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The Cider House Rules | [John Irving]

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

4.3 (790 )
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Story
4.4 (463 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Margot Lexington, KY, United States 10-21-11
    Margot Lexington, KY, United States 10-21-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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." .

    3 of 3 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 2008
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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
  •  
    Elyse Oxford, MA, USA 12-27-07
    Elyse Oxford, MA, USA 12-27-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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!

    8 of 10 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
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 02-09-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2010
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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
  •  
    Elizabeth St. Paul, MN United States 01-28-13
    Elizabeth St. Paul, MN United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2007

    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.

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    "The Very Best"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Swad Los Angeles 12-13-12
    Swad Los Angeles 12-13-12 Member Since 2006

    swadmeister

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    "Wonderful"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Fresno, CA, USA 11-04-12
    Jennifer Fresno, CA, USA 11-04-12 Member Since 2009

    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.

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    "A timeless tale..."
    Where does The Cider House Rules rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I loved how engaged he kept me.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both! I laughed and cried.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would gladly read another John Irving novel anytime, as this was my first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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