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'The brown bears paced, brushing their thick coats against the bars; their heads swayed low to the ground, in rhythm with some ritual of stealth they were born knowing and pointlessly never forgot' It is 1967 and two Viennese university students decide to liberate the Vienna Zoo, as was done after World War II. The eccentric duo, Graff and Siggy, embark on an adventure-filled motorbike tour of Austria as they prepare for "the great zoo bust." But their grand scheme will have both comic and gruesome consequences, as they are soon to find out...
John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.