Lists, Miscellanea

Six Degrees of Separation // A Prayer For Owen Meany

Although I typically think of Kevin Bacon when I hear the phrase, I’m more than happy to connect books via varying degrees, from the serious to the inane. This month the first link in the chain is A Prayer for Owen Meany, which is an Irving classic. Gravesend Academy, attended by Owen, is based on Phillips Exeter Academy, which is about 30 minutes from where I grew up (I never quite realized how well known is was, I always thought everyone knew about it because it was local, I had to move away to realize what a reputation it had…).

Six Degrees Owen Meany

Another novel that offers a thinly veiled portrait of Phillips Exeter Academy is A Separate Peace, a novel I love (and one of the reasons I have a son named Finn). The novel tells the story of two roommates (and friends). One of the pair, Gene, believes they are rivals and this is the start of their demise. Although one summer, the two form a secret society, the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. This is the loose connection for the next link in the chain. To…

Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, which features Spectre, or SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, a far more nefarious organization. Incidentally, I finally watched Spectre the other night, which may be the other reason behind this connection.

One of the other things I’m watching in my spare time (better late than never) is Under the Dome, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It’s about Chester Mills, Maine, which, as the title would have you guess, is isolated under a dome.

Although not trapped under a dome, the town of Harlan is an oft-avoided, isolated town in coal mining country in Kentucky. It’s heavily featured in the fantastic show Justified, which is based on Leonard’s novels and stories, one of which is Fire in the Hole.

Although it’s a bit rare I read novels set in Kentucky, I recently read The Love That Split the World, a young adult novel with hints of time travels and parallel which just happens to be set in Kentucky. Small (reading) world.

Young adult literature is not exactly a hallmark of my reading repertoire; I do enjoy it from time to time. Recently I came across a book called Isle, set in Maine, written by a local-ish author. I downloaded a sample to my kindle and will, of course, let you know how it goes.

One of my favorites things about creating these chains is how much it can change depending on the day I write it. If I tried to do this tomorrow, I doubt I’d come up with the same eclectic mix (this turned out to be a weird one, in my opinion). Happy linking.

Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to join in, and the rules are listed here. What would your chain look like?

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  • Kate

    How is it that I have not read A Separate Peace, what with our matching Finns and all?!

    Like you, my chain could change on any given day (although I note that you do manage to squeeze in King quite regularly) :-)

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      I have to have SOME consistency.

  • http://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/ Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    Who knew Phillips Exeter was “thinly veiled” in not one, but 2 books!! I didn’t realize that about Owen Meany…

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com/ Rory O’Connor

      It’s also features prominently in & Sons, which I forgot (despite having read), and earns mention in a few others as well (American Psycho, The World According to Garp). I learned this via wikipedia (though I wish I was that knowledgeable). :)

  • http://www.estellasrevenge.net Andi

    I love this. I may have to do it myself because Owen will always own my heart.

  • Pingback: Sample Saturday – whaling, a lost child, and boarding school | booksaremyfavouriteandbest()

  • http://www.marelden.com mariahelena

    Love your links for this round :)

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