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  • Published: 31 March 1999
  • ISBN: 9780552992046
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $29.99

The Cider House Rules



A masterpiece from one of the great contemporary American writers.

'The reason Homer Wells kept his name was that he came back to St Cloud's so many times, after so many failed foster homes, that the orphanage was forced to acknowledge Homer's intention to make St Cloud's his home.'

Homer Wells' odyssey begins among the apple orchards of rural Maine. As the oldest unadopted child at St Cloud's orphanage, he strikes up a profound and unusual friendship with Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder - a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether. What he learns from Wilbur takes him from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to an adult life running a cider-making factory and a strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend...

  • Published: 31 March 1999
  • ISBN: 9780552992046
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

John Irving

John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942, and he once admitted that he was a 'grim' child. Although he excelled in English at school and knew by the time he graduated that he wanted to write novels, it was not until he met a young Southern novelist named John Yount, at the University of New Hampshire, that he received encouragement. 'It was so simple,' he remembers. 'Yount was the first person to point out that anything I did except writing was going to be vaguely unsatisfying.'

The World According to Garp, which won the National Book Award in 1980, was John Irving's fourth novel and his first international bestseller; it also became a George Roy Hill film. Tony Richardson wrote and directed the adaptation for the screen of The Hotel New Hampshire (1984). Irving's novels are now translated into thirty-five foreign languages, and he has had nine international bestsellers. Worldwide, the Irving novel most often called "an American classic" is A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989), the portrayal of an enduring friendship at that time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States.

In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, until he was thirty-four, and coached the sport until he was forty-seven). In 2000, Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules-a Lasse Hallström film with seven Academy Award nominations. Tod Williams wrote and directed The Door in the Floor, the 2004 film adapted from Mr. Irving's ninth novel, A Widow for One Year. In One Person is John Irving's thirteenth novel.

John Irving has three children and lives in Vermont and Toronto.

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Praise for The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules is difficult to define and impossible not to admire

Daily Telegraph

John Irving has been compared with Kurt Vonnegut and J. D. Salinger but is arguably more inventive than either. Wry, laconic, he sketches his characters with an economy that springs from a feeling for words and mastery over his craft. This superbly original book is one to be read and remembered

The Times

Funnier than Garp...it's an irresistibly readable yarn spun by a master's voice

Time Out

Like the rest of Irving's fiction, it is often disconcerting, but always exciting and provoking

Observer