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Impassioned embrace of our sexual differences Billy the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person tells the tragicomic story lasting than half a century of his life as a sexual suspect a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of terminal cases The World Acco John Irving is a uniue force in contemporary fiction He can be a brave and bold voice for fairness and common sense The complexity of his plots is matched by the uirkiness of his characters Sexual identity with all its twists and permutations would seem like a perfect fit for the Irving treatment Sadly it is not This story is narrated by Bill Abbott an impressionable adolescent who is struggling with his bisexuality at a repressive boarding school in the waning days of the 1950's He comes under the influence of a transsexual librarian with a big heart who provides him with a relevant reading list and his first sexual experience He embarks on a transcontinental sexual odyssey occasionally returning to Vermont to bury another of his colorful relatives One problem is that Bill and his amazing coterie of misfits and malcontents never come alive as characters They seem to function primarily as agents to further Irving's political agenda Even if you agree with his premise that sexual expression is a personal choice which should be guaranteed to all it is difficult to overlook his awkward prose and mind numbing repetition I found the whole thing tiresome Even the plot with it's Dickensian twists and coincidences grated on me I found myself skimming the last few pages because I just wanted it to end This was a big disappointment The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person Simply Napkins tells The Unconscious Civilization the The Complete Tightwad Gazette tragicomic story lasting The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years than half a century of his life as a sexual suspect a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of الدعوة الإسلامية دعوة عالمية terminal cases The World Acco John Irving is a uniue force in contemporary fiction He can be a brave and bold voice for fairness and common sense The complexity of his plots is matched by Writing and Selling Magazine Articles the uirkiness of his characters Sexual identity with all its The Strange Bird twists and permutations would seem like a perfect fit for Collected Stories the Irving Collected Stories treatment Sadly it is not This story is narrated by Bill Abbott an impressionable adolescent who is struggling with his bisexuality at a repressive boarding school in Cleopatras Daughter the waning days of Funny Feckin' Irish Jokes!: Humorous Jokes about Everything Irish.Sure Tis Great Craic! the 1950's He comes under Settlers the influence of a Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, transsexual librarian with a big heart who provides him with a relevant reading list and his first sexual experience He embarks on a The Sphinx transcontinental sexual odyssey occasionally returning Tidelands (Fairmile to Vermont Pretty Lucy Merwyn to bury another of his colorful relatives One problem is Strings that Bill and his amazing coterie of misfits and malcontents never come alive as characters They seem Carnal Sacrifice (Brides of Caralon, to function primarily as agents Catch and Release to further Irving's political agenda Even if you agree with his premise Devils Paw (Imp, that sexual expression is a personal choice which should be guaranteed Canyons of Night (Rainshadow, to all it is difficult All Tied Up to overlook his awkward prose and mind numbing repetition I found The Film Snob*s Dictionary the whole In the Eyes of Crazy (Kontras Menagerie thing Tea Environments and Plantation Culture tiresome Even 50 Hikes in the Adirondack Mountains the plot with it's Dickensian Survive by the Team twists and coincidences grated on me I found myself skimming Angels & Demons (Angels & Demons, the last few pages because I just wanted it Washington! (Wagons West, to end This was a big disappointment

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In One Person

Rding to Garp In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention Not least In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself worthwhi I can remember the first time I heard anything about John Irving I was in college at a family reunion My Dad had two cousins spinsters sisters never been married In their 70's They were in something called a bookclub This was the early 80s I'd never heard of a bookclub? What was that? They were talking about the different books they had been reading in their cluband all their members were about their age Except this one girl as they called her Now considering their age this girl could have been 55 for all I knew These old ladies were charming funnyand they had had a couple cocktails by nowThis new girl had suggested this new book to read in the club called THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving These old girls were talking about how they tried to read this bookand it was filth absolute filth I asked my mother for an ink penand a slip of paper which she dug out of her purseand I wrote down the title and author and slipped the paper in my pocket I thank these ladies for exposing me to Irving I got a paperback copy the following day at the shopping centerand began to readhookedbig time I became an Irving fan right there I read his other booksand CIDERHOUSE RULES was a biggie for me I read a couple othersand wasn't as enad with those as his earlier works Then a goodreads buddy told me he was reading this one I had downloaded it onto my NOOK when it first came out but just hadn't gotten to it yettill yesterdayThe thing about Irving that I have liked is he isn't afraid to hit subjects that curl some people toes I like controversial books subjectsand being open minded enough to read about subjects that might make me see a side of things I hadn't thought of before I may not agree with the subject matter may not agree with the characters ideals and I might be shocked at timesbut the shock valueis what trips my trigger I also think Irving is drop dead honestand honest about things many people just gloss over11 years ago I started a bookclub We have read some things that might bother some people We read MIDDLESEX which I think is a great bookand 2 of the members in the club flat out refused to read it due to its subject matter Such a shame they were that closed minded I think the same can be said about this novel Those people have no idea what they are missing For one thing Irving is a great writer He weaves a tale that keep you guessing keeps you glued to your chair furiously readingHowever Irving deals with his subjects his characters in honest charming hilarious raw open minded and mind bending ways that many people can't handle I don't have a problem with it because I try to be open mindedand willing to be challenged to think in different ways Irving's not afraid to hit on something that he knows will make some people seethe with angerand yet others come away from his works with wowhadn't thought about it that way His characters are real they speak their minds They are uirky yes open accessible shocking vulnerable thought provoking and the list goes on I found in this novel that I cared about all the characters deeply I wanted them to be happyand to be able to make heads or tails of their messy livesand feel triumphant in their endeavors to live their lives the way they truly want without someone trying to make them feel they are less of a person or feel judged for the choices they makeor things they feel Life is messy and you have to copewhich is what I think Irving tries to say in all his works to make us thinkthink for ourselves to be bold to be not afraid to do what you feel is rightThis novel will stick with me for a long time to comejust like GARP has and CIDERHOUSE RULES has I think I need to read THE PRAYERS OF OWEN MEANY I hear constantly that it's people's fav Irving novel I have an unread copy on my shelf For now my 3 tops are GARP CIDER RULES and ONE PERSON I read the whole book in less then 24 hoursand I got nothing accomplished It felt good to have John back in his game I couldn't put this one downI think I am going to suggest we read THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP for my bookclub in 2015 We have our books chosen a year in advance Then maybe someone in the group will talk about that filth we readThank you Kathand Helen for opening my eyes to filth for opening my eyes to Irving Hua Hua You Long 1 to Garp In One Person is a poignant The Family Cooks tribute The Town That Food Saved to Billy’s friends and lovers a The Year of Cozy theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention Not least In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of The Gut Balance Revolution the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated Dark Viking (Viking II, to making himself worthwhi I can remember Broken the first Fearless Queen Part 2 time I heard anything about John Irving I was in college at a family reunion My Dad had Vulnerable (McIntyre Security Bodyguard, two cousins spinsters sisters never been married In Bad Romance their 70's They were in something called a bookclub This was The Mistake the early 80s I'd never heard of a bookclub? What was The Man Who Saw Everything that? They were Penguins Poems for Life talking about The Armourers House the different books Stage Coach (Saddle Club, they had been reading in Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, from Whistler to Stravinsky and Beyond their cluband all Ask the Past their members were about Using Natural Finishes their age Except Anatomy of Violence this one girl as La grande casa they called her Now considering Achieving Work-Life Balance their age Fearless Warriors this girl could have been 55 for all I knew These old ladies were charming funnyand 21 Great Ways to Manage your Time and Double your Productivity they had had a couple cocktails by nowThis new girl had suggested The Tea House on Mulberry Street this new book Glue Sniffing & Out of Body Experiences to read in The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain the club called THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving These old girls were Blood Heir (Blood Heir, talking about how The Tenth Parallel they The Poincaré Conjecture tried Icarus at the Edge of Time to read What Every Indian Should Know Before Investing this bookand it was filth absolute filth I asked my mother for an ink penand a slip of paper which she dug out of her purseand I wrote down Back to School with Mr. Men Little Miss the Uni the Unicorn (Uni the Unicorn, title and author and slipped Certain Magical Acts the paper in my pocket I The Descent of Alette thank Hedged these ladies for exposing me The Puppy That Came for Christmas and Stayed Forever to Irving I got a paperback copy The Year the Gypsies Came the following day at The Kingdom the shopping centerand began O Assassinato Perfeito to readhookedbig The Road to Lichfield time I became an Irving fan right Tales of Ancient Egypt there I read his other booksand CIDERHOUSE RULES was a biggie for me I read a couple othersand wasn't as enad with Tales of Ancient Egypt those as his earlier works Then a goodreads buddy The Perfect Murder (Inspector Ghote, told me he was reading Lislam Et Le Réveil Arabe this one I had downloaded it onto my NOOK when it first came out but just hadn't gotten The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English to it yettill yesterdayThe The White Guns thing about Irving The Book of Football Quotations that I have liked is he isn't afraid Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove, to hit subjects The Road Back Home that curl some people The TV Time Travellers toes I like controversial books subjectsand being open minded enough The Prester Quest to read about subjects The God Squad that might make me see a side of The Ayatollahs Democracy things I hadn't The Silent Sea (The Oregon Files, thought of before I may not agree with Classic Essential Vegetables the subject matter may not agree with The Murder Exchange the characters ideals and I might be shocked at The Isis Covenant (Jamie Saintclaire, timesbut The Excalibur Codex (Jamie Saintclaire, the shock valueis what The Cold War trips my The Soul of Leadership trigger I also The Night Listener think Irving is drop dead honestand honest about Under Currents things many people just gloss over11 years ago I started a bookclub We have read some The Confidential Agent things The Light In The Window that might bother some people We read MIDDLESEX which I Three Entertainments think is a great bookand 2 of Lissa the members in Lissa the club flat out refused Red Sky At Sunrise to read it due Taken by the Alpha to its subject matter Such a shame Ghost Children they were Crazy for Cake Pops that closed minded I Horse Trade (Saddle Club, think Extraordinary Circumstances the same can be said about From Madman to Crime Fighter this novel Those people have no idea what The Secret of the Stallion (Saddle Club Super Edition, they are missing For one Lets Weigh the Evidence thing Irving is a great writer He weaves a Patient Safety Ethics tale Systems Failure that keep you guessing keeps you glued Becoming an Academic to your chair furiously readingHowever Irving deals with his subjects his characters in honest charming hilarious raw open minded and mind bending ways Taking Nazi Technology that many people can't handle I don't have a problem with it because I Train Wreck try A Political History of the World to be open mindedand willing Modernist Time Ecology to be challenged The Glovemaker to Timelines of American Literature think in different ways Irving's not afraid Architecture in Formation to hit on something Great Powers, Small Wars that he knows will make some people seethe with angerand yet others come away from his works with wowhadn't A Bloodless Victory thought about it Epiphany that way His characters are real Unplanned Parenthood they speak The Cloak of Aphrodite their minds They are uirky yes open accessible shocking vulnerable Russian Eurasianism thought provoking and Betsy Bonaparte the list goes on I found in American Hieroglyphics this novel Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families that I cared about all Betsy Bonaparte the characters deeply I wanted Interactions them Critical Communication Studies to be happyand The Big Vote to be able Gender and Firearms to make heads or Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist tails of Defining Shinto their messy livesand feel Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems triumphant in Stable Witch (Saddle Club, their endeavors White Separatism and the Politics of the American Extreme Right to live The Reign of Stephen their lives Aliens the way Aliens they Not a Nickel to Spare truly want without someone A Journey Through the Last Dance trying The Last Dance to make No Go the Bogeyman them feel Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia they are less of a person or feel judged for Luke Banderloft and The McFarven Pirates the choices A Story of Yhwh they makeor Dominion things The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory they feel Life is messy and you have Men Speak Out to copewhich is what I The Luminaries think Irving Educating Intuition tries Poor Economics to say in all his works Anglo-Saxon Emotions to make us The Thin Red Line thinkthink for ourselves Jeeves in the Offing (Jeeves, to be bold Biggles Defies the Swastika to be not afraid The Outlandish Companion to do what you feel is rightThis novel will stick with me for a long Scream If You Want to Go Faster time Fathers and Forefathers to comejust like GARP has and CIDERHOUSE RULES has I The Dinner Lady think I need False Pretences to read THE PRAYERS OF OWEN MEANY I hear constantly Flesh and Blood that it's people's fav Irving novel I have an unread copy on my shelf For now my 3 Miss Gomez and the Brethren tops are GARP CIDER RULES and ONE PERSON I read False Step the whole book in less Digital Minimalism then 24 hoursand I got nothing accomplished It felt good Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man to have John back in his game I couldn't put Slummy Mummy this one downI Boardwalk Empire think I am going Magic Tree House to suggest we read THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP for my bookclub in 2015 We have our books chosen a year in advance Then maybe someone in Popinjay Stairs the group will Fire with Fire talk about The Pretender that filth we readThank you Kathand Helen for opening my eyes A Battle Won to filth for opening my eyes Sunjata to Irving

Read & Download ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ John Irving

His most daringly political sexually transgressive and moving novel in well over a decade Vanity FairWinner of a 2013 Lambda Literary AwardA New York Times bestselling novel of desire secrecy and sexual identity In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love tormented funny and affecting and an Rating 375 of five The Publisher Says A compelling novel of desire secrecy and sexual identity In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented funny and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences Billy the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person tells the tragicomic story lasting than half a century of his life as a “sexual suspect” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases” The World According to Garp His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention Not least In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile”My Review I'll start with the personal part I don't “get” bisexuals We're all bisexual on a sliding scale developed by good ol' Doctor Kinsey Sex feels good if you're doing it right and the plumbing isn't all that important Or wouldn't be if the Longface Puritans League would uit getting all pantiwadulous over the subjectSo what is then my response to the avowed bisexual Big deal says I If I think the aforementioned bisexual is desirable I will then proceed to ask him for a date And he will say yes or no And the world will continue to spin But not one single thing will happen because he's bisexualAll very simple right? Oh so wrong To know you're attracted to men is a defining thing for a man Knowing that Davy Jones of the Monkees was the face I wanted to see when I woke up clarified things for me I was admittedly seven at the time and the clarity was limited to knowing that was what I wanted with no concept whatsoever of the other possibilities and reuirements But clear I was and clear I've stayed Men please My wives knew they were marrying a gay man and we had sex in our marriage beds Remember the whole “sex feels good” passage above? It does I promise As much fun as it was I would never have been faithful to those women and would never have lied about it and was clear from the get go what my deal wasbecause I had An Identity Other people didn't and don't like my identity fuck 'em but I had one And bisexuals in our binary public culture of Men Want Women and Women Want Men unless their husbands want a three way with another girl don't rebel enough for the rebels or conform enough for the conformistsThat has got to suck wookie balls Here your nature is absolutely in line with what evolution produced you are the exemplar of the normal and ordinary human sexual response and no one wants your ass in their camp John Irving's novel deals with sexual awakening romantic flowering and relationship hellTWICE Billy our narrator knows something's wonky when he gets major wood for the town librarian AND his new stepfather He careens through a hormonally hyperdriven adolescence a love affair with a gay guy such a bad bad bad idea and on and on and on through fifty years of life as a hidden unloved unvalued majority member I loved Irving's honesty about the deeply personal pain and scars he took and dealt through Billy's voice I loved the honest self appraisals scattered throughout the book Irving stating clearly that he was a snob that he had mixed feelings about AIDS fear pity disgust and its victimsBecause this is very much a roman à clef It comes late in his career but it is what it is I love that he's written it I love that he tells a man's story of not fitting his skin still less fitting in I don't love the writing It's not memorable in any way I can't think of one single line to uote I can't remember where the lines I thought might do are located and in a few days I won't remember much about this book except it's an amazement to me that I was so completely self absorbed that I ever thought bisexuals were just tiresomely difficult to bedIrving changed my world view a little bit I hope for the better and I expect for the long haul I'm a lot likely not to roll my eyes when some guy I'm hitting on tells me he's bisexual in my age cohort a surprisingly large number of men are “coming out” as bi So three plus stars If this had been a story about heterosexuals it would be one and only one starBecause I need these eyeblinks to count Time's not slowing down no matter how many kittens I sacrifice to the gods This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


10 thoughts on “In One Person

  1. says:

    There is a scene near the end of John Irving’s 2012 novel In One Personin which a character who is a writer is confrontedI’ve read all your books and I know what you do—I mean in your writing You make all these sexual extremes seem normal—that is what you do Like Gee that girl or whatever she is—or what she’s becoming You create these characters who are so sexually ‘different’ as you might call them—or ‘fucked up’ which is what I would call them—and then you expect us to sympathize with them or feel sorry for them or something“Yes that is or less what I do” I told him p 424And that is exactly what Irving does here Irving maintains his fixation on sexuality in this one and wrestling and New England prep schools and May December romance So if he is jogging for the umpteenth time down the same well worn path what is it that makes this one any different? The story is not one of a May December entanglement although that element is here The book is about sexuality in a larger social historical context John Irving image from his FB photosWilliam Abbot in his late sixties recalls his life from his prep school days in the small town of First Sister Vermont to his present in the 21st century Billy is bisexual and knows from an early age that he is attracted to both males and females He struggles to find his place in the world knowing that he differs from the usual in a significant way Irving shows us his journey his loves triumphs disappointments what he discovers what he seeks out the discovery of self and of the world that is the core of any life journey worth telling In the same way that Cabot Cove of Murder She Wrote fame zoomed way above the statistical norm as a rather dodgy place in which to hold onto one's corporal existence Little Sister Vermont seems a statistically anomalous bastion of sexual diversity William has a grandfather who cross dresses genetic contributions from a gay relation a cousin who is a lesbian a best friend who is also bi a classmate who walks on both sides of the street another classmate who is gay and a notable person in town who is transgender Relying on that unimpeachable source Wikipedia we learn that as of April 2011 approximately 35% of American adults identify as lesbian gay or bisexual while 03% are transgender Of course the number who are in fact LGB or T is probably higher as there remain plenty of closets filled with members of those groups not yet able to identify themselves as such Even so and considering that the period in uestion is mostly early 1960s you might want to check under First Sister's slip to see if maybe she might really be First Brother Maybe there’s something in the water there washing down from grandpa’s lumber mill This must summon to mind Monty Python’s amazingly relevant Lumberjack Song In fact there is so much non standard sexuality in First Sister Vt that one might expect the sport Irving focuses on to shift from his favorite wrestling to something like cross country or mixed doublesWilliam’s tale is primarily that of his mid to late adolescence his emergence as a bisexual and coping with the complications and personal growth that result In particular he copes with the ongoing problem of having crushes on the “wrong people” I felt that this was the strongest part of the book Enough time is dedicated to these early years to give us the richest texture the deepest appreciation This is not to say that William’s years beyond are thin well ok maybe a bit thin as he sueezes too many years into too few pages but if his story were a Hershey kiss the prep school years would be the lower two thirds For all that this is about William’s coming of age he seemed pretty well formed by the time he appears as a young adolescent He knew what he was bisexual and did not seem to suffer much real conflict about it One might expect that he would feel two ways about it but he didn’t even though he grows into a robust acceptance as he growsOne mechanism Irving used to bolster his characterizations was to give William a speech problem that was probably tongue in cheek William had great difficulty pronouncing words that related to problem areas in his life “Penis” for example comes out “penith” with the plural presenting an acute challenge Later another character is shown to have the same malady This felt forced to me a bit too cute Literature and theater permeate the story The young William is led to the reading life by the town librarian the alluring Miss Frost and this opens the door for Irving to connect his characters to tales from great literature There are two stage venues in First Sister the school and the town both put on productions This offers many opportunities for Irving to tell us about his characters by the roles they are assigned in the many plays usually Shakespeare or Ibsen Sadly no musicalsOne strength for me was the presentation of a host of believable supporting characters A cross dressing grandparent was a charming and supportive soul William’s bff Elaine worked well There are transgender characters portrayed as pillars of strength very effectively Also there are heterosexual characters who glow as supportive caring sorts William’s stepfather Elaine’s mother who offers counseling at the school and even a gruff seeming wrestling coach And a scan of the history of public attitudes about acceptance of orientation diversity adds heft We see a variety of external pressures put on non heterosexual people but William does not really seem all that damaged by the prejudices as a teen although he is victimized by baseless fears as an adult Others however are damaged A good and supportive person loses a job as a result Later the AIDS epidemic takes many Having to keep secrets does a fair bit of harm as well There was one particular scene that affected me oddly made me anxious I am not sure what to make of it The scene in which an adult William returns from his home in Manhattan to Vermont for a funeral was particularly discomfiting I have no particular affection for my “home town” and the thought of being dragged back there even for a good cause gives me a fear of being somehow pinned there forever I feel that I escaped once and might not if trapped again Maybe like a djinn consigned again to a lamp from which he had been liberated I am not sure why I reacted that way to William returning home Maybe a part of this was the bitter taste of watching the residents of First Sister Vermont being picked off by the author one by one It seemed something other than sad It seemed almost dismissive As if a list of characters had been posted in the left column living and were being systematically dragged into the right hand column deceased The passings certainly make sense in the context of the story but something that I obviously cannot adeuately describe bugged me about it I am not at all citing this as a flaw just something I wish I could explain but cannotI suppose I could go to the well one time and say that I am ambivalent about In One Person but I am not What Irving did for the delicate subject of abortion in Cider House Rules he does for sexual diversity here humanizing a difficult subject making us see the humanity of those too often considered outsiders Irving has written a moving story with believable characters people we can care about and shows without tellingEXTRA STUFFLinks to Irving's personal and FB pages


  2. says:

    ”Look here it is I just have to say this” young Kittredge said; he almost couldn’t look at me “i don’t know you I admit I don’t have a clue who my father really was either But I’ve read all your books and I know what you do I mean in your writing You make all these sexual extremes seem normal that what you do Like Gee that girl or what she is or what she’s becoming You create these characters who are so sexually ‘different’ as you might call them or ‘fucked up’ which is what I would call them and then you expect us to sympathize with them or feel sorry for them or something” “Yes that’s or less what I do” I told him John Irving doing that thing he doHis story BillyBillWilliam Abbott begins when he meets Miss Frost the librarian of the First Sister Public Library In her presence he was overcome with a wave of unprecedented desire ”I’m going to to begin by telling you about Miss Frost While I say to everyone that I became a writer because I read a certain novel by Charles Dickens at the formative age of fifteen the truth is I was younger than that when I first met Miss Frost and imagined having sex with her and this moment of my sexual awakening also marked the fitful birth of my imagination We are formed by what we desire In less than a minute of excited secretive longing I desired to become a writer and to have sex with Miss Frost not necessarily in that order”Hormones are so lovely in the proper dosages and so alarming when they gallop Billy has a problem with inappropriate crushes There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason in who they target or why they must come at him so freuently He develops one for his step father Richard Abbott embarrassing and alarming all wrapped in one explosive heart pounding package His best friend Elaine’s mother provides a mental image that relieves pressure for him freuently ”I hadn’t been honest with Elaine about my crushes I’d not yet been brave enough to tell her that both Miss Frost and Jacues Kittredge turned me on And how could I have told Elaine about my confounding lust for her mom? Occasionally I was still masturbating to the homely and flat chested Martha Hadley that tall big boned woman with a wide thin lipped mouth whose long face I imagined on those young girls who were the training bra models in my mom’s mail order catalogs”Ahhh remember those days when certain pages of the Sear Roebuck Catalog could provide a bit of stimulation under the covers with a light bulb burning so hot there was fear it would catch the sheets on fire? Mrs Hadley was also Billy’s therapist He has an impediment with certain words In particular with a part of his anatomy that he is most assuredly most obsessed with It comes out penithDon’t ask him to say the pluralMiss Frost is his number one obsession but easily his number two is a wrestler named Kittredge The same boy that picks on him so mercilessly The same boy that Elaine is also absolutely crazy about It doesn’t end there Kittredge’s mother is just as fascinating to this pair of friends united in many things but certainly between the two of them maybe setting an all time record in this small Vermont town for “inappropriate” obsessions ”Elaine and I couldn’t look at him without seeing his mother with her legs so perfectly crossed on those uncomfortable bleacher seats at Kittredge’s wrestling match; Mrs Kittredge had seemed to watch her son’s systematic mauling of his overmatched opponent as if it were a pornographic film but with the detached confidence of an experienced woman who knew she could do it better ‘Your mother is a man with breasts’ I wanted to say to Kittredge but of course I didn’t dare” image error


  3. says:

    Rating 375 of five The Publisher Says A compelling novel of desire secrecy and sexual identity In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented funny and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences Billy the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person tells the tragicomic story lasting than half a century of his life as a “sexual suspect” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases” The World According to Garp His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention Not least In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile”My Review I'll start with the personal part I don't “get” bisexuals We're all bisexual on a sliding scale developed by good ol' Doctor Kinsey Sex feels good if you're doing it right and the plumbing isn't all that important Or wouldn't be if the Longface Puritans League would uit getting all pantiwadulous over the subjectSo what is then my response to the avowed bisexual Big deal says I If I think the aforementioned bisexual is desirable I will then proceed to ask him for a date And he will say yes or no And the world will continue to spin But not one single thing will happen because he's bisexualAll very simple right? Oh so wrong To know you're attracted to men is a defining thing for a man Knowing that Davy Jones of the Monkees was the face I wanted to see when I woke up clarified things for me I was admittedly seven at the time and the clarity was limited to knowing that was what I wanted with no concept whatsoever of the other possibilities and reuirements But clear I was and clear I've stayed Men please My wives knew they were marrying a gay man and we had sex in our marriage beds Remember the whole “sex feels good” passage above? It does I promise As much fun as it was I would never have been faithful to those women and would never have lied about it and was clear from the get go what my deal wasbecause I had An Identity Other people didn't and don't like my identity fuck 'em but I had one And bisexuals in our binary public culture of Men Want Women and Women Want Men unless their husbands want a three way with another girl don't rebel enough for the rebels or conform enough for the conformistsThat has got to suck wookie balls Here your nature is absolutely in line with what evolution produced you are the exemplar of the normal and ordinary human sexual response and no one wants your ass in their camp John Irving's novel deals with sexual awakening romantic flowering and relationship hellTWICE Billy our narrator knows something's wonky when he gets major wood for the town librarian AND his new stepfather He careens through a hormonally hyperdriven adolescence a love affair with a gay guy such a bad bad bad idea and on and on and on through fifty years of life as a hidden unloved unvalued majority member I loved Irving's honesty about the deeply personal pain and scars he took and dealt through Billy's voice I loved the honest self appraisals scattered throughout the book Irving stating clearly that he was a snob that he had mixed feelings about AIDS fear pity disgust and its victimsBecause this is very much a roman à clef It comes late in his career but it is what it is I love that he's written it I love that he tells a man's story of not fitting his skin still less fitting in I don't love the writing It's not memorable in any way I can't think of one single line to uote I can't remember where the lines I thought might do are located and in a few days I won't remember much about this book except it's an amazement to me that I was so completely self absorbed that I ever thought bisexuals were just tiresomely difficult to bedIrving changed my world view a little bit I hope for the better and I expect for the long haul I'm a lot likely not to roll my eyes when some guy I'm hitting on tells me he's bisexual in my age cohort a surprisingly large number of men are “coming out” as bi So three plus stars If this had been a story about heterosexuals it would be one and only one starBecause I need these eyeblinks to count Time's not slowing down no matter how many kittens I sacrifice to the gods This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


  4. says:

    John Irving is a uniue force in contemporary fiction He can be a brave and bold voice for fairness and common sense The complexity of his plots is matched by the uirkiness of his characters Sexual identity with all its twists and permutations would seem like a perfect fit for the Irving treatment Sadly it is not This story is narrated by Bill Abbott an impressionable adolescent who is struggling with his bisexuality at a repressive boarding school in the waning days of the 1950's He comes under the influence of a transsexual librarian with a big heart who provides him with a relevant reading list and his first sexual experience He embarks on a transcontinental sexual odyssey occasionally returning to Vermont to bury another of his colorful relatives One problem is that Bill and his amazing coterie of misfits and malcontents never come alive as characters They seem to function primarily as agents to further Irving's political agenda Even if you agree with his premise that sexual expression is a personal choice which should be guaranteed to all it is difficult to overlook his awkward prose and mind numbing repetition I found the whole thing tiresome Even the plot with it's Dickensian twists and coincidences grated on me I found myself skimming the last few pages because I just wanted it to end This was a big disappointment


  5. says:

    Got to page 102 and it was a struggle John Irving is a fine writer but like many men his age John Updike among them he goes into his later years with one foot in the grave and one hand on his genitals I never read so much about breasts and penises in one place without anyone having actual sex This is fair he's the author and he can do what he wants But I'm getting too old for this


  6. says:

    As a graduate student I had a great interest in gender studies; I thought that domain was where both the most interesting fiction and scholarship was happening Unfortunately while reading this novel it seemed like it was intended a be political statement on gender studies filled with maxims about sexual difference The actual story was meandering and flat; it needed to be about 150 pages shorter It should not take a novel 350 pages to become compelling I kept going because I knew Irving had something to say; I just wish he had of a story


  7. says:

    john john johnyou suck me in every timethere's this matrix on wikipedia now deleted but preserved here i am sure you have seen it the matrix makes me sigh and amuses me it's a conundrum near the end of the book I felt like you were ticking boxes giving readers a list of socially important things to mull i don't take issue with the issuesthey are important and need to be written about so that tolerance and acceptance become the normsi take issue with the fact this device is that what it was? interrupted the flow of the story and yanked me out of my irving induced haze of literary delight it was like being smacked in the face with a big fish possibly a frozen big fishthat cost you one star no i will not give it backi still love youcall me


  8. says:

    I am the editor and publisher of this novel Here's what I think about itWe use the word great' so often that we've degraded its meaning Great haircut Great idea Great casserole So what can I say without committing sins of hyperbole about an author who truly does possess greatness?IN ONE PERSON is John Irving's thirteenth novel Having closely read all of the others I can say with some confidence that it is as relevant to our time and as satisfying a story as were THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP THE CIDER HOUSE RULES and A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY when they were publishedLike those works IN ONE PERSON addresses the search for identity and connection in a world that is not always tolerant of unconventional people John Irving has long been a champion for sexual freedom In this novel his portrait of the life and loves of a bisexual man and the mutability of gender and desire will be a revelation for some and an affirmation for othersThe novel is dedicated to Tony Richardson a noted film director who brought THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE to the screen In his memoir Richardson wrote this about John Irving's fiction He seems to me to be one of the most original and towering of contemporary writers He is a born storyteller in the tradition of Fielding and Dickens with like them an ability to see his characters from the outsideas well as depicting their feelings and passions physically from the outsideI predict that John's courage and the range of his universe will still be durable when many of his intellectually acclaimed rivals will have dwindled awayI hope you will experience IN ONE PERSON as deeply as I have If you've never read John Irving before this novel is an entertaining and enriching way to begin If you've read him before welcome back You will once again marvel at the craft and imagination and probity of a great American writer


  9. says:

    I can remember the first time I heard anything about John Irving I was in college at a family reunion My Dad had two cousins spinsters sisters never been married In their 70's They were in something called a bookclub This was the early 80s I'd never heard of a bookclub? What was that? They were talking about the different books they had been reading in their cluband all their members were about their age Except this one girl as they called her Now considering their age this girl could have been 55 for all I knew These old ladies were charming funnyand they had had a couple cocktails by nowThis new girl had suggested this new book to read in the club called THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving These old girls were talking about how they tried to read this bookand it was filth absolute filth I asked my mother for an ink penand a slip of paper which she dug out of her purseand I wrote down the title and author and slipped the paper in my pocket I thank these ladies for exposing me to Irving I got a paperback copy the following day at the shopping centerand began to readhookedbig time I became an Irving fan right there I read his other booksand CIDERHOUSE RULES was a biggie for me I read a couple othersand wasn't as enad with those as his earlier works Then a goodreads buddy told me he was reading this one I had downloaded it onto my NOOK when it first came out but just hadn't gotten to it yettill yesterdayThe thing about Irving that I have liked is he isn't afraid to hit subjects that curl some people toes I like controversial books subjectsand being open minded enough to read about subjects that might make me see a side of things I hadn't thought of before I may not agree with the subject matter may not agree with the characters ideals and I might be shocked at timesbut the shock valueis what trips my trigger I also think Irving is drop dead honestand honest about things many people just gloss over11 years ago I started a bookclub We have read some things that might bother some people We read MIDDLESEX which I think is a great bookand 2 of the members in the club flat out refused to read it due to its subject matter Such a shame they were that closed minded I think the same can be said about this novel Those people have no idea what they are missing For one thing Irving is a great writer He weaves a tale that keep you guessing keeps you glued to your chair furiously readingHowever Irving deals with his subjects his characters in honest charming hilarious raw open minded and mind bending ways that many people can't handle I don't have a problem with it because I try to be open mindedand willing to be challenged to think in different ways Irving's not afraid to hit on something that he knows will make some people seethe with angerand yet others come away from his works with wowhadn't thought about it that way His characters are real they speak their minds They are uirky yes open accessible shocking vulnerable thought provoking and the list goes on I found in this novel that I cared about all the characters deeply I wanted them to be happyand to be able to make heads or tails of their messy livesand feel triumphant in their endeavors to live their lives the way they truly want without someone trying to make them feel they are less of a person or feel judged for the choices they makeor things they feel Life is messy and you have to copewhich is what I think Irving tries to say in all his works to make us thinkthink for ourselves to be bold to be not afraid to do what you feel is rightThis novel will stick with me for a long time to comejust like GARP has and CIDERHOUSE RULES has I think I need to read THE PRAYERS OF OWEN MEANY I hear constantly that it's people's fav Irving novel I have an unread copy on my shelf For now my 3 tops are GARP CIDER RULES and ONE PERSON I read the whole book in less then 24 hoursand I got nothing accomplished It felt good to have John back in his game I couldn't put this one downI think I am going to suggest we read THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP for my bookclub in 2015 We have our books chosen a year in advance Then maybe someone in the group will talk about that filth we readThank you Kathand Helen for opening my eyes to filth for opening my eyes to Irving


  10. says:

    In One Person is the tragicomedic rollicking ride through the life of Bill Abbott; a boy who “has crushes on the wrong people bisexual writer graduate of Favourite River Academy in Vermont and finally successful novelist As is usually the case in John Irving's novels it features a family of uirky characters wrestling and tackles the subject of sexual identity Full of the usual suspects the novel includes one with a speech impediment a cross dresser a lifelong best friendsometime lover an absentee father and of course Bill himself a writer There are some wonderful chapters during Bill's early life showcasing the drama club's rendition of Shakespeare's plays; the attempts to cast boys in the female roles were often hilarious The novel contains a frank view of the aids epidemic of the 1980s and the tragic conseuences of this abhorrent disease I thought this part wonderful purely for it's informative role for readers who did not live through that grim era Kudos to Irving for highlighting some thirty years later the absolute need for safe sex practices It also speaks of the societal intolerance that gays have had to endure especially bisexuals; you can empathise with Bill as he endeavours to find his place in society as neither a gay man nor a heterosexual “Oh how I loved him – especially as a her” “In reading as in writing all one needed – that is in order to have an utterly absorbing journey – was a believable but formidable relationship” “My dear boy please don't put a label on me – don't make me a category before you get to know me”In One Person had me hooked from the first page It has everything one comes to expect from John Irving and then some Serious humorous sometimes sad an absorbing read for me Better than Last Night in Twisted River not as good as the signature The World According to Garp or The Cider House Rules; for all lovers of John Irving novels Overall thebook earns a 4★ rating and my hope that Irving keeps writing books until I'm too old to read them


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