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The Cider House Rules Quotes

Updated on September 7, 2014

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

My favorite book is The Cider House Rules by John Irving, and some of the best written language can be found in this novel. This book is the only book I have reread numerous times.

John Irving's 1985 novel, The Cider House Rules, is the coming of age story of Homer Wells, a perpetual orphan. He is adopted several times but returned to the orphanage by each set of parents.

Finally, Homer is the oldest male orphan at the orphanage in St. Cloud, Maine, where Dr. Larch delivers mothers and babies. By default Homer becomes Dr. Larch's favorite orphan who he grooms to deliver babies and perform abortions.

Photo of John Irving, Warsaw, Poland, September 10, 2006.

Photo Credit: Mariusz Kubik.

Dr. Larch and the Orphans

Dr. Larch reads to the boy orphans each night at bedtime and before turning off the lights, ends with this phrase:

Goodnight you princes of Maine,

you kings of New England.

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules | The Book - by John Irving

The Cider House Rules
The Cider House Rules

John Irving's novel The Cider House Rules was published in 1985. Doctor Wilbur Larch is the patriarchal figure at the orphanage in St. Cloud, Maine. Homer Wells is the orphan who never gets adopted.


Best Selling Book

As of 10/11/12,

The Cider House Rules

was ranked No. 1

on the Barnes and Noble Nook

Book Bestseller's List.

Among adults -- and among orphans --

Wilbur Larch noted that delirious happiness was rare.

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

"You are my work of art,"

Wilbur Larch told Homer Wells.

"Everything else has just been a job. I don't know if you've got a work of art in you," Larch concluded in his letter to Homer, "but I know what your job is, and you know what it is, too."

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules | The Movie - Screenplay by John Irving

Cider House Rules

It's because even a good man can't always be right,

that we need ... rules.

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

Have You Read The Cider House Rules?

Have You Read The Cider House Rules?

See results

People only ask questions when they're ready

to hear the answers.

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

Poster from the Movie - The Cider House Rules starring Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire

Candy to Homer:

Isn't a promise like waiting and seeing? Did you ever make a promise, and mean it -- and break it?

~ John Irving, The Cider House Rules

The World According to Garp and More Books by John Irving

The World According to Garp: A Novel (Modern Library)
The World According to Garp: A Novel (Modern Library)

Robin Williams starred with Glenn Close in the 1982 movie The World According to Garp.


Are You a Fan of The Cider House Rules? Or of John Irving's Other Books?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      I saw the movie, but didn't read the book. Wonderful.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      I could have sworn I read Cider House Rules in the 70s, but if it wasn't published until 1985, I must be mistaking it for another title. I'll have to check it out.

    • Paul Ward profile image


      6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I see another commenter mentioned the movie - alas, no film can do justice to the richness of a book like this, If you have seen the movie, grab the novel - it really is worth it.

    • texan203 lm profile image

      texan203 lm 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic use of quotes.

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      yes...this is one of the few i've yet to read... a prayer for owen meany is my favourite!

    • NightMagic profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great read. I saw the movie but didn't like it as much as the movie.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      It's been so long since I read it, I believe it's time for round two. :)

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      John Irving, definitely :) Never read The Cider House Rules, but am looking forward to it now. Thank you!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

      I love, love, love John Irving - have a lens myself about him. Cider House Rules is a real gem.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm completely intrigued by the quotes you have used. Now I MUST read this one. I haven't seen the movie, either.


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