Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In One Person; John Irving

Title: In One Person 
Author:  John Irving 
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition:  audiobook and eGalley
Reader: John Benjamin Hickey
Source: publisher
Setting: VT (mostly)
Date Completed: July/2012
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: 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.


  1. I'm excited about this book! It sounds like one I'll enjoy!

  2. I haven't heard about this, but it sounds like one I'd like to listen to.

  3. Well I've actually yet to read an Irving novel so I suppose I should really give this one a try. I won't shy away from the subject matter (I don't think).

  4. Irving always does such a great job of tackling tough subjects wrapped in interesting stories.

  5. I have a galley of this one and have been rather surprised how little press it has received. I'm intrigued by the premise and do hope to make time for it this summer.

  6. I was all excited about buying this one. I bought it. And then I forgot I had it!

    So I went and dug it out from the pile and hope to read it before summer ends.

  7. I almost always enjoy Irving (notable exception Until I Find You, which I couldn't finish). Still have Last Night at Twisted River on my to read shelf, but this one on my wish list.

  8. I think the cover kind of gives you a clue that it is a little racy … but that doesn't bother me.

  9. i recently just read my first john irving novel (a prayer to owen meany) and i absolutely loved it! i was wondering what book to try next and i saw this review. i'm definitely adding it to my wishlist. i always like books that are a little different and go against the grain a bit.

  10. I haven't read Irving in ages but this one might lure me back!

  11. Thank you for this review. Irving is one of my favorite authors and I have really wondered what this one would be like. I requested a review copy of it but have not received it yet.

  12. Looks good. I have a hit or miss realtionship with Irving.

  13. Your review hit the nail on the head. Some of this book was hard to read. It hurt. It made me walk in another pair of human shoes...


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