|Irving attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where his stepfather was a teacher of Russian history. More interested in wrestling than in his studies (he is now a member of the Wrestling Hall of Fame), Irving attended three colleges (including a brief stay in Vienna) before graduating in 1965 from the University of New Hampshire. In 1967 he received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. Irving's fourth novel, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (1968), was a resounding success, as was the 1982 film based on it. Irving's novels have often been compared to those of Dickens: both writers utilize inventive storytelling, bizarre characters, broad humor, and huge helpings of sentimentality. Married in 1964, Irving had two sons with his wife, Shyla Leary; they divorced in 1982, and in 1987 he married again, to Janet Turnbull, a literary agent, with whom he has another son.