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The Cider House Rules Audiobook

The Cider House Rules

From one of America's most beloved and respected writers comes the classic story of Homer Wells, an orphan, and Wilbur Larch, a doctor without children of his own, who develop an extraordinary bond with one another.
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Publisher's Summary

From one of America's most beloved and respected writers comes the classic story of Homer Wells, an orphan, and Wilbur Larch, a doctor without children of his own, who develop an extraordinary bond with one another.

©1985 John Irving; (P)1999 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Witty, tenderhearted, fervent, and scarifying." (New York Times Book Review)

"Gardner understands and conveys the book's sly humor and comprehension of human foibles." (Los Angeles Times)

"John Irving's best novel....He is among the very best storytellers." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1278 )
5 star
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Story
4.5 (902 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carl Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States 05-03-11
    Carl Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States 05-03-11

    Books worth the money are those biographies about our Founding Fathers. Or THE LONG WALK and/or UNBROKEN Try THE LONG WALK a

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    "Abortion"

    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." .

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-05-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-05-12 Member Since 2016

    I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.

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    "Both Irving and Gardner are great."

    Only John Irving could have written this book, and Grover Gardner is the perfect narrator for it. The story of Homer Wells, Wilbur Larch and the other characters is told beautifully, and with the flare and detail that made Garp such a wonderful and unique book. Irving manages to include the controversial topic of abortion by weaving it in as the central conflict between the two characters, just as it has been a major conflict in society at large. The romance among Homer, Wally and Candy is extremely well-done. Irving never takes the easy way out, even though he knows that readers always want the guy to get the girl in the end. The descriptions of places in Maine are authoritative and the details of medical practice are precise, reflecting the fact that Irving's grandfather did this work. The tale of the apple orchard are rich and true. The stories of the crew are painfully true. The book covers a long historical arc, and we get to see how the characters change, grow, and some die in time. You can't guess at a John Irving plot. Although he may at times seem to be going slowly and rambling a bit, he is always going someplace surprising.
    Grover Gardner is a narrator with a great voice and a lot of talent. He has excellent inflections and many voices, and you don't disbelieve him for a minute. He holds your interest with every line. I can't imagine another reader doing this work with such empathy for the lives of the characters. This is a treasure of a book. Don't miss it.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 03-02-15
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 03-02-15 Member Since 2015

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

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    "Irving at the height of his powers"

    John Irving gave us all a gift by consecutively writing four of the greatest novels in American history: The World According to Garp (1978), The Hotel New Hampshire (1981), The Cider House Rules (1985) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989). It is not that Irving has failed his readership since 1989, but the novels listed above represent the historic height of any author’s powers. Cider House is a must read novel for any lover of serious fiction. Irving is a master story teller and effortlessly weaves together socially significant themes into morally complex human dilemmas without sounding too preachy or erudite. The novel has a natural flow that permits the reader to evaluate complex human interactions and perplexities they otherwise would not experience.

    Why should you read Cider House? 1) Cider House is an engaging and beautiful story about human motivation, child development, and lasting friendships, 2) Irving will challenge your belief system relative to abortion, family, and breaking the law for a social good, 3) You are reading a great author at the height of his writing powers, and 4) Cider House is just that good of a novel and better than the 1999 movie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margot Lexington, KY, United States 10-21-11
    Margot Lexington, KY, United States 10-21-11
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    "Great, but not his best"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elyse Krantz Oxford, MA United States 12-27-07
    Elyse Krantz Oxford, MA United States 12-27-07 Member Since 2015
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    "It kept me motivated"

    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!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Bakersfield, CA, United States 11-29-10
    Matt Bakersfield, CA, United States 11-29-10
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    "Great!"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandan 07-02-10
    Brandan 07-02-10 Member Since 2015
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    "The Cider House Rules"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Boulder, CO, USA 07-30-06
    William Boulder, CO, USA 07-30-06
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    "24 Hours of Pleasure"

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 02-09-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 02-09-14
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    "A well-written entertaining novel"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 01-19-13
    Jan 01-19-13 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Didn't know what I was buying..."

    and I wouldn't purchase again. It is much more graphic than I am comfortable reading. However, John Irving is a master story teller and I was hooked before knowing what was coming. I couldn't stop listening to this weaving tale of right and wrong, black and white, rules and the varied why of disobediance caused by the murky middleness of life. Well written, symbolic without being blatent, full of complex and very real people. One of the main themes weaving though the book is the issue of abortion, you see it from many points of view... right down to and including looking though a speculum and seeing chunks of fetal tissue. The main character who believes abortion is killing a living soul, eventually becomes an abortionist. The book goes to very uncomfortable areas including incest, spouse abuse, masterbation, affairs, use of condoms, sex with animals, abandonment, pornography, addiction, lesbians and violence. It is not written in a dirty or foul way, rather the innocence and goodness of Homer et al, makes it feel less intense as if he is the buffer. It is a thought provoking book and I understand why the ratings are so high. Just know that it is intense and I wish I could remove some of it from my mind. It is definately not for a young reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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