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The Hotel New Hampshire Hardcover – 1 Apr 1983

4.0 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Apr 1983
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: E P Dutton; First Edition edition (April 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052512800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525128007
  • Product Dimensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Like "Garp...[a] startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with a Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice." -- "Time
"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world...You must read this book." --"Los Angeles Times
"Spellbinding...Intensely human...A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity." --"Cosmopolitan

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

"Like Garp...Ýa¨ startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with a Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice."
--"Time"
"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world...You must read this book."
--"Los Angeles Times"
"Spellbinding...Intensely human...A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity."
--"Cosmopolitan"

"From the Trade Paperback edition."

"Like Garp...[a] startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with a Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice."
--"Time"
"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world...You must read this book."
--"Los Angeles Times"
"Spellbinding...Intensely human...A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity."
--"Cosmopolitan"

"From the Trade Paperback edition."

"Like "Garp."..a startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with a Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice." "Time"
"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world.... You must read this book." "Los Angeles Times"
"Spellbinding.... Intensely human.... A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity." "Cosmopolitan"

"From the Trade Paperback edition."

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
"Like "Garp."..a startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with a Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice." "Time"
"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world . You must read this book." "Los Angeles Times"
"Spellbinding . Intensely human . A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity." "Cosmopolitan"

"From the Trade Paperback edition."" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A masterpiece from one of the great contemporary American writers. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I seriously don't think that John Irving is capable of telling a bad story. There are storytellers and then there are "storytellers." Irving is in that elevated category making each reading experience a memorable one. Right off the bat, you feel familiar with Irving's trademark themes. No story is complete without either a visit from a bear, a trip to Vienna or a romp with a prostitute. All these things might sound weird but Irving makes them seem so conventional.
Irving takes dysfunction and makes it seem normal. He talks about prostitutes yet it doesn't sound seedy. He gives life to a bear and makes the reader wish that perhaps they could have a bear for a pet. He just makes "pure idiocy sound logical."
The Hotel New Hampshire is the story of the Berry family living different stages of their lives at different hotels they manage to own. The love of hotel life first manifests itself when Win Berry meets Mary Bates at the Arbuthnot-by-the-Sea in Maine during a summer job in 1939. A series of events will find the Berrys opening up their first hotel in New Hampshire where they will attempt to raise their family which includes five children, a dog named Sorrow and a bear named Earl.
This is a family led by Win Berry, a true dreamer. As Irving, or should I say Freud, says, "A dream is a disguised fulfillment of a suppressed wish." In all, the family will fulfill the father's dream by establishing three separate Hotel New Hampshires with the one in Vienna being perhaps the turning point in all their lives.
This is an amazing look at an eccentric family made considerably more normal by Irving's words. They will experience life at its fullest while sharing their own measure of sadness as different family members pass on.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Hotel New Hampshire", a novel ostensibly about a New England family who eventually relocate to Vienna, is really an extended experiment of ideas and subjects for Irving and despite the glowing reviews from others, it's not a book which really worked for me personally. Irving throws incest, homosexuality, suicide, disability, philosophy, sexual abuse etc into the mix but neither the plot nor the characters are compelling enough for it really all to hang together.

This is the story of the Berry family, relatively unsuccessful hoteliers who are less living, breathing characters who might just be related to each other, than a motley crew of individuals for Irving to hang all those ideas on and throw things at. A number of reviewers of the book note the merciless way in which youngest child Egg and the mother of the family are dispatched in a plane crash with little ceremony or resulting grief - for me, the starkest example of the book's failure to engage on any emotional level - but the truth is that all of these people could have gone down in flames and I wouldn't have much cared. Irving doesn't bother to develop his characters, and is content to gloss over the fallout from, say, that plane crash, or the gang rape one character suffers, in favour of upping the quirkiness quotient or moving on to the next "controversial" topic on his list.

Ultimately, the book can be enjoyed for the sheer audacity of Irving in his choice of subject matter, and I am giving "The Hotel New Hampshire" three stars because of what this writer tries to cover here and the verve with which he attempts the whole thing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For me, John Irving is a bit of a guilty pleasure. There's a lot of things wrong with his books, many of them being mentioned by a previous reviewer. He doesn't always give his characters a rounded personality (particularly in the case of the narrator, probably something borrowed from The Great Gatsby, a book mentioned a lot in Hotel New Hampshire) and some of the events are a little too bizarre and unlikely to be believable.

Despite this, I've enjoyed all the John Irving books I've read (this one, Garp and Owen Meany) the stories are ones I can get lost in and they're the sort of books I'll sit down to read for half an hour and still be reading two hours later without even realising.

If you pick at the Hotel New Hampshire, it falls apart, but it's a great read.
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By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A family saga told by John, the third child of the Berry family, covering forty years or more. The Berry family is no ordinary family, but a family headed by a father with a vision, the vision of running a hotel; it is a vision that takes the family from New Hampshire to Vienna and back again, and brings them into contact with an array of unusual people.

However it is not father's vision the marks the Berry family as out of the ordinary, it is the extraordinary love that abounds among all its members, and love in many forms including incestuous desires. And one is bound to fall in love with them too, from Frank the eldest and gay son to Egg the youngest who lives in his own world of dressing up, and in between Franny, beautiful and fearless, John our narrator, and the undersized Lily who writes 'to grow'. It is a family that sticks together and pulls together even when in time they move apart geographically.

While consistently funny it yet swings between being moving, occasionally tragic, and at some hilarious for whole episodes, and it is always involving. A most imaginative and engaging and very well written novel filled with an array of unlikely yet believable characters - whether those of the Berry family or those of the numerous individuals who become a part of their lives.
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