Avenue of Mysteries

Avenue of Mysteries

Large Print - 2015
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In Avenue of Mysteries, Juan Diego--a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and grew up in Mexico--has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what's coming--specifically, her own future and her brother's. Lupe is a mind reader; she doesn't know what everyone is thinking, but she knows what most people are thinking. Regarding what has happened, as opposed to what will, Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you. Lupe doesn't know the future as accurately. But consider what a terrible burden it is, if you believe you know the future--especially your own future, or, even worse, the future of someone you love. What might a thirteen-year-old girl be driven to do, if she thought she could change the future? As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. As we grow older--most of all, in what we remember and what we dream--we live in the past. Sometimes, we live more vividly in the past than in the present. Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past--in Mexico--collides with his future.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press,, 2015.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781410484482
Branch Call Number: LT FIC IRVI
Characteristics: 863 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
large print,rdafs,http://rdaregistry.info/termList/RDAfontSize/1002


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Feb 07, 2019

Irving’s quixotic unrealistic plot meanders with great imagination and many coincidences. The protagonist, as an adult and successful writer in America, seems to sleepwalk through much of the adult-age part of the novel as he recalls/dreams of his Mexican childhood with his garble-voiced, mind-reading younger sister (a re-mix of Owen Meany?). His usual array of eccentric characters includes garbage dump dwellers, a Catholic wanna-be-priest who falls in love with a gay transvestite, a circus-ful of add-ons, two adoring literary fans who may be sexual evil spirits, and a vehemently Catholic fiction writer. Throw into the mix a few absurd and laugh out loud situations. Not my favourite Irving novel but a passable read while in Mexico escaping winter.

May 13, 2017

Not my favorite, by all means. To say I slogged through it would be an understatement.

Dec 26, 2016

I too found this novel tedious and gave up halfway through. The early scenes in the Oaxaca dump were okay, but when the action shifted to the Philippines, I completely lost interest.

Nov 04, 2016

Couldn't finish this book - and I rarely give up a book in the middle. This was my first John Irving and it made me very reluctant on reading other ones, despite recommendations from friends. Found it boring, implausible, shallow and repetitive. And it's long, really long.

Enjoyed this a lot! I hadn't read a John Irving novel for many years, although he used to be my favorite. As someone said a long time ago about a different book of his, I was sad as I got near the end because I didn't want it to end.

Jun 02, 2016

This is the first John Irving book that I find to be boring, repetitive and confusing at times. I won`t be finishing it. It`s a first for me.

May 03, 2016

I only read the first chapter, but that's enough for me. I'm a frequent visitor to Oaxaca, the setting for the story, and I wanted to see how the author portrayed the local places and people; very disappointing, no insight or accuracy whatsoever.

Apr 20, 2016

Typical Irving fare. Dwarves, transvestites, transvestite dwarves, circus themes, religious dogma.
Irving tackles Catholicism in this story of a crippled author on a pilgrimage to fulfill a promise made as a teenager in Mexico. Lots of signature Irving riffs. The author in the story is the writer of several of Irving's own novels. No wrestling, thank God. Readers that like a tidy ending might be disappointed.

Feb 12, 2016

One thing's for sure, this ain't a linear story. Things happen non chronologically as if a patchwork of events travelling forward and backward. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. You try to make sense of why the author worked that way, but for me he missed the mark. All in all the story is really thin, so that's maybe why. And I still wonder why those ghosts were introduced and better still who the hell are Miriam and Dorothy. Not to mentioned Leslie.

Feb 12, 2016

Irving has a wonderful comic sensibility. "Avenue of Mysteries" is about a boy and girl, half-sibs raised in a garbage dump (!) in Oaxaca, Mexico. [I love saying that name: OH-ah-HAH-cah.] She can read minds (literally) and speaks in an unintelligible mumble, except to the brother who is her interpreter. He is crippled when his step-father runs over his foot, becomes a famous novelist in America, and has sexual visitations from a mother and daughter who are . . . um . . . I have no idea who or what they are: ghosts, figments of his imagination, real women? You’ll have to decide. And that's not to mention the transvestite prostitute that marries a self-flagellating celibate wanna-be priest, a statue of the Virgin Mary that frightens their mother to death . . . and a circus. This novel IS a circus!

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cals_readers Mar 01, 2019

"It takes an eternity to read some books, even-- or especially-- some books saved from burning.

cals_readers Feb 27, 2019

It often happens with grownups that their tears are misunderstood. Who can know which time in their lives are they reliving?


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