Until I Find You

Until I Find You

A Novel

Book - 2005 | First edition.
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"According to his mother, Jack Burns was an actor before he was an actor, but Jack's most vivid memories of childhood were those moments when he felt compelled to hold his mother's hand. He wasn't acting then."

John Irving's eleventh novel, Until I Find You , is the story of the actor Jack Burns. His mother, Alice, is a Toronto tattoo artist. When Jack is four, he travels with Alice to several Baltic and North Sea ports; they are trying to find Jack's missing father, William, a church organist who is addicted to being tattooed. But Alice is a mystery, and William can't be found. Even Jack's memories are subject to doubt.

Jack Burns is educated at schools in Canada and New England, but he is shaped by his relationships with older women. Mr. Irving renders Jack's life as an actor in Hollywood with the same richness of detail and range of emotions he uses to describe the tattoo parlors in those Baltic and North Sea ports and the reverberating music Jack heard as a child in European churches.

The author's tone--indeed, the narrative voice of this novel--is melancholic. ("In this way, in increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us--not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.") Until I Find You is suffused with overwhelming sadness and deception; it is also a robust and comic novel, certain to be compared to Mr. Irving's most ambitious and moving work.

Publisher: Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, [2005]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ?2005
ISBN: 9780676977172
0676977170
9780676977165
0676977162
Branch Call Number: IRV
Characteristics: 822 pages ;,25 cm

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l
lukasevansherman
Jun 20, 2016

First of all, the book is long. Maybe the longest of Irving's books, coming in a little over 800. Contrary to the previous comment, I wouldn't call it a "word-processor novel." Who uses a word processor anymore? Like Dickens, Irving immerses you in a story and he doesn't mind taking his time, which I think is a great strength. I was never bored and, in fact, think it's one of his greatest novels. Before you read it, make sure you are reasonably comfortable with a lot of underage sexuality.

c
cliffstory
Nov 02, 2015

A word-processor novel. There are good word-processor novels, of course, but this one shows no sign that the author ever had anything in mind when he sat down to write but increasing the word count. Well, that's not entirely true; some actual people appear in the book, and some disguised-actual people, and he seems to be settling scores with the latter, and sucking up to the former. But when I finally reached the longed-for end of the book, I wondered: what was all that about? I don't know.

2
22950010483022
Nov 07, 2013

About as hetero as modern novels get. It's hard to tell if Irving is appaled or over joyed at the notion of boys being seduced (and lady-handled) by older women. Is the protagonist a cad or a victim? Is he deserving of his success or just really lucky? It's a book you can give yourself over to for about 50 pages before putting it down realizing what a "wet dream" of a read it really is. And then do it over again. It took me a few months to read this between other books I liked better, but I somehow felt I had to finish another John Irving novel. (The first being the exceptional "Son of the Circus). While there were enjoyable parts, it is ultimately long winded and repetitive. Alas, not really worth the time when there are better books out there.

l
Languid5
Jun 21, 2012

I like this book but it seems to run on a bit.

m
mincvm
Jan 24, 2011

Not one of his best. Good in parts, but generally slightly disappointing compared with his previous books.

c
Cabby
Nov 08, 2007

800 pages but I only liked 200 of them.

p
pscho
Dec 14, 2006

Very John Irving, complex, odd, light and dark. Not my all time favourite, but definitely recommended. May offend a few female readers, but only a few.

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