No thriller in Manila as Irving mislays his mojo

FICTION; Avenue of Mysteries; By John Irving; Doubleday, €20

20th March, 2016
John Irving: a disappointing outing from a veteran of US fiction Picture: Bryan Meade

Avenue of Mysteries is the story of a writer named Juan Diego, himself a perpetrator of loose, baggy monsters (Diego’s novels, Irving tells us, are “a tad old-fashioned,” and they seem to bear a close resemblance to some of Irving’s own earlier books). Born a slum kid and raised in a dump in Oaxaca, Mexico, Juan Diego teaches himself to read and grows up to become an American success story, the author of a bestselling...

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