The Hotel New Hampshire

The Hotel New Hampshire is book five in my John Irving Challenge wherein I am attempting to read all of John Irving s novels in under a year s time On with the review Incest is the best Oof Just t

The Hotel New Hampshire is book five in my John Irving Challenge, wherein I am attempting to read all of John Irving's novels in under a year's time. On with the review.Incest is the best! Oof. Just typing that made my stomach flip. Incest is one of my only triggers. That and the death of very young children, kids between zero and five, their deaths just fucking wreck me, man. Incest just makes me feel ill. It's a core reaction. Not sure where the aversion stems from, if it's natural or learned, but yeah, yuck. John Irving's fifth novel was a challenging read for me. It made me reevaluate how I looked at consensual incest; family members who are a) over the age of consent and b) horny for each other. My final opinion on it hasn't changed, but it did make me consider what my stance on the subject should be, on a moral level. And my conclusion is, I will treat it like I treat the topic of abortion. More on that in a minute. The Hotel New Hampshire is a fantastically-written book. The level of emotional detail is stunning. It's heartbreaking and thought-provoking and all those other back-cover blurbs. But the thing that impacted me the most was not to my liking. That is the aforementioned incest. And, unfortunately, that is what I feel will stay with me the longest. But why is that? Let's talk about it.Why should I care what grown people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms? I don't agree with abortion, but I understand that's not my fucking place to speak. At the end of the day, how I feel about abortion does not matter. For one, I'm a man. I'll never have to put my body through a pregnancy. Secondly, I feel that abortion is a far better option than a child being raised by people who do not want it, or being raised in the system, or being raised in any other toxic environment. Thirdly, it's none of my business what other people do with their own bodies. (Is that the same thing as the first reason? Probably, but I feel it bears repeating.) So, other than it being illegal, is incest wrong if it is between two consenting adults who *shivers* want each other sexually? Fuck if I know. This discussion is too multi-layered for my pea-brain to tackle, so I'm taking the abortion-stance route. As long as it doesn't affect me, do whatever the fuck you want. Prolly best if you keep that shit on the DL though, just sayin.With or without the incest, this is a great read. I never once wanted to put it down. Due to that alone, I feel that I cannot award it any less than four stars. The only reason I'm giving it four instead of five is because I was disturbed, to my core, by John and Franny's relationship. I enjoyed nothing about it. Irving went too far, I feel, but all good literature does. I simply can't say it was a perfect read when I was dreading whole sections.Even as I type this I'm flip-flopping. But I think I'll stick with four stars. I honestly want to give it five, but I know the family-play will put some people off as much as it put me off. Yeah, okay, whatever, four stars. Maybe.Okay, for today it's four stars. Tomorrow? Who the fuck knows.In summation: A four-star read in a five-star package. The Hotel New Hampshire is wonderfully written and affecting. If you can handle sex between siblings, give it a try. It's not the entire plot, but it does take up much of the last fourth of the book. Final Judgment: I can honestly say this is the best book with an incestuous relationship that I've read.A viral The Hotel New Hampshire Creat John Irving Viral Books The first of my father s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times The first of my father s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry Hoteliers, pet bear owners, friends of Freud the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is , and playthings of mad fate, they dream on in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and Last Night in Twisted River.. JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942 His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty six He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty seven Mr Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp He received an O Henry Award in 1981 for his short story Interior Space In 2000, Mr Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person An international writer his novels have been translated into than thirty five languages John Irving lives in Toronto His all time best selling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany Avenue of Mysteries is his fourteenth novel.. A viral Books The Hotel New Hampshire If you haven't read Irving yet, I think you should give him a try. This novel isn't one of his "big three", but it's damn good.First off, most Irving novels have some general characteristics:- They typically have a Dickensian plot, in which you follow the characters through large portions of their lives. The breadth of the novel typically goes through one generational span, but often you'll get (at least) a few beginning chapters detailing the lives of the protagonist's parents or grandparents, as well. - Irving writes of these lives through story telling.- He wants his readers to really get to know his characters. I've never read an Irving novel that didn't have, in my judgment, superb character development. Characters from Irving novels I read years ago still leap out at me; I still feel they are real, and that I know them. I have a love for them.- Irving rarely describes the internalized thoughts and emotions of his characters. Instead he gives the reader insight into their personalities through their reactions, styles, comments, loves, hates, interactions, and all-around preferences. He can do this because his descriptions and stories are very detailed and tend to be true to the universal life experiences we've all had in dealing with, and observing, people. Irving lets these personalities play themselves out, and trusts that the reader will come to understand the inner-core of the character as that character continues to get revealed.- These characters are often wacky... but in a likeable way. They make you laugh. Yet his protagonists are typically men who are easily relatable -- flawed, but likable. Typically the strong hero-esque roles are filled by women with strong personalities -- but not always.- When Irving's host of motley characters interact- ironic, tragic, comical, over-the-top, bizarre things happen. It doesn't seem far-fetched at the time (at least not to an Irving fan), because the characters are still believable, and the events that take place are simply extensions of their quirky personalities. Weird fates usually happen to weird people, right? It'd be weird if that weren't the case, but now we're just playing word games.... - There are a number of common themes that run through his novels: New England, Vienna, bears, prostitution, absent parents, the death of main characters, wrestling, sexual deviances, to name a few...- Irving pushes the boundaries of ridiculousness. The reader needs to have an appreciation for the absurd, and develop a level of trust with the author, because just about anything can happen. Likewise, having a trace of megalomania within, certainly doesn't hurt; especially when, at the end of the novel you find that some characters have become rock stars, famous writers, hollywood actors/actresses, etc. Or perhaps they die... or have something happen to a sex organ, or... you get it, right?And lastly, John Irving novels deal with important subject matters: abortion, faith, rape, fidelity, sexuality, war, the list goes on. When writing of this novel, another reviewer wrote this: “Once the novel jumps the shark, you realize Irving has all along been cruel and insensitive on every page of the book – on the subject of rape, on the idea of sibling sexual attraction, on the adoption of feminist concept, on political dissent, on prostitution, and on the lives of little people.” I couldn’t disagree more. Irving is very even-handed and sensitive when it comes to these topics. He, in fact, deals with them so humanly, delicately, and skillfully, that he's able to use dark humor as a way of comforting the reader. Trust me: he never downplays important subject matters; he treats them the way great authors do: with consideration, compassion, and heart.And that brings me to the big issue that it's in this novel, which is rape. There's an early chapter that details a gang rape, and it's one of the most disturbing, soul-wrenching chapters I've ever read in my life; hands down. The effects of rape recur throughout the novel. It doesn't just effect the victim, but the families and friends of the victim, as well, and all in different ways. In The Cider House Rules Irving personalized abortion for me; giving me a sick feeling in the gut when faced with the accounts of women who had to make that difficult choice before it was legal. In The Hotel New Hampshire Irving personalized the horror of rape in the same soul shaking way.Some believe this book is too wacky and unbelievable, even for Irving. Wild love triangles, incestual romantic love, two bears, a jewish performer named Freud, living in hotels, characters going blind, radicals, screwed-up taxidermy, dwarfs, lots of prostitutes. As said earlier, for me, most of the odd misadventures involved are not unrealistic, but rather natural manifestations of the novels' quirky but realistic characters. All the wild things that happen keep it entertaining. But some of the scenes do seem out of place; like they were thrown into the larger story in an unnatural fashion. The only other small qualm I have is that Irving overdoes the storytelling from time-to-time. When he artfully and heartfully gets into stories that relate to the novels' general themes, the novel wins. But when the novel gets bogged down in detailed accounts of irrelevant side stories, it loses. This novel could have been 50 to 75 pages shorter, and probably better for it.I only bring these two issues up to explain why I didn't give this novel five stars, despite my strong reaction to it, and despite my love for it. It's still a damn good book, and you should still read it; or at least pick up an Irving novel, if you haven't. (I'll tell you for a third and fourth time if I have to.)"It was the end of the summer of 1964; I hadn't been in the United States since 1957, and I knew less about my country than some of the Viennese students knew. I also knew less about Vienna than any of them. I knew about my family, I knew about our whores, and our radicals; I was an expert on The Hotel New Hampshire and an amateur at everything else."Ultimately this novel is about acceptance, and valuing the time you have on earth with those worthy of your love. It's special how Irving makes this novel work; like an almost magical piece of artwork, everything comes together to make a beautiful whole.

  1. JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942 His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty six He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty seven Mr Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp He received an O Henry Award in 1981 for his short story Interior Space In 2000, Mr Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person An international writer his novels have been translated into than thirty five languages John Irving lives in Toronto His all time best selling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany Avenue of Mysteries is his fourteenth novel.

358 Reply to “The Hotel New Hampshire”

  1. If you haven t read Irving yet, I think you should give him a try This novel isn t one of his big three , but it s damn good.First off, most Irving novels have some general characteristics They typically have a Dickensian plot, in which you follow the characters through large portions of their lives The breadth of the novel typically goes through one generational span, but often you ll get at least a few beginning chapters detailing the lives of the protagonist s parents or grandparents, as well [...]


  2. Win slow Berry, is a dreamer never satisfied with life, as it is Always wanting to climb over the hill, to see what s on the other side It will always be better, over there An unhappy childhood with only one parent, to raise him, a physical fitness fanatic, rather cold but a good manThe single father Bob Coach Bob , his wife having died, giving birth to Win The dedicated football coach at the prep school, in Dairy, New Hampshire, called unimaginatively, the Dairy School A second rate institution [...]


  3. The Hotel New Hampshire is book five in my John Irving Challenge, wherein I am attempting to read all of John Irving s novels in under a year s time On with the review.Incest is the best Oof Just typing that made my stomach flip Incest is one of my only triggers That and the death of very young children, kids between zero and five, their deaths just fucking wreck me, man Incest just makes me feel ill It s a core reaction Not sure where the aversion stems from, if it s natural or learned, but yea [...]


  4. So we dream on Thus we invent our lives We give ourselves a sainted mother, we make our father a hero and someone s older brother, and someone s older sister they become our heroes, too We invent what we love, and what we fear There is always a brave, lost brother and a little lost sister, too We dream on and on the best hotel, the perfect family, the resort life And our dreams escape us almost as vividly as we can imagine them I have started writing this review four, five times I can t remember [...]


  5. The Hotel New Hampshire John Irving s Fairy Tale of Life A dream is fulfillment of a wish The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund FreudOne of the benefits of having your favorite professor of psychology as your next door neighbor is learning that he is a very widely read man We are an odd pair, I suppose He is 76 I am 59 But through the years we have known one another we have become best friends We frequently exchange books the other has not read.It is safe to say that Howard is fond of literatu [...]


  6. Ein traumhaftes Buch Im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes Ich meine dies also nicht schw rmerisch, sondern vielmehr wortgetreu Ich kam mir beim Lesen der Geschichte der Familie Berry oft so vor, als w rde ich nach einem wilden Traum am Morgen aufwachen Es gibt Tr ume, die spielen ja in realistischen Umgebungen mit bekannten Personen, doch pl tzlich tauchen andere Menschen oder Wesen auf, die eigentlich gar nicht hier hingeh ren und der eigene Traum wird skurril und surreal Wie anders soll es einem denn [...]


  7. This was the first book of my new book club.John Irving is one of America s great writers Happy Days was one of America s most popular television shows Don t worry this will make sense later Happy Days was beloved, but everyone knows there was one episode where everything seems to start to go downhill for Fonzie and the kids it was the episode where Fonzie drove his motorcycle over a ramp and jumped a shark Now the phrase jumped the shark is utilized for that point whenever anything goes absurd, [...]


  8. To describe the plotline of The Hotel New Hampshire to a questioning would be reader is to realize that you ve been enthralled with a plot that is, at its core, rather silly Circus bears and run down hotels, plane crashes so silly and midgets, botched taxidermy and obsessive weight lifting these are what Irving novels are made of This was an undeniably fun read that I sped through, and I picked up another Irving A Widow for One Year as soon as I was done I just can t get enough It will be a sad [...]


  9. Awesome book I had never read Irving before, and I have no idea why not He s like that Deli that you always drive by but never go into, then one day decide what the hell and it turns out to have the best pastrami sandwich you ve ever had in your life Anyway, the story revolves around an unusual family growing up and learning about sex, sports, love, death, failure, success, etc etc It s quirky and funny and strange Irving has a knack for finding little bits of truth in truly bizarre situations.O [...]


  10. i ve probably read this 10 times now i went through a john irving phase, and i ODed about half way through 140lb marriage is a terrible book, btw don t do it.but this is one of my favorite books it would be desert island number three, but it s a little too sad i don t think it would be a good idea to isolate myself with it on an island to read again and again for eternity that said, it s irving at his best anyone who can take a family involved in incest and abuse and prostitution and suicide and [...]


  11. I feel a little bad for finishing this book so quickly, as John Irving spends years writing his books in longhand, no less and a lot of work goes into constructing his stories, but I could not put this down Never before I have been that enad so soon when reading an Irving novel typically, it takes a chapter or two until I warm up to the world he is building Not so with The Hotel New Hampshire I was charmed from the start One s enjoyment of this novel will likely hinge on his or her threshold for [...]


  12. I ve always known about Hotel New Hampshire I never knew what it was about but I knew there was a book I knew there was a film too I somehow imagined it to be something Hitchock like mixed Last Tango In Paris Imagine my surprise So far there is something about a bear I will finish this review when I am done reading.Ok Done reading I don t think John Irving will ever get five stars from me Though he is an excellent story teller and this is what a purpose of every novel should be to tell a good st [...]


  13. I winced, cringed, and rolled my eyes through this The only other Irving I d read was Garp and I absolutely adored ituntil about the last third The spell Irving had woven over me wore off and the book started to grate this one wore out its welcome in the first hundred pages I can t stand the precious little phrases the characters use constantly throughout the book what , open windows, 464, blah, blah, blah and the motifs from the author s other works bears, athletic obsession, lust, castration f [...]


  14. This is an unusual but extremely outrageous and humourous read I am a big fan of John Irving It is just plain weird in parts of the story of the Berry Family as their Father aspires to own a hotel or two There s a lot of the unconventional issues in the plot, rape, incest, homosexuality and many unexpected events with a bunch of lovable, quirky characters to add and nurture It s quite a tragic story really with family heartbreak but they know that the one thing that matters is your family and t [...]



  15. Irving is a great storyteller and novelist with characters that come to life in being all but flawless and also by taking views and actions that are unexpected, very much like in life He also has a few strange interests, such as bears, wrestling and much and a few of them are in evidence in this one as well Hampshire is good, but not one of his best, mostly due to it being quite the bumpy ride, parts are amazing and some parts are easily missed I would start with another one of his.


  16. One of my most revelatory professional discoveries is also stupidly simple It s this, courtesy of Bob Probst Reading is a selfish venture.It is Of course it is I m disappointed in myself for not realizing it earlier, because it s a principle probably one of the top two or three that guides my work with pre service English teachers, and it would ve transformed the way I taught English in high school I was reminded of the selfishness of the reading enterprise as I made my way through John Irving s [...]


  17. I recently came across a review of John Irving s work which claimed that only three of his novels are worth reading A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules, and The World According to Garp The Hotel New Hampshire, the reviewer claimed, is pretty good, but too odd to be considered great.It is oddity that makes The Hotel New Hampshire worth reading over and over I have read The Hotel New Hampshire at least 5 times, and have found that it improves with each reading True, the characters and t [...]


  18. August 2008This book seems to thumb its nose at the 1 5 star rating scale, and I almost can t decide what to think of it Five stars Well, the first part of the novel the First Hotel New Hampshire is certainly worth that Four stars In places, yes Three stars The ending, in the epilogue and the Third Hotel Two stars and one star Jesus God, the Second Hotel, Vienna, the return of Freud and that bear In a way, The Hotel New Hampshire feels partly like a companion novel to The World According to Garp [...]


  19. So far this is the weakest John Irving book I have read His books are always crazy and slightly unbelievable, but this is the first time I didn t believe Spoilers ahead First off all I just didn t believe the plane death Who travels in plans separately, did people actually do this You drive in the same car together, going separately just doubles your risk Plane crashes are just so unlikely that I didn t buy this for a second I really liked Egg and Mother, but wasn t sad when they died because it [...]


  20. Hotel New Hampshire is that book for me That one great book It makes me want to go back to any other book I rated with 5 stars and lower them down at least one because surely they do not compare to this one.It s impossible to summarize Hotel New Hampshire and have it make sense to someone who has either not read it, or not read anything else by Irving It contains bears, little people, taxidermy and radicals The story has many fantastical elements but at the core of this novel is a story about a [...]


  21. Well.let me first say that this family is probably, cray cray even than most It drained my life force the entire time I was reading it Not the first book with incest, I ever read, but certainly the most gratuitous and disturbing It was distasteful to say the least I felt badly for the black Lab, he got the worst treatment I dunno what people found endearing about this book, maybe I just didn t get it, and I m glad I didn t.Irving you really tried my patience with this one, I shall steer clear o [...]


  22. It was fate that this book and I would eventually converge, I think My writing program friends from school namely Kyle and the girl who started the extra curricular writing group I was a part of for two years frequently gushed about John Irving My bookish aunt devoured all of his older works in high school I made an attempt to read A Widow for One Year my freshman year of college and it left me cold, for as much as I trust those tastes I felt little drive to ever pick him up again.Then, in the s [...]


  23. Update 2017 I m bad with names, I really am I can t remember the names of people I met, of my colleagues or politicians But nearly two years have passed since I read this book and I still remember all of them Frank, Franny, John, Lilly and Egg I m currently reading The Cider House Rules and that just reminded me, how much I loved The Hotel New Hampshire Review 2016This was one of the most emotional and therefore beautiful books i ve read so far The characters were all so well elaborated Their ac [...]


  24. First line fever The summer my father bought the bear, none of us was born we weren t even conceived not Frank, the oldest not Fanny, the loudest not me, the next and not the youngest of us, Lilly and Egg.



  25. L estate in cui mio padre compr l orso, nessuno di noi era ancora nato Dopo aver letto il mondo secondo Garp ed esserne rimasta rapita, ho pensato non senza un po di tristezza che nel leggere il successivo romanzo di Irving non avrei pi provato le stesse intense emozioni E invece l Hotel dovrei dire gli hotels mi ha letteralmente coinvolta Tutti i personaggi che compongono la numerosa e stramba famiglia Berry, e quelli che gli ruotano attorno, ognuno nel proprio ruolo, hanno lasciano un segno in [...]


  26. Read this many years even though back then it was so different than the books I d normally read I kept on reading because the writing was so good.Want to read another of his books.Read date is a guess.


  27. It is hard to choose a rating for this book as there were things I really liked about it and things that really turned my stomach Like doesn t really cut it as a rating but, well there you go.I love the eccentric characters and the quirky, laugh out loud dialogue As I noted when I read A Widow for One year, Mr Irving is a very fine writer, better than most however, as I also noted before, he comes across as sexually obsessed and twisted, certainly he and I are not sharing the same family values [...]


  28. I read The Hotel New Hamsphire a over a decade ago I just remember being shocked about the incestuous line in the story Thinking, This is ruining this Why does John Irving always do this Completely charming characters, interesting storyline, and then the sickness It s always in there The dysfunction The immoral I know it s a part of the real world, and I don t consider myself a prude, I just don t always want to fill my head with it The great story is far enough away now I read it in college tha [...]


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