Framing the Dialogue

A Prayer for Owen Meany

A prayer for Owen Meany mostly happens aroung the early 1950s.  A boy’s best friend, Owen Meany, believes he is God’s instrument.  An event in 1953 becomes life-changing and what happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.  What should have been an end of a friendship only strengthen this bond between two young boys; one from a family of wealth and the other a son of a granite quarry owner.

“Oh God, how often I have wished that I could relive that moment; I didn’t know how to pray very well then—I didn’t even believe in prayer. If I were given the opportunity to pray for Owen Meany now, I could do a better job of it; knowing what I know now, I might be able to pray hard enough.”

They boys and others grew up and fell into the Viet Nam War era.  I grew up just young enough to remember the draft lottery, but not old enough to really worry about it…for me.  That becomes a critical juncture for these young adults;

“What I saw was that the protests did worse than that; they gave aid and comfort to the idiots who endorsed the war—they made that war last longer. That’s what I saw. I took my missing finger home to New Hampshire, and let Hester get arrested in Washington by herself; she was not exactly alone—there were mass arrests that October.”

There is obviously politics in this novel.  Some of the authors dislike for Ronald Reagan is bluntly noted in the story and it took away from the story for me.  It really had nothing to do, in my mind, with the tale.  I get that the author hated the Republican Reagan, but also noted that he failed to remember that Democrats Kennedy and Johnson got American deeper and deeper into the Viet Nam war.  That took away from the novel for me.  Still worth reading though.


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