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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

4.4 (1130 )
5 star
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4.5 (766 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bob 04-16-13
    Bob 04-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deep Relationships; Lifelong Love"

    I had only vague memories there was a movie and have never read any John Irving, but there was such a good sale price on this that it seemed like a good buy.

    Wow, John Irving is a wonderful storyteller. How has this guy not won a Pulitzer Prize? Better writing and storytelling is hard to find. I love Cormac McCarthy and Jonathan Franzen, but now Irving is in my top 3.

    Grover Gardner is among my favorite narrators and his performance here was super smooth and effective. Grover is always superb.

    I don't think it matters what your personal views are on abortion, this novel is so much more than that part of the story. I think the core of this novel is the deep attachments and relationships that are formed that cover the arc of Dr. Wilbur Larch's and Homer Well's respective lives.

    This is an epic length story but one I think you'll never want to hurry through and you'll look forward to every minute. There are no slow parts....it just flows effortlessly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Springfield, OR, United States 04-09-13
    Andrew Springfield, OR, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Very good book addressing abortion"
    If you could sum up The Cider House Rules in three words, what would they be?

    Provocative, thoughtful, controversial
    The book takes a more complex view of abortion from the "OK, we're against it, but now what?". The book's author, therefore, suggests that abortion - right to the end - probably ought to be legal. Other options probably should have been explored, but the question as to how to deal with this complex issue does need to be faced.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 03-19-13
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2014

    katsuey

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    "It's a Classic! So I Slogged Through Most of It"

    I didn't think I'd find a classic I didn't enjoy since I often so appreciate the artistic language in classics. Unfortunately Cider House Rules omits the great writing found in many classics and instead concentrates on a rather bizarre storyline surrounding early abortions. The doctor becomes convinced to perform abortions because he also runs an orphanage. That's pretty bizarre to me since one who loves children would seem to be one who couldn't do abortions. Just to add a little "spice" the doctor is overworked and therefore takes to taking ether naps, self-administrating the ether.

    Certainly not my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steffey 03-17-13
    Steffey 03-17-13
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    "Wonderfully lilting performance..."
    Where does The Cider House Rules rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best narrations.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader becomes enveloped in the humanity of each character. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 02-27-13
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Give me more Homer!"
    Would you listen to The Cider House Rules again? Why?

    No. I don't often repeat books.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Grover Gardner?

    Sure. He didn't really stand out but that is OK. I gave 3 stars only because I remember the story but not really the performance and I only finished listening last week.


    If you could take any character from The Cider House Rules out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Homer. I loved him. So deep, yet so simple at the same time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley RIVER RIDGE, LA, United States 02-27-13
    Ashley RIVER RIDGE, LA, United States 02-27-13
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    "this isn't horrible, but I could never get into it"
    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't get into this book at all. I never even finished listening. It was not interesting and II just couldn't listen to it anymore. I like other books in this genre, but this just wasn't interesting to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. A. Frank cali 02-26-13
    R. A. Frank cali 02-26-13 Member Since 2014
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    "I liked it!"
    What did you love best about The Cider House Rules?

    I think the best part is the solidly built framework of the orphanage. There are many side stories which are great, but this orphanage is thoroughly vetted and the moral issues of the time (and even now) are completely explored. I loved the deviousness of Dr. Larch especially, as a reader I never quite knew what complex web he was weaving. It is a very compelling story from start to finish!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cider House Rules?

    When the assistant Train Station Master came to the orphanage to pay his last respects to the (deceased) Station Master and came up on Dr. Larch performing the autopsy. All of the events leading up to this made it very entertaining.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I just like his reading voice and cadence. I especially liked him in one of my first audio books "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors". He was equally enjoyable here.


    If you could take any character from The Cider House Rules out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Candy's father (forgot his name). He was a lobster trapper but he was rumored to eat hamburgers instead. Very interesting character, he was a tinkerer, an inventor, and near genius in his creativity.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second Irving book, the first was "Owen Meany". I am now on to "The World according to Garp". I have to say that they have all been very enjoyable. I am a Stephen King fan and these novels are similar in a lot of ways. They are both set in Maine and the New England lifestyle is similarly entrenched in them. I am looking forward to reading more of his books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 02-08-13
    Laura 02-08-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful book"

    At first I had some trouble getting into this book. By the time it was done, I didn't want it to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Cushing, MN, United States 01-30-13
    Carol Cushing, MN, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I now know why it's a classic!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cider House Rules the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the format of following just a few characters throughout their lives.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cider House Rules?

    When Homer discovered who had impregnated Angel's girlfriend and how it changed his entire viewpoint of abortions.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Picturing the apple pickers on the roof of the Cider House watching the ferris wheel in the distance and their interpretation of what they were seeing.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my all time favorites!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Westerly, RI, United States 01-22-13
    Janice Westerly, RI, United States 01-22-13
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    "It's difficult getting past several chapters!"
    Would you try another book from John Irving and/or Grover Gardner?

    I love John Irving's books usually. This one is tedious and unbelievable. I fell in love with Owen Meany but not loving anyone in this story


    What could John Irving have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less medical gore


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Didn't change his voice much per character


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Cider House Rules?

    All the abortion stuff


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the story description would have told that there was an abortion agenda to this writing. I would have chosen not to select it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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