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Rabbit Redux [Unknown Binding]

John: Updike
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: London,Andre Deutsch,1972 (1972)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

More About the Author

John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He attended Shillington High School, Harvard College and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford, where he spent a year on a Knox Fellowship. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of the New Yorker, to which he contributed numerous poems, short stories, essays and book reviews. After 1957 he lived in Massachusetts until his death.

John Updike's first novel, The Poorhouse Fair, was published in 1959. It was followed by Rabbit, Run, the first volume of what have become known as the Rabbit books, which John Banville described as 'one of the finest literary achievements to have come out of the US since the war'. Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990) were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Other novels by John Updike include Marry Me, The Witches of Eastwick, which was made into a major feature film, Memories of the Ford Administration, Brazil, In the Beauty of the Lilies, Toward the End of Time and Villages. He has written a number of volumes of short stories, and a selection entitled Forty Stories, taken from The Same Door, Pigeon Feathers, The Music School and Museums and Women, is published in Penguin, as is the highly acclaimed The Afterlife and Other Stories. His criticism and his essays, which first appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, have been collected in five volumes. Golf Dreams, a collection of his writings on golf, has also been published. His Collected Poems 1953-1993 brings together almost all the poems from five previous volumes, including 'Hoping for a Hoopoe', 'Telephone Poles' and 'Tossing and Turning', as well as seventy poems previously unpublished in book form. The last books of his to be published by Hamish Hamilton were My Father's Tears and Other Stories, and Endpoint and Other Poems. He died in January 2009.

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MEN emerge pale from the little printing plant at four sharp, ghosts for an instant, blinking, until the outdoor light overcomes the look of constant indoor light clinging to them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse redux! 10 Sep 2008
`Rabbit Redux` is the second in Updike's quartet of novels chronicling the life and times of America as seen through the eyes of everyman Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Written - as with the other three - at the tale end of one decade (here, the 1960s) and published at the beginning of the next, Redux finds its eponymous anti-hero in suitably chaotic circumstances: his wife has left him for another man, he shacks up with a promiscuous teenage runaway, and her friend, a black radical named Skeeter, moves in with them.

Whereas `Rabbit, Run' was virtually perspiring with dank verisimilitude - all-too queasily human and corporeal - Redux comes across as a kind of maddening metaphorical play. Whereas Rabbit's first adventures concerned intimate, character-driven themes, this second novel is a more representational scenario that reflects the upheaval of the generation. Social dysfunction, free love and black power literally invade Rabbit's smallville suburban address, turning his house into a theatre of the late-1960s psyche.

While Redux doesn't always ring true as a credible study of character, it's air of volatility and hysteria capture the spirit of the period, in which the civil rights movement and the dismantlement of the conservative values of the 1950s were reaching a fever pitch. Whereas `Rabbit, Run' was conspicuously apolitical, Redux is almost all politics, with large sections of the book played out in Rabbit's living room like some kind of deranged allegorical play. Harry Angstrom is still rather passive, buffeted by the events that befall him, but this time he goes along with the trip. Despite losing his job, his house and his wife - albeit temporarily - Rabbit gets a necessary dose of the freedom of the times, hence the redux (from the Latin meaning "brought back, restored") of the title. Profane, provocative and almost pornographic, it is a credit to Updike's writing that this is also intensely imaginative and occasionally beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit stopped running! 3 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The second in the Updike novels following the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, "Rabbit Redux" is a flawed masterpiece. Rabbit continues an amazingly compelling character, a kind of car crash, a disaster that fascinates you in the beauty of its tragedy. Ten years after "Rabbit Runs", we meet Harry living a quiet and dull life with his wife and child. Yes, Harry chose the "honorable" road, living the American dream, fulfilling his responsibilities just like moral orders, just like a "good man" should. Only now, Rabbit is a man out of his time. The world betrayed him, the values by which he was told to act have changed and a horrible truth has come out. It was all a lie. Nothing matters. In a way Rabbit was the first rebel, ten years before, but his character flaw prevented him from going all the way. He was too coward to fight "the power" and went back and followed the rules. Only now, the rules are gone and Rabbit is a sad little man, with a lousy job, a loveless family and all the fight and spirit gone from him. He's cynical and bitter, refusing as always to accept any guilt. Its the world, you see, not him! He could have been a "contender" but he had to be the family man. The sad and pathetic truth is that Rabbit is just too weak to live life.
In the first book, no matter how despicable and self centered he was, at least he took a shot, tried to reach that "something" worth living for, even if he didn't quite know what it was or where he would find it.
In "Rabbit Redux", Rabbit is dead and Harry is a sad, pathetic monster, afraid to leave his shell, a shadow of his former self, devoid of joy or will, going through the motions and letting others, "the world" take charge of his destiny. He's already dead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit Redux 1 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was recommended to me by my son. I loved this book and the previous one, Run Rabbit and am currently reading Rabbit is Rich. Fabulous writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit Redux 27 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fascinating use of English, I have read the book before but I still enjoyed it. Well done Updike, as usual.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classy and classic 26 July 2013
By MalCo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Rabbit series is famed, and at first you wonder why. But having read one, and now two, each one is quite memorable and they somehow tell you everything you need to know about middle America. It is not a cheery read, but then life is not particular cheery and it is reflective of that. Perhaps it is an accurate reflection of our gloomy selves, or the bits of us that are consigned to self-destruction. Don't let that negative description put you of, definitely worth reading - there are few better!
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3.0 out of 5 stars redux 31 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the weakest of the four rabbit books although still quite good. the following two novels are more developed and more engaging.
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