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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling saga of a most unusual family from the award-winning author of The World According to Garp.

“The first of my father’s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels.” So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they “dream on” in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and Last Night in Twisted River.

©1981 John Irving (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A hectic, gaudy saga with the verve of a Marx Brothers movie.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“A startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with Dickensian sentiment.” (Time)

“Spellbinding . . . intensely human . . . a high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity.” (Cosmopolitan)

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What listeners say about The Hotel New Hampshire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Was zum Teifel ist mit dem Bear??

Excellent!! Almost a home run. It’s a most excellent adventure just like, Moby Dick. Where Everyone is nuts. It’s a teifel of a circus. The first half of this book will have you laughing out loud. You’ll come across as a crazy person listening via earphones in public. I did. But, I would fit in well as a guest at the hotel New Hampshire. To be honest when I saw this book in audibles' library. I thought John Irving had written a new book. It was 1:00am in the morning afterI had a few drinks that I came across the book. I quickly put it in my library. The next day, I realize this was Irving's 1980’s Hotel New Hemisphere. Which I have already read and seen the movie. I had forgotten how well this book is written. Like Garp and other Irving books, the metaphors run deep and its very philosophical. To be honest I’m not a literary person. I work in Science. That said, Irving develops these characters as if they actually exist. The narration is superb. I gave it four stars instead of five, because Irving wraps up all the characters lives abruptly at the end in an epilogue. He should have just written a longer book.

2 people found this helpful

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Random

This book was very odd. Seems like a bunch of short stories together with some common characters, but the story line was weak and repetitive. I kept waiting for the author to get to the point but not sure if there was one. Save your time and energy.

1 person found this helpful

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Should have a XX rating for sex including incest.

I bought this book after reading the Owen Meany book which I really liked. This book seems like it was written by the author with his brain in charge half the time and his penis in charge the other half. As a female reader, I thought most of the sexual parts of the book were disgusting. They denounce rape but seem to glorify incest. And the cure in the book for a brother and sister wanting to have sex with one another was to have it for hours and hours until both of them were satiated and sore. The main character routinely has sex with prostitutes (he calls them whores) while treating most of them as objects with no thought of them as people equal to himself. They have a bizarre revenge scene to the rapist of the sister. The language is foul throughout the book. I wasn't impressed with this book. The author has talent to tell stories but the sexual fantasies ruined the book for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Strange Book

This was one of the weirdest books I’ve read. It goes from one bizarre episode to another. Rape, incest, a woman who lived as a bear, a gay man who slept with a manikin, the book is just strange, even more so than The World According to Garp. The reader is excellent, probably the reason I kept listening to the end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CT
  • 04-07-21

Pretty weird

It became far to sexual for me. Weirdly so. I’ll not listen to another of his books.

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    4 out of 5 stars

this book was delayed at least twice before !

There was clearly a lot of care that went into this and it shows. I am very appreciative. it is not among my top three favorite but it still has all those beats you love and all the clear influences from Hawthorne and grass. sometimes the tone shuffles between comedy and tragedy in a way that feels clunky to today's ears. I am curious what Irving thinks of this book today. very fun.

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it's a fine book, but no Garp

at times I felt like I was reading one if his other books, so many of the themes are repeated. he is a skilled writer so it is still a good book.

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a classic

one of my favorite books of all time ! great performance of this classic

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Such a fabulous writer!

The movies do Not Do his books justice because what id's greatest about then is the writing.

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Loved the first half of book

I have always enjoyed John Irving. If the book ended just after they got to Paris or if the character John could have been developed as much as the other characters without his obsession with his sister it would have been a perfect read.