John Irving’s new novel Until I Find You will be hitting the shelves July 12. The brief description recalls Irving’s breakthrough classic, The World According to Garp, which also presented a growing boy and an eccentric mother. In this case, the boy is an actor rather than a writer, and the mother is a tattoo artist rather than a theoretician of sexuality and gender roles. The themes seem to recall Garp and other Irving novels as well: picaresque adventures, rites of adulthood, and the search for a lost father.
I respect John Irving a lot, but I have to admit a sense of doom upon learning that this book is 848 pages long. I guess 848-page books make great weapons, and if you bring one on a long airplane ride there is little chance of finishing it too early. Other than that, I really can’t see why good novelists are so often attracted to the super-long format. I’d like to hear where you stand on this: do you prefer massively thick books, or not? And what are the chances of you picking up this latest Irving tome, once it’s out?