John Irving is an American novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of over a dozen novels and the screenplay for The Cider House Rules
. Known for his very idiosyncratic method of working: he always writes the ending of a novel first, and structures the rest of the story towards that ending.
Notable works include
Some tropes in his work include:
- Adaptation Distillation: Of course, with most of his novels topping 500 pages, it's inevitable.
- Adult Fear: The violent death of young children is a recurring motif.
- And I Must Scream : Deconstructed with the Ellen Jamesians in The World According To Garp. The Ellen Jamesians are a group of radical feminists who cut out their tongues in support of a young rape victim.
- Author Appeal : Some strange sex pops up in all of Irving's novels. Also Vienna, Exeter, bears, and wrestling.
- Genre Throwback: All of Irving's books are throwbacks to the plot heavy, Door Stopper novels of the nineteenth century, particularly Charles Dickens.
- Hollywood New England : All of Irving's books take place in New England locations.
- May-December Romance : Inverted with A Widow For One Year (a younger man loves much older women). Played straight in other novels.
- The Film of the Book : Five of his novels have been adapted into successful films.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Irving goes out of his way to avert this; you always know what happens to almost every character.
- Write What You Know : Irving attended prep school at Exeter, as do many of his characters, or an Expy of same. He was also a high school wrestler and wrestling coach, and his characters in The World According To Garp are involved with the sport.