Why don't people call New Hampshire Hampshire
The New Hampshire Hotel - John Irving
With “Das Hotel New Hampshire” John Irving has succeeded in creating an enchanting family story in which he tells of motorcycle-riding bears, a hotel in Vienna, a stuffed family dog and the love between siblings - it's touching, hilarious and wonderfully entertaining.
Families have to be like that - fighting down to the blood and in no time at all the great reconciliation.
InThe New Hampshire HotelJohn Irving tells the rich story of the Berry family who live in Dairy - a small town in the middle of Maine. In addition to the parents, the Berry family consists of five siblings: the eldest son Frank, the beautiful Franny, the small Lilly, the youngest Egg and John, the narrator of the novel. The novel is also populated by numerous unusual supporting characters: Grandfather Iowa Bob, who lifts weights in his free time; from family dog grief who farts too much; from the bear State o’Maine, who loves to ride a motorcycle; or from Susie, who is in a bear costume because she can't stand the world any other way.
“State o’Maine” The stupid bear was actually called that, and together with a motorcycle - a 1937 Indian with a handmade sidecar - my father bought it in the summer of 1939 for 200 dollars and the best clothes in his field box.
The life of the Berry family is shaped by their father's crazy ideas - after Win Berry initially toured the country with a bear and motorcycle, he then decided to open a hotel in a former boarding school for girls in Dairy. An idea that was not crowned with much success, but which should determine the future lives of the Berrys forever. A similar crazy idea is to move to Vienna, there is a hotel there that the family takes over and shares with bizarre revolutionaries and rather loud whores.
The first hotel in New Hampshire came about like this: When the people of the Dairy School realized that in future girls would have to be admitted if the school was to survive, the Thompson Female Seminary was dealt with; suddenly Dairys had an unusable property to offer, which was always sluggish in the real estate market. Nobody knew what would become of the huge building that had once been an all-girls school.
However, John Irving tells not just a bizarre story, but a story that consists of many layers. This absurdity, which makes up all of his books, is one of these layers, but there is much more besides: it is also about death, about rape and about love for siblings, which shouldn't exist. Whatever happens to the Berry family over the decades, whatever fate overtakes them: the family tries to take it with a lot of composure. In the Berry hotels there is no place to mop up or break out into despair: instead, life is taken as it is - with all its ups and downs. Maybe that's one of the things I took away from this book - the strength to endure blows of fate with humanity and the absolute belief that somehow it will always go on.
I was just a realist in a family of dreamers, big and small. I knew I couldn't grow anymore. I knew I would never really grow up; I knew my childhood would never fall away, and I would never really be grown up - and responsible - enough for what Frank called the goddamn world. I couldn't change that much, and I knew it.
I also took a lot of sentences with me that were forever written in my heart: stay away from open windowsandSorrow always floats above are two of them.
The excessive narration and the bizarre characters are certainly not for everyone. For me it isThe New Hampshire Hotela brilliant novel, full of poetry, wisdom and an impressive narrative power. The only flaw in this book is that it is only 600 pages long: I would not have complained about another 600 pages.
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