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The Cider House Rules
ISBN 0345387651 / 9780345387653 / 0-345-38765-1
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You can't evaluate "The Cider House Rules" on the basis of the plot: to say that the book is about an orphan who grows up in an orphanage run by an abortionist, meets a young couple (there for an abortion), leaves with them, and falls in love with the woman, is to miss about 90 percent of what makes the book special. Now, you are probably aware that the book is somewhat about abortion. Indeed, Irving clearly has a point to make about the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate, and it's pretty clear which side he's on. But at the same time, to say that the book is "about" abortion is like saying that "Casablanca" is about World War 2. Clearly, abortion is inextricably intertwined with the plot and the characters, but the novel is not about abortion; rather, it's about characters who have to make life decisions, including about abortion. One final note: for better or worse, I tend not to have much patience for "literature." I've read some Dickens, but would never do so for fun. But . . . I absolutely loved reading "The Cider House Rules" and I was never bored. [via]