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“In the hospital of the orphanage —the boys’ division at St Cloud’s, Maine — two nurses were in charge of naming the new babies and checking that their little penises were healing from the obligatory circumcision.”

First published in 1985, The Cider House Rules is John Irving’s sixth novel. Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch—saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.


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2 Responses to The Cider House Rules

  1. […] most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s […]

  2. Kevin Walsh says:

    Cider House chapter two……..the lord’s work
    i’m meandering through this book quite slowly, enjoying the sounds and sights of the river as I do so, the white pages of inked thought that flows kind of river…. before I read you I raced to the end of every book to hang it on a shelf like some stuffed African antelope head I conquered. have I grown older and wiser and more appreciative of a good verbal meal set before me……methinx so.
    just a few words as I fall back into the Cider House Rules.
    the chapter coming before three and after one is perhaps my favorite chapter of any book of all time. I have quite fallen in love with St. Larch. his adventure into Off-Harrison and the dinner party afterward in the riches of Maine, paint not just a most tender character portrait, but a history of medical practice and the illogical thoughts behind abortion and family at that time. I love this chapter. I have planted a teenie flag in it and declared it the property of my own tiny country. I have never walked the streets of any chapter as I have in this story, thank you sir,
    I saw and heard Stephen King lecture at Lowell University last year, and he decries you publicly. he talks down about you and the way you write and I now know it is because you scare him. your writing cripples mr, king’s stories beyond compare……he has every right to fear you…..and I smile as I write these words. onward to Princes of Maine, Kings of New England.