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Who Will Run The Frog Hospital

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  6,153 Ratings  ·  629 Reviews
This novel follows the lives of two 11-year-olds intent on escaping childhood. As the strength of their friendship is tested repeatedly, they begin to take their first, exhilarating steps towards adulthood.
Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published (first published 1994)
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Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while you read a news story about a recluse who's devoted his life to some miniature: the New York skyline on a grain of rice, Angkor Wat in porcelain. This is how this novel feels to me. (I should note I have no reason to believe that Lorrie Moore is a bearded recluse.) Frog Hospital -- which I love, love, love -- isn't a novel of great inventiveness, or scope, or wisdom. It is a book of breathtaking craft. Moore takes her stock-standard, ever-powerful themes -- innocence and it ...more
2 stars

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital is the first book I have read by Lorrie Moore. Apparently it has been eight years since she last published a novel. My sense here is that she simply tried too hard, or perhaps she was shooting for something that she couldn’t quite pull off, because the story – two stories, really – didn’t connect in the way I suspected she wanted them to. Interactions between characters felt disjointed, and the writing often came across as contrived: Earl was Earl Gray, a m
Jul 14, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First off, let me say that I adore Moore's short stories. *Adore.* And find her work as a novelist as lacking in real bite or interest as, say, the novels of Ethan Canin, which are some kind of horrible. I read part of this once before and gave up and only picked it up again because someone I esteem loves it.

Hard pressed to explain why this novel so irritated me. It is written beautifully, of course; and the core story--about a seventies girlhood in a small town with the usual coming-of-age hooh
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 stars

In Paris we eat brains every night.

So begins Lorrie Moore's sumptuous novel(la) Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, a work that's two-thirds girls-coming-of-age-in-the-Nixon-years and one-third a tale of middle-age regret and lost opportunities. That it's compressed into 150 pages (which, when reading, feels much longer, in a good way) imbued throughout with a "you-are-there" feeling, chock-full of memorable lines, is remarkable.

It starts with Benoîte-Marie (Berie) in Paris, traveling
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not figure out where in Upstate New York this book was supposed to take place. The name of the town sounded like somewhere out near Elmira, details of the town at times sounded like Saratoga, but other details made the town sounds smaller, and more like a place sort of near Lake George. But then the distances mentioned at the end of the book made none of the earlier distances sounds correct. I'll ignore certain details and place the book as being in Saratoga, and the theme park as being ...more
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I was not aware of Lorrie Moore until I heard about her most recent book “A Gate at the Stairs“. I’m thrilled to have discovered her and I’m looking forward to reading as much as I can from her. “Frog Hospital” is a wander down memory lane. Moore and I are contemporaries so me (and a few billion other boomers) will easily recognize her sense of time. The place was a bit more foreign to me; it almost felt like Canadian though since Minnesota is so close to Canada that’s not too su ...more
alana Semuels
En general, I love me some Lorrie Moore. I thought Gate at the Stairs was funny and brilliant. The last story in Birds of America made me cry (Or at least it made me want to cry. I think I was in a good mood when I read it). But this book felt it was written while Moore was watching TV, or else that she dashed off a quick draft and sent it to her editor and it somehow got published, even though it was just a first draft.

It reminded me of when you go to an art gallery, and they have some special
Chris Dietzel
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lorrie Moore is quickly becoming one of my favorite literary fiction writers. She has a perfect blend of insight and humor mixed into her writing, a combination that leaves you smiling even as something painful or awkward is happening in the story. While this didn't grab me as much as A Gate at the Stairs or Like Life, it was still a pleasure to read. If literary fiction is your thing, definitely check out Moore's books.
Joan Winnek
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel by Lorrie Moore that I have read, and now I want to read some of her short stories. This is a minimalist novel that alternates between the narrator as an adult with a tenuous marriage and narrator as a teenager in small-town America, embroiled in a friendship with another girl that she later revisits. Much is summarized; the highlighted moments are important and tender, several strands pulled into an impressionistic picture.
Katie Schmid
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The weather systems in girls' lives and friendships are worthy of serious study. That is the thesis of this perfect book.
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? makes me want to sing in a choir and skip service at the same time.

a novel written from the perspective of a 40-something woman recounting her last summer as the best friend of an underage demigoddess, Lorrie Moore weaves bittersweet nostalgia with the present. (there is no there there.) berrie carr eats parisian brains in an attempt to taste something familiar, she catches up with her rich french-american friend living off french welfare who reminds her of sils,
Sadly, my favourite part of this novel was the title. It's not that Moore can't write, but what a depressing story that I feel like I've read so many times. If you like to read novels about 15 year olds who smoke, steal, smoke pot who both live in disfunctional families who are teens in the very early 1970s, and then the protagonist is now married and staying with a spouse who cheats on her, and there is much symbolism in how they like to eat brains (how the books starts and it comes up again la ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women
When I was in 11th grade, my English teacher, who knew how much I loved to read, recommended this book to me. Four years later, I found a copy in my favorite used bookstore in Philadelphia and five years after the initial recommendation, I sat down and read it in one evening.

I started reading it while I was taking a bath, and I really wish that I hadn't because I didn't bring a pen with me to underline my favorite parts. I'll reread it again and try to remember to do that.

This is one of those re
yet another book that should be almost 4 star.. beautiful use of language and very evocative of growing up and teen age angst. The book leaves a lot unsaid. painting a broad picture of a family that appears to have no emotional connection or warmth and the impact on the main character. The main thread discusses the closeness between two teenage girls..a bond that seems so strong at the time yet is so fragile when confronted by thereality of growing up.
Heard an interview with the author on pbs w
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Blair by: Lee
Poignant, funny and beautifully written: a wonderful evocation of adolescent friendship and adult regret, hindsight, etc. A great coming-of-age story, and recommended to all fans of the same. Definitely want to read more by this author.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ignore the unfortunate title; this is as elegant and powerful a narrative of remembrance as Nabokov's Speak, Memory.
Ned Andrew Solomon
I think I'm a fairly intelligent someone, and then I get to reading Lorrie Moore. This is the second novel I've read by her - A Gate at the Stairs being the first - and they are both brilliant and packed solid with insights, fascinating concepts and fecund prose. She writes beautifully - unfortunately, I don't always understand what she's writing about! I will re-read paragraphs - as I often do - to try to understand, but sometimes I just scratch my head. It's as if I've encountered very persona ...more
Recently I found myself thinking of Margaret Atwood’s great novel Cat’s Eye, about a friendship, close and scary both, between two Canadian girls. This got me thinking of another great novel of young female friendship, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, by Lorrie Moore, and it’s my weekend read. Protagonist Berie, a photography curator in her late 30s, is in Paris with her husband, and the marriage is not going very well. She begins remembering the summer of her fifteenth year, in 1972, when she w ...more
yasmine skalli
i think that maybe if i were to read this book later in my life it would be more appealing. so for now, it’s a 2/5.
Michael Livingston
A short, beautiful coming of age story, written with Moore's characteristic wit and charm.
Stephanie Sun
“My life like an old turnip: several places at once going bad.”

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? is a look back at what the publishing industry euphemistically calls “young adulthood” by a writer who, during her own years on the young side of adulthood, preferred to dwell on life’s inglorious middle. While Moore refrains from some of the snappier crutches of the genre, she does demonstrate a fantastic ear for the pithy truths of those looking upon the grown-up world for the first time as near-pe
Adam Dalva
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Once I saw a girl who'd been fired the year before driving around town still wearing that pinafore and dress. She was crazy, people said. But they didn't have to say."

There's no better writer of sentences, no funnier cultural being, than Lorrie Moore. The humor here comes, as always, fast and unexpectedly, the left cross of a joke landing while we're focused on the looping right of a plot arc. The main thrust of this novel is fantastic and poignant, as the lead remembers an adolescent year with
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all Lorrie Moore books, this one made me confront truths about myself that I'd rather not entertain or mull over memories I'd rather forget. This time, though, I was thinking about a childhood friend who I liked way more than she ever liked me. That's the thrust of "who will run the frog hospital."

The story is told from the perspective of Beri as an adult in a lousy marriage on vacation. The narrator voices a feeling I've had, that we are all just collections of the people we've met, even t
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A slim novel but one of the best. The slender ones usually are. Or at least more likely to be than the fat ones.
A disillusioned woman, sort of stumbling through but forward in life, looks back on her coming of age and her relationship with her best friend. Captures the persona of a young teenager —funny, wisecracking at times, yet often tender and childlike, longing for simultaneous innocent childhood and adventurous adulthood.
“…my grandmother, who, when I visited, stared at me with the stagger
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This woman can write! Like this.

"Passing cafes and restaurants, I walk through the bright glance of men in love, who, looking briefly away from the lover across from them in order to more perfectly form a sentence, unwittingly cast their gaze across my path like a light. And so, momentarily, to have accidentally caught their desire, swimming across the current of it like that, passing through, I feel loved, in a warm and random way, wandering through it, as if it were a rainbow, that old trick o
Garlan ✌
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-of-age
A really beautifully written little book. Moore's prose and deft turn of phrase make for a great read in this short novel. Mostly a flashback to one year of a young girl's life when she and her best friend began their journey into adulthood. Some really great passages that I had to underline; I even (gasp!) dog-eared a couple of pages so I could easily return for a re-read. Almost a 5 star read.
L a n c e
Sep 11, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
reading this book there were times when i forgot i was reading lorrie moore, and then with one or two sentences i was reminded why i love her stories. this book is no where near as good as her collections, but those lorrie moore moments make this book worth reading.

i have no memory of what this book is about.
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love me some teenage angst. Oh who am I kidding. I love all angst.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loves-it
Más allá de la genialidad incuestionable de Lorrie Moore, toda persona que haya tenido un/una Silsby Chaussée en su vida va a atesorar con mucha nostalgia esta historia.
Brent Legault
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moore is a master. This novel, then, is her masterpiece. And this masterpiece, that is its style, manages to be both freaky fresh and soothingly nostalgic. The nostalgia comes from the high literary polish that existed in that genre during the 80's and 90's of America that was once the realm of Joy Williams (still is) and Raymond Carver and others. Fresh because goddam it just makes everything new again. It makes me breathe. It is eternal.
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Lorrie Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1957. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she tutored on an Indian reservation, and was editor of the university literary magazine and, at age 19, won Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Contest. After graduating summa cum laude, she worked in New York for two years before going on to received a Masters in Fine Arts from Cornel ...more
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“I often think that at the center of me is a voice that at last did split, a house in my heart so invaded with other people and their speech, friends I believed I was devoted to, people whose lives I can simply guess at now, that it gives me the impression I am simply a collection of them, that they all existed for themselves, but had inadvertently formed me, then vanished. But, what: Should I have been expected to create my own self, out of nothing, out of thin, thin air and alone?” 27 likes
“I've accrued a kind of patience, I believe, loosely like change.” 16 likes
More quotes…