This story comes from The World According to Garp, a novel that established John Irving as one of the greatest writers of our time. "The Pension Grillparzer" is quintessential Irving - a self-contained story-within-a-story that, like the novel as a whole, tells a vivid and engaging tale. The Grillparzer Hotel, inhabited by odd circus performers including a bear and a frighteningly accurate teller of dreams, wants a better rating to attract more tourists, so it must undergo the scrutiny of the Austrian Tourist Bureau.
“Irving demonstrates vocal abilities that match the most professional of actors. In this story, taken from his first big novel, The World According to Garp, Irving effects just the right tone of wistful reminiscence that gives the book its distinctive feel…the real treat here is Irving's storytelling as interpreted by Irving himself. (AudioFile)
"Full of vitality and grace...Study this sumptuous story with laughter, with excitement." (The Boston Globe)
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I'm sure the book is great, but I cannot finish it due to the dreadful reading. Maybe I'm spoiled having just had Stephen Fry and Neil Gaiman as my last two listens, but John Irving reading is not for me!
I would most definitely not recommend John Irving Reads as it is extremely difficult to listen to. I had to keep rewinding to clarify points and to try to get into his style. Alas, in the end, I gave up. I could not recommend this book to anyone.
John Irving is a great author and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading his books, but to hear him read has been a real shock. He is monotone, flat, drawls and lacks intonation. All-in-all, a very unlistenable piece of work. I feel quite sure that, but for his name as an author, he would never get work reading books for recording purposes (or any other!!).
Hugely disappointed and a waste of my money. Sigh...