Title: In One Person
Author: John Irving
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition: audiobook and eGalley
Reader: John Benjamin Hickey
Setting: VT (mostly)
Date Completed: July/2012
Rating: 4/5Recommend: yes
First impressions of In One Person? It's definitely not a book for every reader. It's sexually explicit and deals with individuals of various sexual orientations, as well as the AIDS epidemic. However, if that doesn't bother you, it's an Irving novel that is well written and that held my interest.
The story for the most, as with other Irving novels, takes place in a fictional small New England town. The story begins as Billy Abbot, now approaching the age of 70, begins to reflect of his early sexual urges when he was about the age of 13, living in First Sister, Vermont. It was a time when he found himself attracted to Miss Frost, the town librarian, and more specifically he was fascinated by her small breasts. Miss Frost is pleasant and helpful to Billy, and he finds excuses to talk to her and visit often, but there is more to Miss Frost than meets the eye early on.
As Billy's grows older the reader sees how Billy had a way of always falling for the wrong person, and he is never quite satisfied with just one individual in his life. He is always searching for the person who can satisfy both his emotional and sexual needs. The story also covers quite a bit of ground regarding the 1980's AIDS epidemic. For Billy, it was a period in time that took the lives of many individuals Billy had crossed paths with in life.
Irving does a really good job, in my opinion, of covering the AIDS topic with dignity, but this part was powerful stuff and tough to read at times. What I liked most about this story is that it sent an important message, I felt, about not judging people before you really get to know them --at least that is what I took out of this.
The audio book was well done - read by John Benjamin Hickey, and although I had a few issues with the story itself, in the end, I was still glad that I read this one.