Happiness in the rabbit by john updike

A religious argument hovers in the background and Updike focuses on a group of people as they interact, not on individuals.

rabbit run john updike

Desolate shopping centers are lit by burger joints where the drinks all taste like chemical sludge and Luna specials two cheeseburgers with an American flag on top are sold. What I remembered well was the audacity of Updike's starting-point.

When Henry James looked at women, he imagined that they thought like him. His goal is to achieve a deliberate, generalizing impersonality and distance.

john updike books

The Eisenhower eraapart from offering tremendous consumerist possibilities, urged Americans to renegotiate themselves to the postwar reality. He explained what he was up to many times.

Rabbit run analysis

I picked up the others in different American cities, in chunky Fawcett Crest paperbacks, and read them as I criss-crossed the country; my bookmarks were the stubs of boarding passes. The Rabbit novels are set in a city called Brewer, a fictionalized Reading, which is not far from Shillington. Updike's books might be popular, but serious people didn't really have to read them. It is the portrait of the father—the centaur himself—one of the best portraits of Depression man, or the Middle American, in postwar American fiction. But by , there was nowhere to run: the frontier was well and truly closed, and all that was left for men was the mock heroism of suburban tragicomedy, running in circles. She is harshly critical of Harry when he leaves Janice. This may not in Updike's mind or ours constitute a Nabokovian oeuvre, but when one sits down and begins to read through these books the variety and professional effort command respect and critical scrutiny.

When you're reading them you go along willingly, but when you look back they tend to melt together in a reverent hush of lyrical lissome linguistic curlicues. Harry is only 26, but past it: his brief years of sporting fame lie behind him, and he is already bored with Janice.

Rabbit run movie

He treats his characters with respect; there are no villains. Not that he is more than fleetingly aware of it; and the fact that he isn't makes him all the more emblematically American. Those characters are Updikean in certain limited ways—unusually sensitive, unusually death-haunted, unusually horny. One is left with the impression of an infinitely patient intelligence deliberately at work on every filigree that composes this microcosm. The lunar wasteland of contemporary America is everywhere. Over five summers, he published twenty-two reviews in the Chronicle under the nom de plume H. Nearly 20 years on, with Updike newly dead, and another American journey coming up, it was time to check on that judgment. Updike explained that Rabbit, Run was partly a riposte to Kerouac's On the Road, and intended as a "realistic demonstration of what happens when a young American family man goes on the road" — ie, the family gets hurt, and the deserter slinks home. The existing framework of religion and ethics should support his devotion to his marriage, job, and life, but he finds it utterly unsatisfactory. The autobiographical pieces that follow lack bite, as Updike acknowledges in his foreword.

It's not offensive in the least; it's an enjoyable and moving book.

Rated 8/10 based on 110 review
Rabbit, Run by John Updike