How is the fact that John Irving grew up without his natural father reflected in his work?
Animals often play an important role in Irving’s novels. How does he use them symbolically?
Irving admits to being a fan of Charles Dickens. Can you find evidence of Dickens’s influence in Irving’s novels?
Some have described Irving’s plots and characters as “bizarre.” Cite examples of why this epithet is appropriate.
How important is humor in Irving’s novels? Where is the humor “black”? Where is it “broad”?
Irving’s eye for detail is considered one of his strengths in his novels. Find passages that are especially appealing to you and discuss why they are successful. Consider word choice, sentence structure, and sense images.