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John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany” Quotes (35 Quotes)


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  • I have learned that the consequences of our past actions are always interesting; I have learned to view the present with a forward-looking eye.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • THAT'S WHAT POWERFUL MEN DO TO THIS COUNTRY - IT'S A BEAUTIFUL, SEXY, BREATHLESS COUNTRY, AND POWERFUL MEN USE IT TO TREAT THEMSELVES TO A THRILL! THEY SAY THEY LOVE IT BUT THEY DON'T MEAN IT. THEY SAY THINGS TO MAKE THEMSELVES APPEAR GOOD - THEY MAKE THEMSELVES APPEAR MORAL...THE COUNTRY WANTS A SAVIOUR. THE COUNTRY IS A SUCKER FOR POWERFUL MEN WHO LOOK GOOD. WE THINK THEY'RE MORALISTS AND THEN THEY JUST USE US.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • I think that was when the headmaster realized he had lost; he realized then that he was finished. Because, what could he do? Was he going to tell us to stop praying? We kept our heads bowed; and we kept praying. Even as awkward as he was, the Rev. Mr. Merrill had made it clear to us that there was no end to praying for Owen Meany.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • The former stewardess glared at her ex-pilot husband as if he had been speaking, and thinking, in the absence of sufficient oxygen.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • I will tell you what is my overriding perception of the last twenty years: that we are a civilization careening toward a succession of anticlimaxes - toward an infinity of unsatisfying, and disagreeable endings.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")


  • The only way you get Americans to notice anything is to tax them or draft them or kill them.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • If watching television doesn't hasten death, it surely manages to make death very inviting; for television so shamelessly sentimentalizes and romanticizes death that it makes the living feel they have missed something - just by staying alive.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • The White House, that whole criminal mob, those arrogant goons who see themselves as justified to operate above the law-they disgrace democracy by claiming that what they do they do for democracy! They should be in jail. They should be in Hollywood!
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • I'm not afraid, but I'm very nervous.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • There was no manifestation of contemporary culture that did not indicate to my grandmother how steadfast was the nation's decline, how merciless our mental and moral deterioration, how swiftly all-embracing our final decadence. I never saw her read a book again; but she referred to books often - as if they were shrines and cathedrals of learning that television had plundered and then abandoned.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • A person's faith goes at its own pace. The trouble with church is the service. A service is conducted for a mass audience. Just when I start to like the hymn, everyone plops down to pray. Just when I start to hear the prayer, everyone pops up to sing. And what does the stupid sermon have to do with God? Who knows what God thinks of current events? Who cares?
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • It is amazing to me, now, how such wild imaginings and philosophies - inspired by a night charged with frights and calamities - made such perfectly good sense to Owen Meany and me, but good friends are nothing to each other if they are not supportive.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • This was not of the nature of a Christlike lesson for Owen Meany to learn, as he lay in the manger, that someone you hate can give you a hard-on.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • A truly happy woman drives some men and almost every other woman absolutely crazy
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")

  • It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.
    (John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany")


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