Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on February 4, 1999
So very bad. So veeerrrrrry bad. The story, situations, characters, they're so transparently contrived it's hideous. All fiction is contrived, but good fiction doesn't seem contrived at all.
The book is just soooo cute. All the characters and their little foibles are just so cute and heart-warming and heart-wrenching. It's sickening. I read this book with an open mind, but by the end I was just ready to throw it off a friggin' cliff. It is so terrible.
The Hotel New Hampshire is a farcical framework of a novel. Everyone acts according to the type that was set up for them at the very begining. Hence the type given to the kid who dies right off is "cute kid", and the mother "warm mother"- so when they die we're all sad and-"oh... why did little cutie-kid and warm, kind mother have to die?" It's pathetic. Everyone is given a caricatured, unbelievable personality at the beginning, and they only act according to that through the whole book. That is not great story telling, that's pumping out a book designed only to get some sort of emotional response, through all sorts of little, cute, fantastic occurrances. The characters are so contrived you can't even understand how they could possibly be a family. They're types, not developed characters, and they exist in the book as just separate lilttle tools for the writer to use, not as people. Crap I tell you.
Exactly how many times does the phrase "sorrow floats" appear in the book anyway? I mean, good God Irving! Find something else fercryinoutloud! every other page it's "sorrow floats"! "Hey, Dad", "Yes son?", "Sorrow floats Dad", "It sure does son. By the way- I'm blind!", "Yeah I know, and I lift weights! And sleep with my sister! And isn't my wife just so unique in her bear suit?", "Sure is son, oh and before you go- I'm oblivious apparently, so although I've been living in this freaking hotel for years, I still haven't figured it out that no one ever stays here except maybe one or two people a year, and coincidentally they're rape victims. But being a two-dimensional character-type, that's all lost on me, all these years of obvious emptyness - I still haven't figured out that no guests stay at our hotel... Cripes son just shoot me in the head and get me out of this crappy story", "Sure Dad"- [BLAM!] "Gee, sorrow really does float"
I want you to read this book. I want you to read it and realize just how terrible it is because this guy is getting away with murder- pumping this kind of crappo out.