Ron's Reviews > The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules by John Irving
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

There's no doubt about it: John Irving is a genius. I don't know of any other author to whom I've given three of his books five stars, but this is another, and I've yet to read several of his others.

He produces storylines whose twists and turns are crafted carefully to be convincing yet never predictable; a range of characters that stay in the mind for a long time after putting down the book; research on a variety of topics that makes you believe he's an expert on them all, and also the little things, the motifs and phrases that become almost the catchphrases of the novel.

In Cider House Rules, all of these apply. The life of the unforgettable Homer Wells, as he moves from his orphanage that did the "Lord's work" as an aside, to the apple farm where he became manager and lover, was fascinating and detailed. His relationships with crazy Melony, the beautiful Candy, fighter Wally and, of course, his mentor, Wilbur Larch contribute to his development from gauche orphan to principled and respected father. I learned about the state of Maine, about abortion techniques, and cider making and much more a I followed the plot of this wonderful book.

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