Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules
Author: John Irving
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, Hom...  more »
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $17.00
Buy New (Paperback): $13.29 (save 21%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $9.39+1 PBS book credit Help icon(save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9780345417947
ISBN-10: 0345417941
Publication Date: 6/23/1997
Pages: 576
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 129 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I watched the movie version of The Cinder House Rules a few years ago when it first came out. The story was really good. I decided to read the book. I love the book for the extra details that Irving gives. He weaves a story that is long and full of rich characters. While the movie was good, there were extra characters who made the book a real joy to read. It explained the story more completely. Reality is not always pretty and Irving has no problem showing it.
JuneCarter avatar reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Not sure if I love this book more, or "Prayer for Owen Meany". These books are like 10 course dinner feasts, full of characters, ideas, places, thoughts, yet everything ties together in the end. I love how the most insignificant sentence in an early chapter turns out to be the most important thing later in the book. Irving does that alot, I find myself going back and re-reading paragraphs from chapters ago and marveling how they tie in. I imagine these books would have been great Radio Serial Shows, where you would get to hear one chapter a week and you couldn't wait to hear the next. I can't really say what the book is about, it is so much more than a straight plot line, but I will tell you that the title, "Cider House Rules", refers to the Cider House on an apple farm. The apple pickers stay in the Cider House while they are working to pick apples. The Cider House Rules are a list of Rules that are to be followed by those living in the Cider House. But the book also is about an orphanage, and an orphan who grows up with a doctor as a mentor and then he ends up at the apple farm where the Cider House is and then he falls for this girl...well, just read it.
nymphadora avatar reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Once again, John Irving proves his literary might in this book about a young man finding his way. Not always a happy story. Not always topics for comfortable discussion, but what a great read!
reviewed The Cider House Rules on
Helpful Score: 3
Great storytelling. The book just draws you in, hard to put down.
KellyP avatar reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 142 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My favorite books are ones that make me think, that have great characters, great plots and good development. I like it best when I can actually *join* the characters in the story.

Cider House Rules is like this. It is a wonderful book & I post it with a little hesitation ... I think it should probably be on my "Keep-and-Reread" shelf!
Read All 83 Book Reviews of "The Cider House Rules"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 17 more book reviews
Many people will find this book difficult to read. The characters are very deep and thought provoking. Even if you disagree with some of the situations presented in this book (abortion, incest, premarital sex), it is still an excellent story, very well told. This is very typical John Irving -- and I loved every page of it! If you choose to read it, don't give up -- it's a very good read!
Brandywine avatar reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 10 more book reviews
I read this book over several weeks. While it was easy to put down it was also easy to pick up again. It does differ from the movie a good deal. I will try not to reveal any particular difference. The book is written in the view of many characters all throughout the book. As an "afterwords" to the movie, I enjoyed the author's attention to detail and the insight he gave to the characters. I loved the characters and felt as if I might read about myself at anytime.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 83 more book reviews
another great story from a great storyteller
zoomom avatar reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 6 more book reviews
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 31 more book reviews
Engrossing, moving, thoroughly satisfying.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 93 more book reviews
Great book, enjoyable plot line.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on
John Irving is a very good writer and knows how to tell a good story. This story is heart wrenching, leaves me feeling like I want to just give all the characters a big hug.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 52 more book reviews
I was first introduced to The Cider House Rules through the movie of the same name, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now that I have the book in my hands, I'm finding those little details that never make it to the big screen, and they make the story even better. John Irving approaches moral matters with a dry, if not witty voice, and it makes for an entertaining read. If you liked the movie, you will LOVE the book.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 59 more book reviews
Horrible premise. Disgusting story in my opinion.
reviewed The Cider House Rules on + 16 more book reviews
A lot better then the movie.


Want fewer ads?