Until I Find You is the story of the actor Jack Burns – his life, loves, celebrity and astonishing search for the truth about his parents. When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in ...
al North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead – has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or “scratcher.”
Alice and Jack abandon their quest, and Jack is educated at schools in Canada and New England – including, tellingly, a girls’ school in Toronto. His real education consists of his relationships with older women – from Emma Oastler, who initiates him into erotic life, to the girls of St. Hilda’s, with whom he first appears on stage, to the abusive Mrs. Machado, whom he first meets when sent to learn wrestling at a local gym.
Too much happens in this expansive, eventful novel to possibly summarize it all. Emma and Jack move to Los Angeles, where Emma becomes a successful novelist and Jack a promising actor. A host of eccentric minor characters memorably come and go, including Jack’s hilariously confused teacher the Wurtz; Michelle Maher, the girlfriend he will never forget; and a precocious child Jack finds in the back of an Audi in a restaurant parking lot. We learn about tattoo addiction and movie cross-dressing, “sleeping in the needles” and the cure for cauliflower ears. And John Irving renders his protagonist’s unusual rise through Hollywood with the same vivid detail and range of emotions he gives to the organ music Jack hears as a child in European churches. This is an absorbing and moving book about obsession and loss, truth and storytelling, the signs we carry on us and inside us, the traces we can’t get rid of.
Jack has always lived in the shadow of his absent father. But as he grows older – and when his mother dies – he starts to doubt the portrait of his father’s character she painted for him when he was a child. This is the cue for a second journey around Europe in search of his father, from Edinburgh to Switzerland, towards a conclusion of great emotional force.
A melancholy tale of deception, Until I Find Youis also a swaggering comic novel, a giant tapestry of life’s hopes. It is a masterpiece to compare with John Irving’s great novels, and restates the author’s claim to be considered the most glorious, comic, moving novelist at work today.
I haven't read Irving for years but Until I Find You seems in many ways quintessential Irving. There is German, sex, dominating women and girls, a generally powerless male protagonist that undergoes a protracted and sexually fringe coming-of-age atI haven't read Irving for years but Until I Find You seems in many ways quintessential Irving. There is German, sex, dominating women and girls, a generally powerless male protagonist that undergoes a protracted and sexually fringe coming-of-age at the hands of a variety of dominant and sexually precocious older girls and women, lesbianism, and wrestling. I am getting the feeling Irving has a rather specific sexual apprehension, especially as regards older women, or women related by family. I am not sure I like it that much any more. Enough is enough, was my overall feeling with this book.
Apart from the same-old same-old Irving obsession with sex and mothers, sisters, and older women, the core story was very interesting. Half-way through the book the reader shares a revelation along with the male protagonist that his life as related to him by his mother is absolutely nothing like he thought it was. The gradual revelation of truth is fascinating and surprising and depressing and uplifting.
This is one for the fans, or those who are not intimidated by a cast of manipulative, conniving, superior, powerful, and deeply disturbed females who completely dominate the bewildered male protagonist during his pathetically clueless stumbling through what he believes is his life....Continua Nascondi
Irving is one of those writers I read voraciously, I'm not quite sure why. There are better contemporary writers out there, but I'm just attracted to the way he tells a story. This one is not one of my favorites, but it may have my favorite endingIrving is one of those writers I read voraciously, I'm not quite sure why. There are better contemporary writers out there, but I'm just attracted to the way he tells a story. This one is not one of my favorites, but it may have my favorite ending (not last line, that goes to "Cider House Rules") but ending in general....Continua Nascondi
Not the best book out there. To be truthful I had a hard time finishing it and I am one dedicated reader. Although the tattoo references are interesting the whole story line is skin deep. There is no real flow and certainly no strong ending. WhatNot the best book out there. To be truthful I had a hard time finishing it and I am one dedicated reader. Although the tattoo references are interesting the whole story line is skin deep. There is no real flow and certainly no strong ending. What bothered me most was how a 8 year old boy keeps running into old ladies who want to take advantage of him every other day? Plus it's not something I desperately want to read about. If you do, give it a try. If not leave this one on the shelf....Continua Nascondi