Author: John Updike
Format: Hardcover (in Tetralogy)
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 28, 1995
About the Book
When we first met him in Rabbit, Run (1960), the book that established John Updike as a major novelist, Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom is playing basketball with some boys in an alley in Pennsylvania during the tail end of the Eisenhower era, reliving for a moment his past as a star high school athlete. Athleticism of a different sort is on display throughout these four magnificent novels—the athleticism of an imagination possessed of the ability to lay bare, with a seemingly effortless animal grace, the enchantments and disenchantments of life.
Updike revisited his hero toward the end of each of the following decades in the second half of this American century; and in each of the subsequent novels, as Rabbit, his wife, Janice, his son, Nelson, and the people around them grow, these characters take on the lineaments of our common existence. In prose that is one of the glories of contemporary literature, Updike has chronicled the frustrations and ambiguous triumphs, the longuers, the loves and frenzies, the betrayals and reconciliations of our era. He has given us our representative American story.This Rabbit Angstrom volume is comprised of the following novels: Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; and Rabbit at Rest.
With this being the second book in the Rabbit series, I wasn’t really ready to read this one, but with the time constraint of having to read it for my college class, I started reading this book. This book picks up about ten years after the first one ends.
Things that I liked: I liked that Rabbit seemed more mature in this book, but yet he was still trying to find a happy balance or a balance that he could live with, with the people around him. His wife, Janice, his son Nelson, his parents, and even his wife’s parents, there are definitely some ups and downs that happen with each and every one of those people. I liked that every time you turned around there was something happening, or Harry (Rabbit) is talking about something political. Another sign that Harry is getting older is that he is paying more attention to the politics of everything around him: who is being elected into office, the war that is going on, etc.
Things that I didn’t like: Not much that I didn’t like, I mean the pacing of the book gets to me after a while but there’s nothing I can do about that, now can I? I’m torn about all the detail that Updike places throughout the novels. I like having the detail but something I wonder what the novel would be like if maybe he left something out and left it to the reader’s imagination to figure out what is going on or what something would look like.
Overall: I enjoyed reading this book, it was better than the first. Still with this being a post modern classic, I will most likely be revisiting it to go back through it and reread the book to better understand it from the author’s perspective.
Until next time, Happy Reading!