My second favorite Irving book. (Owen Meany, #1.) Anyone who thinks abortion is a black and white issue should read this book. It is as relevant to today as it would be to the time about which it was written.
A beautiful, emotional novel.
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.
I just started reading and listening to John Irving. This guy is amazing. I loved so many things about this book. I love how human his characters; and their flaws make you love them the more. My daughter spent the first year of her life in an orphanage so I was super interested to read about institutional care, and Irving's portrayal of the mind of an orphan. Many characteristics resonated from my own experience. He has some unforgettable lines. This book is one of the best among the dozens I've listened to in the last two years.
I liked the movie The Cider House Rules, and thought I'd check out the book, since the book is almost always better than the movie. This is one case where sadly that is not true. After listening to 8 hours of this horribly depressing story, including at least 30 minutes devoted to a picture of a woman having intercourse with a horse, I gave up.
Irving's purpose seems to be to take every good nostalgic thought you have about the past and cut it open to show you not only its dark side, but it's innards as well. In some of his works, this is revealing and interesting. Here, it serves only to shock and disgust. I wish I hadn't wasted my credits on this dreadful disgusting book.
I love Gardner and John Irving and they work well together. The story focuses on the issue of abortion and does display both points of view from different characters.
I loved this book. Wilbur Larch is one of my favorite literary characters of all time now. He shares many of my same views on abortion and religion. When I purchased the book I had no idea what I was getting into, but what a surprise it was fantastic. I listened to it frequently at work and alot of it was awkward for a co-worker to walk in during, but aside from that the narration was wonderful. I want to listen to more books read by Grover Gardner just to hear his voice again.
This was recommended to me by a friend. I did enjoy it a lot and I had a lot of fun discussing it with my friend. It hit home to me in a lot of personal ways. It was very well written and a classic. It is currently worth reading. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Definitely not John Irving's best. Though filled with vivid characters and creative expression, the story moves at such a snail's pace it seems to never get off the dime. This book is badly in need of forward momentum because it runs 24 hours long.
See my review on John Irving's book The Fourth Hand. You'll be much happier with that title.
This book has many interesting facets: part soap opera, part love story, and partly a passionate plea for tolerating abortion. Primarily, it is a treatise on the need to treat women and lovemaking with dignity and discretion. It could use some editing for excessive length, however.