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Roger's Version (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014118843X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188430
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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including 'Hoping for a Hoopoe', 'Telephone Poles' and 'Tossing and Turning', as well as seventy poems previously unpublished in book form.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.


Product Description

About the Author

John (Hoyer) Updike (1932-) American novelist, short story writer and poet, internationally known for his novels RABBIT, RUN (1960), RABBIT REDUX (1971), RABBIT IS RICH (1981), and RABBIT AT REST (1990). His latest novel is VILLAGES (Penguin, 2005)

John Banville's novels include The Book of Evidence, Shroud and The Sea.


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John on 30 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of Updike's very best novels, up there with the last two Rabbit books. It has the glorious prose style one expects and his fabulous ability to describe a whole variety of sensations - what it's like to touch a baby's head, the shape of a tree or face, the smell of a room. In addition, Roger Lambert, the narrator has a pleasingly sour voice (his students are described in the first paragraph as 'the hopeful, the deluded, and the docile') which lends an often comic asperity to the whole novel. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gavin on 28 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Updike is impressive in this book for many reasons. Perhaps surprisingly one of these is his use of Latin. Whilst I don't understand much of this language, I am sure that a little time spent translating would be very rewarding. And in any case the passages are few and mostly short. The fruit of his research into Divinity in order for him to fulfil his writing of the role of the protagonist, a Divinity professor, is fairly jaw-dropping. But above all his immersion into the world of quantum mechanics must have been quite profound for him to write the various passages supporting the second character in the book.

'Rogers Version' is of the same stellar standard as the Rabbit novels, 'Couples' etc. Updike's black light shines illuminating and disclosing his flawed human characters. His perception of the inherent emancipation of woman is both frank and in keeping with its time, wherein the middle aged female character appears to far more successfully embrace a relationship with a younger male, in comparison to how her husband copes with a young female counterpart. Updike plays the apparently dominant male against the instinctive and knowing female with aplomb.

A must-read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Morgan on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here's the thing. Ordinary people like you and me - oh sure I am making an assumption here - ordinary people like you and me need to be brought in contact with geniuses like John Updike. Its good for the soul. It reminds you you're not as clever as you think you are. It makes you humble. It reminds you how lucky you are to be even conscious in the first place. Conscious enough to read books like the one above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By u.R.what.u.read on 1 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This being an Updike novel, of course it is superbly written. We have all the usual attractions: wonderful observations of everyday life, beautiful prose, and an abundance of wordy descriptive page fillers. However, the first person narrative creates a contrived end result: the characters, including the main one, are inconsistent and shallow, their motivations and actions unsatisfactorily explained - if at all. There are also lots of contradictions, for example there are no individual voices, all characters talk, feel and act on the same lines as the narrator/main character; or, the same person is very perceptive then inexplicably obtuse just a few pages later. Plus, everybody uniformly behaves like Alice in Wonderland, remaining untroubled by what we'd consider to be most shocking and outrageous happenings. This is not only an inevitable consequence of the first person artifice; it is, I think, mostly due to the novelist's failure to construct well-rounded and convincing characters. The overall impression is that Updike despised everyone in this novel - that he just couldn't be bothered with his characters, and obviously focused on his religion vs. science agenda instead. In which case, Updike would have been much better off (and more honest) to just write a book of essays on the subject, Martin Gardner-style.

As it is, the novel is made of two halves: one is on the subject of religion and science and debates whether contemporary science, and computing especially, could provide us with proof of god's existence. There are some excellent and gratifying barbs at creationism. However, whether you're an atheist or a religious believer, I doubt that this book would revolutionize your way of thinking or could sway anyone the other way.
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By F. D. Shamash on 8 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of Updike's funniest and sexiest books. Roger is a middle aged man who graphically imagines his wife having it off with a religious computer nerd while he gets seduced by his young niece who is a single mother.
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