
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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on August 5, 2010
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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on July 10, 2010
"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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on June 29, 2010
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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