After finishing A Prayer for Owen Meany and enjoying it so immensely, I thought I'd try listening to another book by John Irving. I'd read The World According to Garp several years ago, but was dissuaded after reading so many negative reviews of the audible version. There were many positive reviews for Cider House Rules, so I gave it a go. I remember enjoying the book when I'd first read it and enjoyed the movie as well.
It's a really good book. The story is very unique, with many components that make you think about things you wouldn't normally, i.e. the life of an orphan, people with convictions so strong that their lives are centered around them, the many different types of relationships that exist and some of the not so common ways people express love. I appreciated the technical medical details of obstetrics and also enjoyed one character's perspective of WWII. The topics of pregnancy, abortion and adoption were much more intriguing for me this time, not having been a mother when I first read the book.
It's a great piece of writing, but does not entertain as much as Garp or Owen Meany. I guess I'm forever spoiled! The narration was good, though the narrator sounded a bit like he was speaking in the 1950's or 60's. You may enjoy this book more if you haven't already read (what I consider to be) Irving's best.
Books worth the money are those biographies about our Founding Fathers. Or THE LONG WALK and/or UNBROKEN Try THE LONG WALK a
For those who enjoy play-by-play descriptions of before and after babies are aborted, this book is for you.
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY it ain't. But OB/GYN residents are sure to enjoy hearing about the how and why of abortions -- over and over again.
Yogi Berra might say: "It ain't over and it don't seem like it ever will be." .
As is typical with Irving, this takes a little while to warm up. But once all the characters and settings have been introduced it's such a great story. Highly recommended.
A good story, started out slowly but picked up steadily throughout. Author is a little dry and maybe that fits the setting in Maine. I enjoyed the narrator.
This was my first purchase from Audible and I mostly purchased it for its length. I wanted to listen while I walked. Well, I not only walked for miles, I couldn't wait to get out there and walk! In fact, many times when I went out for a mile I would do two because I just wanted to hear more!
I have enjoyed other Irving a lot, and Cider House Rules was the best. Yes, it is a long, drawn-out story, but I had trouble pausing. The character development is wonderful--unlike Garp, these are all possibly real characters (the Notes at the end lead one to believe they are strongly based in reality). The narrator also does a wonderful job, getting the black, Maine, Asian & British dialects quite believably right.
I wouldn't call this Great Literature: I doubt if I'd consider reading it again, for instance. But it is still first rate literary entertainment. I especially like Irving's wry humour. The narration is very good.
Fast approaching retirement as a life long oncology nurse. I love family more than anything. I enjoy reading (audio only), movies, travels, paper crafting, photography, gardening and just being alive.
I first read this book in 1986, when it first came out. I even saw the movie. Blame it on the passage of time or a bad memory, but all I remembered about it was that I knew I loved it. Engrossing, deep, funny, moving, sad but satisying. John Irving is the best. The very best. Man, can he tell a story. The narrator is perfect. He covers controversial topics, so know what you are getting into before you start it. This is a book you will be thinking about long after it is done and you will so want to talk about it! It has held up to the passage of time well, also.
40-something with a mind that still believes I'm 20 something but a body screaming otherwise! I enjoy listening to Audible books to break the monotony of grading papers and writing exams, care plans, and other various academic baloney. It's a way to escape into another place, another time, and another life. I appreciate the availability of this platform.
I had seen the movie long ago, but it was only memorable to the extent that I recognized a few key actors; otherwise it meant very little to me. Once I began listening to the book, I found the story to be so eerily similar to social issues we face today. Not to mention it was engaging and very beautifully written.
My favorite character was by far Homer. I felt his genuineness and the complex internal struggle that he had for what he wanted to do versus what he was innately called to do.
I loved how engaged he kept me.
Both! I laughed and cried.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would gladly read another John Irving novel anytime, as this was my first.
I found myself predicting what would happen, and then getting it wrong most of the time. The constant surprise kept me listening. Irving does a great job of showing his characters' motivations, and showing their flaws as well as their strengths.
Dr. Wilbur Larch is the best character in this book. I constantly found myself trying to evaluate his character. He is at various times pigheaded and incredibly stubborn, while at the same time kind, loving, and devoted to his cause. He is also an incredibly skilled doctor, who always believes in doing the right thing.
Warning: This book is, at times, not for the squeamish. I have a fairly high tolerance for graphic descriptions, and I found myself wincing and saying "eeewwww" at a couple of different parts that describe Dr. Larch's adventures as an obstetrician in the early 20th century.
I also love this book because it tackles the delicate subject of abortion, and does it admirably. Irving clearly feels strongly about the subject (I won't tell you what position he takes, because I want you to read this book), and he presents a great case for his point of view.