“ Author: John Irving / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 January 1998 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd / Title: The Hotel New Hampshire / ISBN 13: 9780552992091 / ISBN 10: 0552992091 „
One of my favourite books in modern fiction. Irving is a talented and unique writer - often quirky but he never ceases to entertain and amuse. This to me, is the best one but is not as well-known as his others so would encourage any fans to read this.
This is essentially a family saga - but not in the traditional sense! it is narrated by John, one of the Berry family so we learn about all events through his eyes, probably one of the more down to earth characters. Irving makes the characters complicated and often a bit dark. He almost borders on using black humour but there are heart-warming moments as well.
if you are a fan of Irving you begin to notice recurring themes - often involving the weird and the wonderful. He isn't afraid to test boundaries and some may be shocked at the anture of some of his books but they are always a fascinating insight into human nature. And often bears as well.
This story is absolutely fantastic and it manages to capture the magic of Irvings other classics. I think this book started well, it lost something in the middle with the early years, but the end was wonderful, and so typically heart wrenching. Finally, the author stands alone in development of colourful characters. Here we have prostitutes, quarterbacks, writers, terrorists, an elusive man in a white jacket, midgets, and not forgetting a talking bear. Put simply this book has everything and even though it may not be up there with some of his other work it is still a brilliant read.
When I read the blurb about this book I thought it didn't sound that great but I'd run out of books to read and it was the last on my bookcase so I went for it. The book centres around a family and charts their escapades as the children grow up. Its narated by the middle child John and you begin to share his thoughts on the family and all the events that surround them. Its written in a very easy to read style and has some excellent humourous touches, at times I was having to stifle a laugh whilst travelling on the tube. The plot is quite simple but mainly reveolves around the people, the characteristaion is fantastic and I found myself really caring about each member of the family. To me it was a story about fate, making your dreams come true and about appreciating your family but all done in a light hearted and touching way. I would really recommend this book, its funny, sad, clever and it makes you think.
Quirky, bizarre, tragic, fiendishly funny, The Hotel New Hampshire is anything but a conventional family saga, though a family saga it certainly is. The Berry family are different. Love abounds - both healthy and incestuous. It is the overwhelming desire of the Berry father to run a hotel, which he does, with dubious success, in both a former girls' school in New Hampshire, and in Vienna. It is the Berry children who grab the readers' attention, sympathies and love - all five of them: Frank (the eldest), Franny (the weirdest), John (the narrator), Lily (the writer) and Egg (the youngest). When Irving, or rather John, writes 'Frank's queer, Franny's weird, Lily's small and Egg is Egg' the initiated reader can do no other than shout a deafening 'yes, I know what you mean!' From there on, the reader is held spellbound as the family Labrador, Sorrow, is first stuffed then becomes the cruel victim of a plane crash; and as John and Franny realise their incestuous desires. Stunningly readable, mercilessly involving, The Hotel New Hampshire is peopled with characters - and bears - that you'll never forget.