Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Cider House Rules

from the diary: “Monday 2/17/86

“[M]ost of the day spent wrangling over wet/dry vacs. The one we got yesterday turned out to be a water sprayer. The motor vents – after the initial buckload – started ejecting water in forceful little jets. So we took it in and exchanged it for a smaller model which was not on sale, but cost the same. That one worked better. It got a full load and a half before its vent started to spray water, but this vent pointed straight up so it was like a misty rain. Immensely irritating. So there’s still a lot of water [flooding the basement] furnace room.” And most of the rest of the basement.

“Just finished The Cider House Rules by John Irving. Long Book. Not bad.”

I think I haven’t read a John Irving book since. I read World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire before Cider House. I’ve rather intended to read more Irving but there’s always plenty to read, isn’t there? I remember liking Garp but preferring the movie version both because it captured the funny, odd personality of the book and because it dispensed with the author protagonist’s fiction, which had gotten in the way in the novel. Hotel New Hampshire’s screen version, as I recall, was quirky, too, but didn’t quite manage to avoid being a bit creepy as well. As I recall, ever searching for a gay character, that there’s a butch lesbian in Cider House who ends up stalking somebody, the main character?, but I still thought her sympathetic, as peculiar John Irving characters go. I wonder if she made it into the film? I haven’t seen it.


David Lee Ingersoll said...

My favorite Irving books are probably Cider House Rules, Hotel New Hampshire and A Prayer For Owen Meany.

I've tried (and failed) to read Setting Free the Bears twice. I'm not sure why I've failed. I made it farther the second time but I still got distracted.

I've read Garp, A Son of the Circus and Trying to Save Piggy Sneed. Garp does get bogged down by Garp's unpleasant writing. Pages and pages of it. I enjoyed Circus though I don't see myself rereading it anytime soon. Piggy is a collection of essays and short fiction - a pleasant enough way to spend the time but nothing really stands out.

A Widow for One Year is on our shelves somewhere, waiting to be found at a time when I'm lacking a novel to read.

Franny does get together with Susie the Bear though I don't remember if they stay together. In the movie Frannie is played by Jodie Foster and Susie is played by Natasia Kinski.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

That's right. There was some lesbianism is Hotel. Some brother-sister incest, too, now that I think about it. Whee!

David Lee Ingersoll said...

And a brother who was gay. And a sister who was a dwarf.

Not that I actually remember any of this. I checked wikipedia. I really only remember "sorrow floats" and Frannie's rapist getting his via the Bear.

Wikipedia tells me I've forgotten a lot.