Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Cider House Rules : Read the book... then see the movie

How can anyone not love a book that simultaneously tells a deeply moving and compelling story and explore the abortion debate with humor and evenhandedness? In The Cider House Rules Irving knows his characters and gradually reveals their quirks and idiosyncrasies. He knows and loves them so much, the reader can't help but love the ether-imbibing Dr. Larch and his surrogate son, the orphan Homer Wells. Irving is a consummate storyteller.

Joseph Heller, author of Catch 22, describes this book as "Superb in scope and originality, a novel as good as one could hope to find from any author, anywhere, anytime. Engrossing, moving, thoroughly satisfying."

About the movie, film critic Roger Ebert wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times “The Cider House Rules is often absorbing or enchanting in its parts. Michael Caine's performance is one of his best, and Charlize Theron is sweet and direct as the girl. But Tobey Maguire is almost maddeningly monotone as Homer (is his performance inspired by Benjamin in "The Graduate"?) and the movie never does resolve its ambiguity toward Mr. Rose, who is guilty of incest and yet--somehow, murkily--not entirely a monster. The story touches many themes, lingers with some of them, moves on and arrives at nowhere in particular. It's not a story so much as a reverie about possible stories.”

The movie won two Oscars in 1999: Michael Caine for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and John Irving for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. It was also nominated for Best Picture.

Both are available at the Lane Memorial Library.


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