Natalie Wilhelm's Reviews > The Hotel New Hampshire

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
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Feb 25, 10

Read in January, 1999

** spoiler alert ** 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) that presently I cannot remember if it was good enough to read despite the more messed up portions of his writing. Right now, I am feeling like this in general about his stories.
Although I must admit I remember feeling distinctly like I just wasn't going to be able to handle it if Owen Meany died (and really crying, maybe even sobbing), or in general when any of the books ended, I felt a little sick that these rich, lovable characters weren't going to continually be in my life. I obviously loved his work on some level, because I read 3-4 of his novels in quick succession. I just wish he left the weird incestuous and inappropriate older women/ younger men sexual relations out of his books. I truly feel it wouldn't weaken the storyline. It wouldn't make him less a writer. But I suppose that is a part of him, part you have to accept. Maybe he is working thorough personal stuff. I doubt it, because he never seems to present it with any moral implications, it's just 'what it is' with him. He is an amazing, captivating story-teller. So reader beware. Or just make your own choice.
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