UNTIL I FIND YOU
By John Irving
I feel a little guilty that I enjoyed this book. I’m not sure why. It may be the scenes of child abuse that involve the main character, a beautiful young boy named Jack Burns. These scenes are painful to read, but they wound up having the effect of touching my heart – as the pain endured by Irving’s characters always seems to do.
Until I Find You has all of the stuff we’ve come to expect from John Irving – quirky characters, strange sexual experiences, painful and desperately lonely childhoods, unsettling circumstances. In this latest bestseller, Jack Burns and his mother Alice travel around the globe trying to catch Jack’s father, who clearly does not want to be caught. Alice is a tattoo artist. Jack’s father is what they call a collector, someone who has lots of tattoos but always seems to find room for one more.
These characters are so unlikely. Tattoo parlors and organ enthusiasts and prep school cafeteria workers and then the main character – this irresistible, if a little short, young man who becomes a compelling actor by picturing an audience of one every time he performs – his missing father.
Until I Find You is everything John Irving fans will expect from him. It is almost painfully original when you compare it to the rest of the fiction on the bestseller list. Having said that, there are certainly themes that Irving readers will recognize. And I should add – some Irving fans really did not like this one. They were put off by the sexual scenes, the fatherless themes and the length. For me – I love a book over 800 pages. Woof!
On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I’m Amanda Dickson.