• The Hotel New Hampshire

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (332 ratings)

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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
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people 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.

8 people 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.

4 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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story irritating narrator

The narrator is slow and mispronounces a lot of words repeatedly. He is not convincing as the main character and I only continued to listen because of the author.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite John Irving

A little too crazy for me. The first half was very confusing and too strange. Then you get to meat of it the last 6 hours or so. It ends up being a good book. But getting through it too that point was tedious. I think I might listen to the first half again so I can understand it better. The first half might make more sense. I am glad I stuck with it. I almost didn’t.
The narrator really got on my nerves. It took me a long time to get use to his reading. His voice would go up at each sentence like it was a question. I finally got use to it.

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Long

I read the book years ago & wanted to read it/listen to it again. However, it just drags on & on which I didn’t like. I enjoy the author & how he writes but just couldn’t enjoy the story as much this time around & in this medium.

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Well read, but not my favorite

Really good in parts, but really drags is others. Get "Garp" or "Cider House" instead.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great book by John Irving

I'm a huge Irving fan, but I never got around to reading his first great novel. This story has his fingerprints all over it: bizarre story lines, bizarre characters, and a complicated multilayered story that is really about something different than what he actually wrote. The book is great, and the voice actor is phenomenal. He creates very identifiable and believable characterizations for each character at will, and switches between them as required. He really makes the characters come to life. A great audiobook, and a great story by a great contemporary author.