Following the scannot
success of Bears, Irving wrote The Water Method Man in 1972, the story of a perpetual graduate student who can't seem to take anything to completion. Although it was criticized for lack of depth and character development, it incorporates an interesting shifting narrative and alternating time periods, which makes the book seem less traditional. Like Bears, both books contain mild autobiographical information. Fred- the implied narrator of the book- attended Exeter, studied in Vienna, and has a wrestling background.
In 1978, he published The World According to Garp, which was instantly a success and made Irving a literary hero overnight. It is the story of "TS Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields, a feminist leader ahead of her times. Theirs is a world of sexual extremes and even sexual assassinations. Yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and... [continues]
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