The Cider House Rules

cider house rules john irvingThe Cider House Rules by John Irving, 2/5

The experience of reading my second John Irving book could not be more different than the first.  Whereas I approached his A Prayer for Owen Meany with suspicion that changed to surprised delight, the glowing reviews and popularity of The Cider House Rules ill-prepared me for an unenjoyable story that left me feeling dirty and unsatisfied.  There is no questioning Irving’s talent as a writer, but I found the book’s case for abortion to be repellently illogical and lazy, while the characters were mostly unlikeable and the adult content was disgusting (and, in my opinion, artistically unjustified).

[Why I read it: It’s famous, I enjoyed Irving’s Owen Meany, and a very likeable, intelligent person I met in Wales named it as one of his favourite novels.]

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