cover image A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany

John Irving. Ballantine Books, $7.99 (640pp) ISBN 978-0-345-36179-0

Although he is convincing in his appraisal of the tragedy of Vietnam and in his religious philosophizing, ``Irving's storytelling skills have gone seriously astray in this contrived, preachy, tedious tale of the eponymous Owen Meany, a latter-day prophet and Christ-like figure who dies a martyr after having inspired true Christian belief in the narrator Johnny Wheelwright,'' warned PW . Author tour. (May)