Study Guide

John Wolf in The World According to Garp

By John Irving

John Wolf

In a book filled to the brim with feminists, intellectuals, and tough women, John Wolf is a "a careful, conscientious [...] even elegant man" (19.191)

He's got everything going for him. Runs a successful publishing house in NYC? Check. Has tons of lady friends? Check. A killer office with a mind-blowing view? Check and mate.

He definitely seems like the odd man out—even more than Garp—during meetings for the Fields Foundation. While he's sympathetic with their cause, he always has business on the mind—his respect for Jenny and Garp isn't enough to keep him from seeing dollar signs.

But you'd be giving Wolf short shrift if you define him solely as a cold-hearted businessman. He truly believes in Jenny and Garp's talents and is supportive of their cause. Then, when you factor in his fling with Roberta, you're forced to realize that this Howlin' Wolf has a few tricks up his sleeves. It looks like Jenny wasn't the only one whose life was changed by A Sexual Suspect.