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The Cider House Rules by John Irving

The Cider House Rules (1985)

by John Irving

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,62496353 (4.08)204
1001 (44) 1001 books (47) 20th century (73) abortion (276) adoption (37) America (33) American (124) American fiction (48) American literature (100) coming of age (72) contemporary fiction (45) fiction (1,175) historical fiction (36) Irving (32) John Irving (31) literature (67) love (30) made into movie (44) Maine (126) movie (37) New England (96) novel (203) orphanage (54) orphans (120) own (51) read (132) Roman (59) to-read (117) unread (50) USA (54)
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  3. 01
    The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (suniru)
    suniru: Although the settings are wildly different,the central figure in both books is the "head boy" in an orphanage.

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» See also 204 mentions

English (86)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
This is my first non-creature or sic-fi book in awhile, and I can see why it was listed as a must read book on the 1001 book list--it is great!

The story is of the St. Cloud's Orphanage, where the kindly doctor and nursing staff take care of all the orphans. They deliver babies of mothers who want to forfeit them to the orphanage, and they give abortions to mothers who don't want to forfeit them.

The characters are vibrantly alive and pretty eccentric as well. A great read! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Yep. This is one of my few 5 Star books. When Irving gets it right it is stunning. It was like gazing into a complex impressionist painting. There are so many layers and so much beauty. I recommend reading this book if you want more than the usual "best seller" that is here today and gone tomorrow. This will stay with you. ( )
  ElizabethBevins | May 6, 2014 |
This was definitely a book that kept me looking forward to my next bus commute. I appreciated the time taken to set the scene of the orphanage- it would perhaps scare away someone looking for a hyperpaced novel but it made me feel very connected to the characters from the start.
I also appreciate the willingness to consider both sides of the complex issue of abortion. I found the novel to be in no way preachy- I think it shows the importance of thinking through moral issues critically and coming to your own conclusions despite the opinions of those around you. What person on either side of the debate could criticize that?
As a Mainer, I also appreciated his pretty accurate portrayal of that part of the world. Some of his "as they say in Maine" phrases were new to me, but others I've been using all this time not realizing no one else says that.
This book was not life changing for me, but it was thought provoking and very engrossing. Definitely lend-to-a-friend worthy. ( )
  whiteroseyes | Mar 30, 2014 |
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
This is an outstanding book that was thoughtfully put together to examine the role and meaning of rules, including civil and moral law as it applies to abortion. The issues are artfully addressed in the complexity of real life situations of an orphanage and an apple orchard in rural Maine that includes the time period of WWII. Irving creates such great characters that the reader comes to care about them -- even some of the most unlikeable ones.

The author does a wonderful job of showing how easy it is to create meaningless rules for others when you're on the outside looking in, but he also shows how we need rules and often create our own to get through life. These are not easy issues being addressed, but Irving rises to the challenge beautifully. ( )
1 vote Neftzger | Jun 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
For ''The Cider House Rules'' has greater force and integrity than either of its two immediate predecessors. It's funny and absorbing, and it makes clever use of the plot's seeming predictability.

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irving, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last." ~ charlotte bronte (1847)
"For practical purposes abortion may be defined as the interruption of gestation before viability of the child." ~ h.j. boldt, m.d. (1906)
For David Calicchio
First words
In the hospital of the orphanage--the boys' division at St Cloud's, Maine--two nurses were in charge of naming the new babies and checking that their little penises were healing from the obligatory circumcision.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345387651, Mass Market Paperback)

"AN OLD-FASHIONED, BIG-HEARTED NOVEL . . . with its epic yearning caught in the 19th century, somewhere between Trollope and Twain . . . The rich detail makes for vintage Irving."
--The Boston Sunday Globe

"The Cider House Rules is filled with people to love and to feel for. . . . The characters in John Irving's novel break all the rules, and yet they remain noble and free-spirited. Victims of tragedy, violence, and injustice, their lives seem more interesting and full of thought-provoking dilemmas than the lives of many real people."
--The Houston Post

"John Irving's sixth and best novel . . . He is among the very best storytellers at work today. At the base of Irving's own moral concerns is a rare and lasting regard for human kindness."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Entertaining and affecting . . . John Irving is the most relentlessly inventive writer around. He proliferates colorful incidents and crotchets of character. . . . A truly astounding amount of artistry and ingenuity."
--The San Diego Union

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:10 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch--obstetrician and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Clouds. It is also the story of his favorite orphan, Homer, who is never adopted.

» see all 7 descriptions

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