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am 28. Juni 2000
You can't evaluate "The Cider House Rules" on the basis of the plot: to say that the book is about an orphan who grows up in an orphanage run by an abortionist, meets a young couple (there for an abortion), leaves with them, and falls in love with the woman, is to miss about 90 percent of what makes the book special.
I've only read one other book by John Irving ("The Hotel New Hampshire"), but it seems to be the case that his novels are so incredibly character-driven. As you read the books, you get the sense that he is so attuned to the people who populate his world that he could write novels centered on any of them.
Now, you are probably aware that the book is somewhat about abortion. Indeed, Irving clearly has a point to make about the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate, and it's pretty clear which side he's on. But at the same time, to say that the book is "about" abortion is like saying that "Casablanca" is about World War 2. Clearly, abortion is inextricably intertwined with the plot and the characters, but the novel is not about abortion; rather, it's about characters who have to make life decisions, including about abortion.
One final note: for better or worse, I tend not to have much patience for "literature." I've read some Dickens, but would never do so for fun. My idea of great literature is "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson. But . . . I absolutely loved reading "The Cider House Rules" and I was never bored.
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am 7. September 2001
Ich habe gerade das Buch zu Ende gelesen-sogar während der Werbepausen im Fernsehen. Dies ist ein Buch, welches zum Ende hin immer spannender wird. Erst bei Seite 180 wird klar, woher der Titel kommt und das Hoffen auf ein happy-end hält einen bei der Stange. Das Buch ist auf keiner einzigen Seite langweilig und das kann man nur über die wenigsten Bücher sagen. Es ist erst in den achtziger Jahren geschrieben worden, aber das hat keinen Einfluß auf die Korrektheit der Begebenheiten (Erklärung ist am Schluß des Buches zu finden). Sehr schönes Buch, das einen fesselt.
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am 26. Juli 2000
John Irving was born in 1942 in Exeter, NH. He is married and has three sons; he lives in Toronto and in southern Vermont. In "For the Love of books" Irving said that "Great Expectations" was the novel that made him want to be a novelist- specifically to move a reader as he was moved then. He went on to say that in addition to Dickens his other heroes include Gunter Grass and Robertson Davies.
Each of Irving's characters break conventional rules and each has to work out for themselves which rules are to be followed. Irving wraps his story all around this title and ties his characters up in knots with it. Your reading group could discuss whether by the end of the novel the characters regret breaking any of the rules or whether they believe there are highter rules. Do the characters suffer remorse in breaking rules?
Just as the nurses at St. Cloud's pondered each child's name and saw meaning in each name, Irving christened each of his characters with a name that can tell the reader something important. Orphan Homer Wells only needed his name until he returned home. Candy was a treat that couldn't be resisted anymore than the orphans could resist the honey she brought to the orphanage. Your reading group could devote an entire meeting to this cast of characters where a rose is a rose, Melony is not a melody and Wally's mother, Olive, labors under the weight of her own olive branch.
There are two powerfully symbolic settings in this novel which your group could discuss along with the symbolism of water, floating, flying, safe lodging, shared reading or the Canada lynx which could not find a purchase on the crusted snow outside the orphanage.
There were a number of interesting words to add to our compendium or interesting words but our favorite was: "Caul"- A membrane that is usually ruptured and expelled at the onset of labor. Irving noted in his notes at the back of the novel that in Dickens' time being born with a caul was a sign that a child would be lucky and specifically would not be drown.
Selecting one favorite quote was challenging but we thought this one spoke volumes: "Dr. Larch pointed out that Melony had taken "Jane Eyre" with her, he accepted this as a hopeful sign-wherever Melony went, she would not be without some guidance, she would not be without Love, without faith; she had a good book with her. If only she'll keep reading it, and reading it."
With the "Cider House Rules" your Reading Group will not be without some guidance; you will have a good book with you.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 20. Juni 2000
John Irving became one of my favorite writers for a few simple reasons; he created flawed, yet tremendous, characters and his sense of timing for revealing information is incredible. The World According to Garp is a perfect example of his excellence, he created a world and reveals it to the reader in such a charming and simplistic way that it is impossible to summize the feeling of the book without reading the entire novel cover to cover. The Cider House does not compete. It is still head and shoulders above much of the fiction out there and an excellent read in general, but it does not have the 'star' power of some of Irvings other books. The characters are interesting, but a little too cliche, lacking commitment to the unexpected. This complaint is true to the plot of the book; it is derived, and unlike any other Irving book I have read, completely predictable. Unfortunately the characters are not enough to pull the book out of this problem. In my personal opinion, Irving sacrificed some of his natural story-telling ability in order to write a simple polemic on abortion. Characters blend together in order to state, justify, and restate his pro-choice stance. He covers every conceivable angle of the issue, and while I have no problem with the issue itself, I would prefer my authors to the leave the politics out of their fiction. All in all, this book is more entertaining that 90 percent of the other works out there, and worth the read, especially if one is a true Irving fan. The World According to Garp, however, remains one of my favorite all time reads.
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am 17. Juli 2000
I've been a John Irving fan for awhile, especially after reading A Prayer for Owen Meany.....The Cider House Rules has only increased my respect for the author. It is a wonderful story with a cast of characters who truly grow in your heart. I loved the setting of the story along the rugged Maine coastline amongst the serenity of the Ocean View apple orchards. Doctor Larch is a truly unforgetable character who is driven by moral demons of his past but is wonderfully giving to his "princes of Maine and kings of New England." I admired the writing style concerning the abortion issue; it is woven into a wonderful story and makes the reader really think about this emotional issue without sounding preachy. The Cider House Rules is one of the best books I've ever read. If I had read it before the movie came out and was Oscar nominated for best picture, I'm sure I would have been rooting for it to win! I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a truly great read.
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am 15. Juni 2000
I usually read two kinds of books: novels for entertainment, and instructional or historical books for information. Rarely does a book both entertain and create a dialogue within yourself (at least for me). Irving tells a wonderful, yet at times, heart-wrenching story. Being an orphan in today's world would be hard enough; being an orphan 100 years ago had to be much worse. And don't believe the talk about Irving just ripping off Dickens, even though Dickens is referenced to throughout the book, the references enhance the feel and create a deeper empathy for children in that environment. I don't want to give away one of the driving themes of the book, but this theme is still discussed today, and no matter which side you happen to agree with, Irving attaches characters and emotions to something usually reserved for detached, abstract religious debate. The book is big-hearted, yet very tough, and sometimes vulgar, just like life.
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am 24. Dezember 2010
Nun will ich mich den anderen 118 fünfsternigen Bewertungen anschließen, damit jeder, der das sieht, erkennt, dass es ein Erlebnis ist, dieses Buch zu lesen.

Man wird in einen Irving-Kosmos hineingezogen, der übervoll ist mit den interessantesten Geschichten um Liebe, Geburt, Abtreibung, Sex und Apfelzucht, ohne dass man jemals verwirrt oder gelangweilt wird. Man schmunzelt, lacht und leidet mit. Die Personen sind mir so ans Herz gewachsen, dass ich zum Schluss das Gefühl hatte, ihnen allen im reellen Leben schon begegnet zu sein.

Wundervoll dicht und üppig geschrieben mit verletzlichen Protagonisten mit vielen Fehlern und Schwächen, aber gerade deswegen umso heldenhafter!

Homer Wells and Wilbur Larch are my heroes!
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am 4. Januar 2000
I just finished this book last night and can honestly say that I loved every single page. It was so interesting and entertaining to read that I could read twenty pages and not even remember turning one! These are my favorite kinds of novels: ones where you debate whether to spend much of each day reading because you can't wait to see what happens next or whether to slow down because you already know that you'll be sad once the book is through. I'm happy with how long it took me to read this book, but I'm still sad that it is over.
I've never gotten to know the characters in a book the way that Irving allows the reader to know them. I read some reviews on that claimed that the book was not good because the characters were unrealistic-- I whole-heartedly disagree. Even characters that Irving could have gotten away with making one-dimensional were anything but. I think of the stationmaster who lived near St. Clouds and, without giving anything away, I will say that he had some quirks and fears that did seem a little extreme to me in the beginning. However, Irving adds background to ALL of the characters, and invites the reader to understand their traits as they would a friend. In this way, there are no bad guys or good guys in the novel-- everyone is allowed compassion and understanding. Beyond creating an interesting story, this shows that everyone that one encounters in their life has an important story behind who they are.
John Irving also weaves different issues into The Cider House Rules: abortion, friendship, family, love (especially the importance of love to a child and to a partner). And, in addition to weaving these themes and issues into the story, Irving always has different sub plots going on in different settings.
I can't say enough about this book-- It is rare that I read a novel that makes me laugh to myself or even tear a little at certain parts (I hate when people say 'I laughed out loud! I cried!' because that doesn't really happen, does it? I miss reading The Cider House Rules and I miss the characters that I got to know like good friends. If I were to see Homer Wells again, I would say to him (like an old friend) 'Homer, I missed you' to which he would reply, 'Right,' because that's what he always says. I know, because we're friends.
Read The Cider House Rules-- John Irving has now become my favorite author. I love him so much that I just went to a nearby used bookstore and bought six more of his books. Next on my list is The World According to Garp... I can't wait.
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am 19. September 1999
One of my best friends introduced me to Mr. John Irving's most heart-wrenching novel A Prayer for Owen Meany back in 1991. My friend died in January of this year, so now I say a prayer for him. I did not read any more of Mr. Irving's works until around 1997. Since then I have read all nine of his novels as well as his personal gift to his fans, Trying to save Piggy Sneed. I read Owen Meany again during my Irving marathon of reading, it is my favorite book of all time. My second favorite is The Cider House Rules, a beautiful tragedy. The relationship between Homer and Dr. Larch reminds me of mine with my father sometimes. Any Irving fan can relate with at least one of his characters in one of his comic/tragic novels. As a writer, I can only hope to create stories at least half as good as Mr. Irving's. My friend's brother and I will be seeing the movie version of Cider in December on opening night here in Atlanta. I expect a magnificent movie since Mr. Irving wrote the screenplay. If it is to be a six hour movie, I expect it will stick to the book even more than Garp and Hotel New Hampshire (unlike Owen Meany's Simon Birch-which was a good movie-but just didn't do the book justice). I hope Mr. Irving will write many more wonderful novels and that they will all be made into fantistic movies and that one day the world will understand the need for the human-kindness that Mr. John Irving feels so passionately. (Mr. Irving, please come to Atlanta for a book signing, I shall keep asking you.)
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am 27. Dezember 1999
As a preface to seeing the recently released (and critically acclaimed) film I thought I'd take a stab at reading the novel upon which it is based. For years, friends and family have told me how wonderful John Irving is and it's taken me until now to realize how right they are.
Irving is a storyteller on par with Dickens, whom he refers to frequently in this book. His characters are very distinctively drawn. You get to know them slowly and find yourself really caring about them. While some of them at times may seem larger than life, they never cease to be real. (The story also happens to be terrific, but it's the characters who profoundly struck me.)
A word of warning: while the film on its own is a beautiful achievement, I would recommend reading the book after seeing the film. I did the opposite and unfortunately was distracted from enjoying the film as much as I might have because I found myself dwelling on all that the film left out, which is quite a bit.
Michael Caine, however, is perfectly cast as Dr. Larch and the cinematography is beautiful.
I will definitely be reading more Irving.
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