The Cider House Rules
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The Cider House Rules

4.1 (135,347 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'The reason Homer Wells kept his name was that he came back to St Cloud's so many times, after so many failed foster homes, that the orphanage was forced to acknowledge Homer's intention to make St Cloud's his home.'

Homer Wells' odyssey begins among the apple orchards of rural Maine. As the oldest unadopted child at St Cloud's orphanage, he strikes up a profound and unusual friendship with Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder - a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether. What he learns from Wilbur takes him from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to an adult life running a cider-making factory and a strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 40mm | 439.98g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552992046
  • 9780552992046
  • 89,851

Review quote

"The Cider House Rules is difficult to define and impossible not to admire" * Daily Telegraph * "John Irving has been compared with Kurt Vonnegut and J. D. Salinger but is arguably more inventive than either. Wry, laconic, he sketches his characters with an economy that springs from a feeling for words and mastery over his craft. This superbly original book is one to be read and remembered" * The Times * "Funnier than Garp...it's an irresistibly readable yarn spun by a master's voice" * Time Out * "Like the rest of Irving's fiction, it is often disconcerting, but always exciting and provoking" * Observer *
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About John Irving

John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.
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Review Text

"Like the rest of Irving's fiction, it is often disconcerting, but always exciting and provoking"
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Back cover copy

'The reason Homer Wells kept his name was that he came back to St Cloud's so many times, after so many failed foster homes, that the orphanage was forced to acknowledge Homer's intention to make St Cloud's his home.'

Homer Wells' odyssey begins among the apple orchards of rural Maine. As the oldest unadopted child at St Cloud's orphanage, he strikes up a profound and unusual friendship with Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder - a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether. What he learns from Wilbur takes him from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to an adult life running a cider-making factory and a strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend...
show more

Rating details

135,347 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 37% (50,215)
4 41% (55,727)
3 18% (23,798)
2 3% (4,354)
1 1% (1,253)

Our customer reviews

I loved this book about Homer Wells an Orphan born at St Clouds orphanage in Maine. Everyone loves his sweet disposition yet all the adoptions set up for Homer Wells are unsuccessful! Wilbur Larch the patriarch of St Clouds, loves Homer like a son and is secretly glad! Wilbur Is addicted to ether from his younger days when he contracted Gonorrhoea from a prostitute that his father organised as a right of passage. He sees 2 women die in terrible pain because of botched abortions and decides he will do all he can to stop it happening to other women, so he performs abortions,( always safely but always in secret) or delivers a live baby to women that want their babies adopted, but he always wants to make things easy for these poor women. He has plans for Homer Wells, but has to let him have a life of his own, to make sure they come to fruition! We see Homer trying to find happiness, but always feel that there is something missing for him. He falls into an unpassionate relationship with Melony another lonely orphan at St Clouds, but it was never going to last as Melony was angry MOST of the time and frightened Homer ALL of the time! the relationship fizzles out naturally and Meloney spends the rest of her adult life searching for the hero she thought Homer was going to be. The story is complex and very very touching, I so wanted happiness for Homer but it never fully arrived and I was a little disappointed in how we see Melony at the end. I loved this book and would recommend it wholeheartedly.show more
by Penny Cunningham
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