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The Hotel New Hampshire

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The Hotel New Hampshire Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“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.

Review:

"A hectic gaudy saga with the verve of a Marx Brothers movie." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Like Garp, [The Hotel New Hampshire] is a startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice." Time

Review:

"Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world.... You must read this book." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Spellbinding... Intensely human... A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity." Cosmopolitan

Synopsis:

Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, the Berry family "dreams on" in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and A Son of the Circus.

About the Author

John Irving published his first novel at the age of twenty-six. He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Oscar.

In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Earlier this year, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

OneMansView, March 16, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Zany doings in the hotels New Hampshire (3.5*s)

Hotel NH is an entertaining and eccentric book that initially seems more often than not outlandish, slapstick, and surely implausible, given such scenes as a trick-performing bear, named State o’ Maine, who rides in a motorcycle sidecar and people being frightened to death by the likes of a stuffed dog falling from a closet or the sudden turning on of bright lights. But on another level, the book is somewhat redeemed by its depiction of a family of five children who despite some rough patches show a great deal of regard and support for each other, while enduring any number of bizarre and difficult situations and occurrences. The main thread in the story revolves around the operation of three hotels, all named Hotel New Hampshire, first in New Hampshire, followed by Vienna, Austria, and then Maine, by the Berry family, headed by Win and Mary, with children, in descending age order, Frank, Franny, John, Lilly, and Egg. John is the reliable narrator of their wacky story as the scenes shift over the years.

It is Win, a dreamer and teacher in Dairy, NH, who on a whim decides, in the mid-1950s, to buy and convert a dilapidated girls’ school to a hotel, at the time when the three oldest children are teenagers. The chaos of running and living in the hotel seems to bring out their different personalities: John is the loner; Franny is the rock; John is the follower; Lilly is the writer; and Egg is the baby. Rather surprisingly, the Berry’s abandon, that is, sell, the first hotel when Win is lured to Austria by Freud, not Simon but a vaudevillian he knew from a summer job in Maine sixteen years earlier, to operate a hotel, sight unseen. The intensity of the story is ratcheted up at this point, as women of the evening and a mysterious band of radicals occupy two floors in their out-of-the way, dumpy hotel. Win, having lost his wife to an accident, is so disconnected that it is up to Frank and Franny to navigate the intricacies of running the hotel and deal with a variety of stubborn personalities, including Freud’s latest bear, a female who wears a bear suit.

Being in such close proximity to a large assortment of people in these two hotels practically forced an accelerated maturation on the Berry kids, as sexual self-discovery is a strong current in the story. John and Franny, the two best looking of the kids, are most open to various experiences, though Franny endures an assault in New Hampshire with remarkable resilience. A delicate subject for the author and the reader is the love ��" the physical love ��" that John and Franny hold for each other and the manner in which they resolve that very delicate situation.

As said, the book is interesting and not without its comedic parts, but nonetheless it seems excessively drawn out ��" overly repetitious in trite expressions, truisms, mannerisms, actions, and reactions. The most compelling aspect of the entire saga is the very appealing character Franny, who shows uncommon toughness and street-smarts, freely acknowledged by her siblings. However, more often, the strangeness and oddities of the characters and events almost overwhelm; the numerous accidents and unexpected deaths are more jolting than additive to the story. The fantastical vein of the story continues as the Berry’s return to NYC after seven years in Austria, having survived a terrorist plot hatched by the radicals, now recipients of a financial windfall, ostensibly because Lilly has written a book on growing up small, but more due to their notoriety from foiling the event. The Maine chapter of the hotel story, actually it is a crisis center for women who have been assaulted, is a time for resolution, a welcome return to normalcy. Over all, who could guess that the hotel business, conducted by rank amateurs, could be so zany, eventful, and lucrative?
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venusinfauxfurz, May 4, 2007 (view all comments by venusinfauxfurz)
This book is highly underrated and unrecognized and gets skipped over way too often in favor of some of Irving's more popular novels. This is not a book any Irving fan should miss. The book is full of the usual Irving charm, plus the roles and relationships that arise between siblings and a bear riding in a motorcycle sidecar.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345417954
Author:
Irving, John
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Subject:
Hotels, motels, etc
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one auth
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
743
Publication Date:
19970631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.30x5.54x1.19 in. .80 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Hotel New Hampshire Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345417954 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A hectic gaudy saga with the verve of a Marx Brothers movie."
"Review" by , "Like Garp, [The Hotel New Hampshire] is a startlingly original family saga that combines macabre humor with Dickensian sentiment and outrage at cruelty, dogmatism and injustice."
"Review" by , "Rejoice! John Irving has written another book according to your world.... You must read this book."
"Review" by , "Spellbinding... Intensely human... A high-wire act of dazzling virtuosity."
"Synopsis" by , Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, the Berry family "dreams on" in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and A Son of the Circus.
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