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The Cider House Rules: A Novel (Modern Library) Hardcover – November 3, 1999
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From the Publisher
Ballantine Publicity --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
More About the Author
For more information about the author, please visit www.john-irving.com
Top Customer Reviews
I've only read one other book by John Irving ("The Hotel New Hampshire"), but it seems to be the case that his novels are so incredibly character-driven. As you read the books, you get the sense that he is so attuned to the people who populate his world that he could write novels centered on any of them.
Now, you are probably aware that the book is somewhat about abortion. Indeed, Irving clearly has a point to make about the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate, and it's pretty clear which side he's on. But at the same time, to say that the book is "about" abortion is like saying that "Casablanca" is about World War 2. Clearly, abortion is inextricably intertwined with the plot and the characters, but the novel is not about abortion; rather, it's about characters who have to make life decisions, including about abortion.
One final note: for better or worse, I tend not to have much patience for "literature." I've read some Dickens, but would never do so for fun. My idea of great literature is "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson. But . . . I absolutely loved reading "The Cider House Rules" and I was never bored.
I've never gotten to know the characters in a book the way that Irving allows the reader to know them. I read some reviews on Amazon.com that claimed that the book was not good because the characters were unrealistic-- I whole-heartedly disagree. Even characters that Irving could have gotten away with making one-dimensional were anything but. I think of the stationmaster who lived near St. Clouds and, without giving anything away, I will say that he had some quirks and fears that did seem a little extreme to me in the beginning. However, Irving adds background to ALL of the characters, and invites the reader to understand their traits as they would a friend. In this way, there are no bad guys or good guys in the novel-- everyone is allowed compassion and understanding. Beyond creating an interesting story, this shows that everyone that one encounters in their life has an important story behind who they are.
John Irving also weaves different issues into The Cider House Rules: abortion, friendship, family, love (especially the importance of love to a child and to a partner). And, in addition to weaving these themes and issues into the story, Irving always has different sub plots going on in different settings.Read more ›
The Cider House Rules falls beneath sublime but well above mediocre. The characters are engaging (it would be a mean reader indeed who did not root for the protagonist, Homer Wells) and the plot meanders about pleasantly. Sometimes the tearful moments seem too easy-- nobody can stay dry-eyed when a cute little orphan keels over-- but the book bravely explores the complexities of love and abortion without preaching for any particular side.
It's a good book but if you're looking for vintage Irving, head for the classics: The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire. Or track down my personal favorite, The Water-Method Man, which remains to this day the funniest book I've ever read (with the possible exception of J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! The writing style is unique and the characters and situations contain a lot of depth. Very raw in its portrayal of an issue that is still as controversial as it was... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kerry C.
I thoroughly enjoyed how John Irving develops the characters so fully during the course of the book. I especially enjoyed Homers relationship with Dr. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
I am enjoying this book very much as I have other John Irving stories. I would like to know from other readers why in the contents of the kindle version of the book the date is... Read morePublished 10 days ago by rochelle
This book addresses moral issues that are still unresolved today. I normally breeze through a book in a day or so. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Donna Shade
It was a bit dark and depressing at times, but it was a well written and kept my interest.Published 19 days ago by Jeannie Martella
If you didn't have to read this in high school, treat yourself now. Yes it's about abortion but it's about so much more. Great writing. Great story.Published 23 days ago by Kathleen W