The New York Times bestselling saga of a most unusual family from the award-winning author of The World According to Garp.
“The first of my father’s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels.” So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they “dream on” in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and Last Night in Twisted River.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After publishing his breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp, John Irving proved he was no one-hit wonder with what may be his funniest, saddest, and strangest novel. Like a Dickensian melodrama, The Hotel New Hampshire sprawls through four decades in the lives of an eccentric family headed by the irrepressible dreamer Win Berry, whose fantasy of running a posh resort hotel repeatedly runs into the most unexpected obstacles. Told by Win’s son John, seemingly the most normal of the five Berry children, the story hinges on dark topics like rape, the loss of a parent, romantic obsession, and terrorism. Yet there’s a gleefully absurdist sense of humor running through the story that produces as many laughs and openmouthed shocks as it does tears. Even at its wildest, The Hotel New Hampshire always feels emotionally real, and Irving’s characters—especially John’s turbulent older sister, Franny, and the forbidding Susie the bear—make us root for them even at their worst-behaved. It’s as weird and beautiful as life itself.