I’m just going to put this out there: John Irving is a total boss. Not every novel is a home run, but as a body of work, he’s definitely batting, like, .750 lifetime. That’s way beyond Hall of Fame level. So I just want to be clear that I am not judging him harshly for, shall we say, his tendency to repeat himself. I actually find it kind of soothing.
And it is precisely because I love John Irving’s books and have read them all, that I am qualified to discern whether you, dear reader, might be in a John Irving novel. Here are ten signs:
- Your name is John*
- You live in New England or Canada
- You attend an all-boys boarding school
- You are on the wrestling team
- You have daddy issues
- You are a writer
- You have been seduced by an older woman
- You are missing a body part
- You are traveling in Austria
- You are a bear
*Irving’s new novel, Avenue of Mysteries, publishes on November 3, 2015. The main character is named Juan.