Last Night in Twisted River

Version: Unabridged
Author: John Irving
Narrator: Arthur Morey
Genres: Literature
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: October 2009
# of Units: 20 CDs
Length: 27 hours, 50 minutes
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In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable’s girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County–to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto–pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them.

In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River–John Irving’s twelfth novel–depicts the recent half-century in the United States as “a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.” From the novel’s taut opening sentence–“The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long”–to its elegiac final chapter, Last Night in Twisted River is written with the historical authenticity and emotional authority of The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is also as violent and disturbing a story as John Irving’s breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp.

What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author’s unmistakable voice–the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller. Near the end of this moving novel, John Irving writes: “We don’t always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly–as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth–the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives.”

Reviews (7)

Last Night in Twisted River

Written by Anonymous from Vestal, NY on August 5th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Basically I partially agree with all previous comments. Story was basically interesting and I did finish it. However, there was too much detail provided in many chapters so that one did get tired of hearing parts of it. Narrator was very good but the whole book would have been better if it was about 2/3 as long as it is. Unlike other reviewers, I do agree with most of the political views expressed but it seemed to me that they were not needed for the story and the book was lengthened by putting them in

Well worth reading

Written by Anonymous on July 6th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved it and hated to see it end, although the airing of political views at the end was unnecessary and distracting. However, it was a riot, poignant, outrageous..... a very good read!

Couldn't get through it

Written by Anonymous on March 9th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This is the first audio book I've had to quit on. I made it through 7 disks before sending the whole 20-disk package back. There was so much repetition and so little plot. Irving jumps around between time periods in a way that is hard to follow, and the foreshadowing gets tiresome because it takes so long for anything to actually happen. It was focused mainly on character development, which I guess is fine, but I found myself not caring about the characters because I was so bored. I found it a big waste of time, and usually I love the long audio books.

Very Deep

Written by Tammy on May 27th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I felt like I had lived right alone with these characters. They came to life. Wonderful story. I hated to see it end.


Written by Steve Y. on December 18th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I'd like to give this 5 stars. It's an interesting story, well developed, and worthwhile. Unfortunately, the writer overwhelms his otherwise interesting characters with his own "twisted" political views. In fact, towards the end of the story it becomes especially unbearable. Typically, liberal writers use their works to soap box whatever ridiculous "armchair quarterback" opinions they have. This one spewed his bleeding heart from Vietnam to 911. It certainly detracts from what could have been a great story.

Last Night in Twisted River

Written by Anonymous from Feeding Hills, MA on May 14th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Even though this was a very long book (probably needed an abridged copy) it was an extremely interesting story of family, friends living their lives over a period of 50 years. The reader was excellent and easy to listen to , especially necessary for a long book. The stories of various characters were wonderful to listen to. I espectially liked the references to Vermont and New Hampshire sites which I recognized as living in New England. From the beginning to the end I couldn't wait to hear the next chapter in the characters lives.

Last Night in Twisted River

Written by heybert on April 21st, 2012

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The underlying story in this long, long book is interesting, but those chapters are few and far between. There are endless boring sections that detract from the main story and caused me to completely zone out -- not so good when you're listening while driving.

Author Details

Author Details

Irving, John

John Irving is the author of numerous novels for adults, including "A Widow for One Year, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany," and "The World According to Garp," He lives in Vermont and Toronto.