I saw the movie many years ago and remember enjoying it, though I could not remember all the details of the storyline. This was want interested me in downloading this book. I now wish to see the movie again as it seems much was left out from the book. For the most part I liked this audible book, though the story was drawn out and at time made me think a condensed version would have been more enjoyable.
I suppose one of the many delights of John Irving is that he seems to want to celebrate the passionate pursuit of progressive ideals, but when time comes to tear apart the countervailing conservative world view, he is unable to effectively destroy the notions of the contrary position. He fights up to the edge, and leaves it there, beyond which he can no longer truthfully argue. This is astonishingly honest, and the exact means by which minds can be changed. Modern liberals could learn an important"reason in rhetoric from Mr. Irving, if they left off where they can no longer travel, they would allow for a more enlightened, or well read partisan to take over the map making
The first half was enjoyable
He might sound dry at first, but once the story gets going he is superb with the character's conversations and inner reflections.
I am a fan of John Irving and his style of telling a a story that gives us the entire life of the main characters from birth to death and beyond. I relish his taste for the absurd and irritating and irritated exchanges between his characters. However, I rolled my eyes and lost affection for Homer and Candy when they have a a baby together, deceive her family, Wally's family and the baby boy they had together by telling everyone Homer adopted the baby boy Angel. Homer also becomes a bit of douche over the Cider House Rules as his role of "boss" grows over time. He is always adding to them and writing them up, making sure they are posted if not read. The story becomes tedious much of the time between Homer's first year at the apple orchard and the "15 years later" where Melony (Homer's girlfriend during his orphanage days) finally finds him. I must add here I thought Melony's story of looking for Homer was rich and well formed. Melony calls Homer out in his cowardly ways and how he treats those he is suppose to love. The end of the story is a bit rushed after such a long time spent in Dr.Larch's battles with the hospital/orphanage's board, Homer and Candy agonizing over their choices and trying to decide if Wally knows the truth. Should they tell Angel the truth? It's a good book but IMHO there are better John Irving books to read before this one.
Not really. When one finishes a longish book he/she ought to be disappointed that there isn't more. But with CHR I was ready for it to end. Not a good sign. Irving surely is a quality writer. Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a serious of nicely done literary devices instead of a good novel.
Yes. I think I need to try one earlier in his career.
Yes. He is always first rate.
I guess not.
Interesting and enjoyable. I'd like to see the movie now and then check out "The World According to Harp". I'm open to Irving's other books, maybe his newest (2015) but need more assurance.
Say something about yourself!
No. I think the narrator was a little too soft spoken.
It painted a very vivid picture of life in the days before I was born. It made me realize just how good we now have it. For example, the difficulty Melanie had finding the orchard would just not be a problem (or even a delay) today. The role of the station master was also a real eye opener.
Mom of Twins
John Irving fully developed real characters that I enjoyed spending time with. Dr. Larch is one of my all time favorite characters. Both sides of the abortion argument were presented in a thoughtful way. The book was published 30 years ago and has withstood the test of time.
I loved the cleverness of Dr. Larch as he developed Dr. Fuzzy Stone.
I loved when Wally gave sweets to the orphans. I felt the joy he felt was captured, as well as his inner kindness.
I liked listening in 45 minute snippets so I could savor the moments. It's too good to hurry through. It's important to think about what happened so you really get to know the people.