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John Irving Books

Updated on August 12, 2013

John Irving -- Fiction Writer

John Irving is a fiction writer and the best writer (in my humble opinion). His more famous books include The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

John Irving's fourteen published books include two nonfiction books: the 1996 Trying to Save Piggy Sneed and the 1999 My Movie Business.

John Irving's most recent book is In One Person.

Photo Credit: John Irving Photo by Mariusz Kubik, Wiki Commons Media

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In One Person - The Latest Book by John Irving

John Irving's latest book, In One Person, has been released ( May 2012). Read an interview with John Irving about his latest book, In One Person, by Entertainment Weekly.

I'm recently read In One Person and found it interesting but not as compelling as some of his other books.

Listen to John Irving Speak About "In One Person" - John Irving's new novel debuting May 2012

Last Night In Twisted River

Last Night In Twisted River is John Irving's latest published novel. It was published in 2009 I really enjoyed this novel about one of Irving's popular themes--loss.

Trivia: John Irving's son took the photograph that was used for the book cover.

Until I Find You

Until I Find You was a huge book and is said to have been the most autobiographical of all of John Irving's novels. If you know anything about this author, you know that's probably true. This book was published in 2006.

Trivia: Irving won the Oscar for Screenwriting for The Cider House Rules in real life. In Until I Find You, he "gave up" the Oscar and let his character win it for screenwriting. And as research for the book, Irving tattooed a woman.

The Fourth Hand

I really enjoyed reading The Fourth Hand. Reminiscent of The World According to Garp, in The Fourth Hand, a body part is severed.

Trivia: The inspiration for The Fourth Hand came from John Irving's wife, who, after hearing a news story about a man who had a hand transplant, said aloud something along the lines of "I wonder if his wife gets visitation."

My Movie Business

John Irving's book The Cider House Rules was being made into a movie and he wrote the screenplay. He was therefore on the set for consultations. During his down time, he kept a diary of sorts about the activities of being on a movie set. It was later published into the book My Movie Business.

Trivia: John Irving also had a small part in the movie The Cider House Rules. He played the train conductor where the expecting women took the train to the orphanage.

A Widow for One Year

This 1998 book is a little racy and a fun read. A Widow for One Year is told from the point of view of a woman, the widow for one year. The movie The Door in the Floor starring Jeff Bridges and Kim Bassinger.

Trivia: The last line of the novel echoes what the characters said early in the book.

Do you have a favorite book by John Irving?

Which one is it?

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Trying to Save Piggy Sneed

Trying to Save Piggy Sneed is John Irving's 1996 nonfiction/fiction books. It contains a mini-autobiography and a selection of short stories.

Trivia: When his publisher and wife read the first draft of this book, they both asked where the wrestling was. Irving is a huge wrestling fan.

A Son of the Circus

A Son of the Circus was published in 1994. The central character is a displaced man from India living in Canada.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany was published in 1989. This book was made into the movie Simon Birch starring Jim Carrey, Ashley Judd, and Oliver Platt.

The Cider House Rules - MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER!

The Cider House Rules was published in 1985 with themes of saving mothers (abortions and adoptions abound) and ultimately about coming home. The characters of Dr. Wilbur Larch and perennial orphan Homer Wells make this book come alive. And don't forget about Melony.

Trivia: John Irving wrote the screenplay for the movie The Cider House Rules starring Michael Caine, Toby Maguire, and Charlize Theron. He won the Oscar for best screenwriting.

The Hotel New Hampshire - by John Irving

The Hotel New Hampshire was published in 1981 and centered around an eccentric family who lived in a hotel in Vienna. This book was made into a movie of the same name starring Rob Lowe, Jodie Foster, and Beau Bridges.

Trivia: The line "Sorrow floats." is from The Hotel New Hampshire and is a timeless representation of this book's theme.

The World According to Garp

John Irving's fourth novel published in 1978 is The World According to Garp. This off-the-wall book is fabulous and was brought to life in the movie by the same name starring Robin Williams as T.S. (Technical Sargent) Garp.

Trivia: In 1980, John Irving won the National Book Award for The World According to Garp.

The 158-Pound Marriage - by John Irving

The 158-Pound Marriage was published in 1974 and is thought to be John Irving's darkest novel. Themes include swingers and an old Irving stand-by wrestling.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Let me know you stopped by and tell us your favorite John Irving book, if you have one.

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    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      7 years ago from Land of Aloha

      It's been a while since I read Cider House Rules. I have to say a few of these others are intriguing me for a real "grown up" read. I've been stuck on vampire books the past couple years and about ready to go back to why I fell in love with reading. :)

    • LisaDH profile image


      7 years ago

      I haven't read John Irving in years, but I enjoyed his rather odd sense of humor in the books I read long ago.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I never have read any of his books, but I enjoyed the movie The World According to Garp.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 

      7 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Cider House Rules is one of my top 5 books! Thanks for this article, I'm going to read more of his works.

    • sarita garg profile image


      7 years ago from Hisar

      good job...


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