Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

The Hotel New Hampshire (1981)

by John Irving

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,62164981 (3.86)2 / 132
""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 Widow for One Year" and "The Cider House Rules."… (more)
  1. 51
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Booksloth)
  2. 31
    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton (Trifolia)
  3. 20
    Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (readandride)
  4. 21
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Othemts)
    Othemts: Multi-generational eccentric families, entrepreneurship, incest, the average made epic - yep, these books have it all!

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (55)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
The first half of this book was greatness. Then it started to get a little bit sluggish. Then there was some dramatic action. Followed by some really messed up bits. The conclusion was satisfactory. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
This is a strange book. On the one hand it's interesting, but on the other very boring. I'm not so very interested in the family and also not in the individual members of it.
It took me quite some time to get through and now I'm happy I've finished. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 24, 2018 |
All'inizio questo romanzo non mi convinceva affatto. C'erano troppi bambini, e un'atmosfera fiabesca, e a un certo punto ero convinta di aver sbagliato lettura, e che quello fosse un romanzo per bambini.
E invece.
"Hotel New Hampshire" è la storia appassionante di una famiglia stramba. Una famiglia che mentre cresce conosce la gioia, ma affronta anche il dolore e la rovina. John Irving è straordinario, e io lo amo senza riserve. È straordinario, in questo romanzo, il modo in cui Irving tratta temi tutt'altro che leggeri (lo stupro, l'incesto, la morte, il suicidio, la malattia), lasciando trapelare un'umanità perfettamente ritagliata addosso ai personaggi; una leggerezza che non è superficialità, ma che ci racconta di come le persone sopravvivono a tutto, anche alla rovina. Ecco, benché strambi i personaggi di Irving mi sembrano veri, reali, pieni di sfumature. Umani. ( )
  lonelypepper | Feb 22, 2018 |
Irving certainly doesn't shy away from taboos. ( )
  dele2451 | Feb 10, 2017 |
“You take every opportunity given you in this world, even if you have too many opportunities. One day, the opportunities stop, you know.”

The book opens with Win and Mary telling John Berry (the narrator) and his four siblings how they met and came to own a bear called "State O' Maine". The story is so familiar that all five of the children will sit still and listen, often adding pieces of information.

Win and Mary, grew up in Dairy, New Hampshire. The two marry immediately after their summer working at a resort hotel where John has become the owner of a performing bear called State O' Maine who later is renamed Earl. Win uses the bear as a means of earning a living until he has enough money to attend Harvard. Mary remains at home, having the first three children rapidly. Win is then drafted and the last two children aren't born until after his return.

When the local girls' school closes Win buys the abandoned building and turns it into a hotel, the Hotel New Hampshire. John and his siblings grow up in Dairy and attend Dairy school, however their lives are hardly idyllic culminating in the eldest daughter,Franny, being gang raped by members of the local football team. The hotel is struggling but when Win is offered the chance to take the family to Vienna where he will once again run a hotel he decides to uproot his family to Europe . However,disaster strikes when the plane on which Mother and Egg,the youngest child, are travelling crashes and both are killed. At the hotel in Vienna there is a woman named Susie dressed as a bear who serves as security as the hotel is the base of a small group of prostitutes and some revolutionaries. Seven years later the family later uncovers and foils terrorist plot to blow up the Vienna State Opera House but not without cost. Their friend and benefactor Freud is killed and Win blinded but the family has become overnight heroes giving them the opportunity to move back to the States.

Partially due to their fame, youngest daughter Lilly becomes a successful author with eldest son Frank as her agent. Meanwhile, Win has convinced the family to purchase yet another hotel, the abandoned resort where he met Mary. They agree but rather than opening it as a hotel they open it as a rape crisis centre run by Susie, the "bear" from Vienna who is also on hand when Franny confronts her rapist.

Now there are definite similarities with this novel and Irving's The World According to Garp, notably Vienna and Viennese prostitutes but unlike the former novel this one contains a lot less dysfunctional family unit. In fact the importance of family is a key theme, as disaster strikes the Berry family they support one another. Maturing from childhood into adulthood and coming to terms with desires in the real world and a world of illusion are also key elements. However, like TWAtG Irving weaves and wondrous fantasy tale with a dry wit throughout. Not as good as TWAtG but a fine stand alone read all the same. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jan 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Like a fairy tale - and Irving reminds us with tireless zeal that his novel is a fairy tale -''The Hotel New Hampshire'' is both fanciful and cruel. The Berry family is oddly susceptible to disaster; suicides, airplane crashes, blindings by terrorist bombs abound. Nor is this feisty crew beyond wreaking havoc among themselves. ''To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread, we were just a family,'' observes the narrator (named John, in the autobiographical fashion of the day); but sibling incest is a dominant motif, and their incessant colloquys are conducted in a language heavy with insult and innuendo.

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irving, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my wife Shyla,

whose love provided

the light

and the space

for five novels
First words
The summer my father bought the bear, none of us was born - we weren't even conceived: not Frank, the oldest; not Franny, the loudest; not me, the next; and not the youngest of us, Lilly and Egg.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.86)
0.5 3
1 16
1.5 14
2 79
2.5 20
3 398
3.5 108
4 658
4.5 62
5 454

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 146,456,390 books! | Top bar: Always visible