The Hotel New Hampshire

The Hotel New Hampshire

by John Irving

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The Hotel New Hampshire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read several Irving works, including THE WOLRD ACCORDING TO GARP and A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, but this, for me is his truly great work. I think it goes without saying that Irving is one of the most talented writers to date his narratives are strong and his work is almost always character drive, something I find in the novels of Jackson McCrae and Saul Bellow. Also, he somehow manages to show us the underside of humanity without us feeling violated. He manages this perfectly in HOTEL. With a little of everything from adolescent angst, to a bear, to the family's travails in various places, HOTEL is a myriad of fun, sadness, and a family saga that is like no other. As I said before, Irving's works are character driven, and of course you're going to find odd characters, just as you would in McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (which is outstanding, by the way), or in the works of Palahniuk. But Irving gives his characters something no one else does, and it's a 'can't quite put my finger on it' something that makes them so real, so alive, that when you finish the book, you're sad to have to close the pages. Now, there are some parts of the book that are REALLY going to turn some people off, such as the brother-sister thing that goes on. Frankly, I'm shocked more people haven't written about this, but somehow Irving pulls even this taboo topic off. One of the things I like about his books, and this one in particular, is the fact that he gives us the story, then steps back and lets us decide about the characters and what's happened. A sort of Ibsen approach to the text. In this way he takes the element of himself out of the story and all that's left is the narrative. While this is certainly not a new book, I highly recommend it, along with the novels BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and the ever popular THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, both which are very good and will keep you flipping the pages. Also anything else by Irving.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow. This book is amazing. There are so many 'little stories' contained in the main plot. The characters are all so unique... and FUNNY. They had me laughing everytime I picked up the book. Parts of the book are slightly disgusting, but hey, it keeps it pretty interesting, too. If you can get past the few sex scenes, it's a FABULOUS book. There are unexpected twists and turns through out the entire book, keeping your attention. John Irving is an amazing writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read The Hotel New Hampshire a few years ago and truly did not care for it. It's well written, but I think it appeals to a narrow audience. It's also a strange book, but not interesting enough for me to recommend.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Cindy
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Berry family is an odd mix of eccentrics who seem perfectly normal to each other. There¿s Frank, the introverted eldest son, Franny, a strange extrovert with no concept of boundaries, our narrator John, Lily the youngest daughter who can¿t seem to grow and Egg, the youngest son, who is hard of hearing and constantly changing costumes. Throw in a pet bear, a weight-lifting grandpa, a dog named Sorrow and a few more odd balls and you¿ve got a story¿. kind of. The family lives in and runs two hotels over the course of their childhood. One is actually in New Hampshire; the other is in Vienna, Austria. Their lives are complicated by loss and inappropriate love. The author loves jarring readers out of their comfort zones when they¿re reading his books. I feel like every time I read one of his books, as soon as I start relaxing into the story he does something awful and kills off a major character or throw in a disturbing twist. Irving has a serious obsession with sex in his books, particularly young men with older women. This made a lot more sense to me after I read an interview where he talked about that being his own first sexual experience. Still it¿s always slightly irked me because it often feels forced in the flow of the story. This book kind of takes the odd sex stuff to an extreme. There¿s rape, incest and prostitution, yet somehow the book is not heavy or depressing because it¿s all done with a jovial tone. Like I said, it¿s really odd. It¿s also hard to explain how you can like and dislike a book at the same time. I thought parts of it were incredibly funny, but others just overwhelmed me with their dysfunction. BOTTOM LINE: I want to like Irving¿s work more than I do. I really loved A Prayer for Owen Meany and would recommend that one, but his other books don¿t seem to work for me. There¿s too much of an emphasis on sex, troubled relationships with older women or relatives, etc. However, his writing is incredibly entertaining and I found myself enjoying the book as I was reading it, but then it lost me somewhere along the way. I stopped rooting for the characters and became too distracted by their problems. I think after this, my third Irving, I¿m done with him for awhile. I¿ll try him again in 10 years.
Scoshie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of John Irvings more bizarre stories. Of course if you havent read about poor Sorrow then you dont know what you are missing. Wonderful story and well worht the purchsae price
DelennDax7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I must have read this about 20 years ago or so. I could hardly put it down! But, be warned....it's very intense and I wouldn't recommend anyone reading it when they're in a serious depression. But, I love this kind of stuff. The characters are so real and you really get into their minds. Great book!
Glorybe1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book by John Irving, he is such a great writer. The story is made up of larger than life characters (except Lily!) they are all sooo quirky and unusual, but all quite believable!The Berry family consisting of Win and his wife(who I don't think we get the name of!) There is Frank the eldest who is homosexual, there is John who is the narrator of the story,there is Franny, who John is in love with (just a little incest to throw into the mix!!) Lily is next and Lily just can't grow! she is tiny and has a talent for writting, and last but not least is Egg the youngest of the Berry family, who spends his time in his own little world and can't hear what is being said to him! Priceless the lot of them a very funny read although taking in some hefty subjects such as rape and Death all dealt with in the usual Irving witty way. And John Irvings books wouldn't be the same without a Bear to get it all going!! 5 stars from me!
barefeet4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It made me laugh out loud; it made me want to cry.
danconsiglio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is great! A very inventive family drama that turns pleasingly strange at all the write moments!
Doondeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My least favorite Iriving book. Probably turned off by the incest.
bherner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What is it with Irving a dress dummies? Prominent in both this book and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Very strange.
samantha464 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first "grown-up" book I ever read. I love the zany characters and Irving's typical too far-fetched to believe plot lines. Yet despite all the over-the-top antics of the characters and their ridicolous quirks, I can't help but feel for them and find myself caught up in the same insanity that defines their world.
hockeycrew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite John Irving, but still an entertaining read. As often happens in John Irving books the book takes place in both New Hampshire and Europe.The reoccuring theme of the bear is definately interesting.
rcooper3589 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
talk about taboos! this is such a great story! i loved the ending!
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic Irving. If you are a John Irving fan, this is a must read.
Crystalee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Haha. This was probably the second book by John Irving that I read (the first was The Cider House Rules and let me just say they are nothing alike) and the book that got me hooked. I LOVE Irving's quirky characters, the fact that bears run rampid in his novels, and their morals that don't seem quite like morals. Great, funny (but bizzarre, I warn you!) book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving is an interesting novel to say the least. There is a lot going on in the story, for me it was too much, but nonetheless I did enjoy parts of it. I enjoyed the beginning more than the end because it wasn't as unusual, the characters seem normal and don't posses nearly as many strange quirks. My main issue with the novel is the strange-ness and how unreal it seemed; the things in the novel may be possible but not necessarily all in the same story. From the perspective of the middle child, this novel depicts the life of a family that starts off seemingly normal. Then the father becomes obsessed with a certain lifestyle involving bears and living in hotels and that's the start of the unusual sense of the novel. There are a lot of interesting/different events that occur, especially towards the end, and the end, although strange, is a good end to the novel. Throughout the entire novel, the characters just have too much going on and the novel in general does too. Death, rape, sorrow, and dreams are oddly enough what I thought to be the main ideas/themes and I'm not sure that a novel really needs all of them together. John Irving intended this for an older audience, and I think that's part of why I didn't enjoy it as much. I think if I would have had more experiences in life maybe it wouldn't have seemed so strange and unusual to me. The novel was also vulgar. Offensive language, sexuality, and bad natured ideas have a common occurrence. In addition, some of the ideas and characters just don't appeal to a younger audience.
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ReaderRG More than 1 year ago
Have read most of Irving's work, but missed this one! Truly HUMAN! Funny, disrespectful, sad, outrageous at times; a truly good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago