10 Signs You Might Be In A John Irving Novel

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:

  1. Your name is John*
  2. You live in New England or Canada
  3. You attend an all-boys boarding school
  4. You are on the wrestling team
  5. You have daddy issues
  6. You are a writer
  7. You have been seduced by an older woman
  8. You are missing a body part
  9. You are traveling in Austria
  10. You are a bear


*Irving’s new novel, Avenue of Mysteries, publishes on November 3, 2015. The main character is named Juan.

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