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Rabbit, Run (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Updike, John]
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Rabbit, Run (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Review

"Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own."
--"The Washington Post"

" Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own."
--"The Washington Post"

"Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own."
--"The Washington Post"

"Brilliant and poignant . . . By his compassion, clarity of insight, and crystal-bright prose, [John Updike] makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own."--"The Washington Post"
"The power of the novel comes from a sense, not absolutely unworthy of Thomas Hardy, that the universe hangs over our fates like a great sullen hopeless sky. There is real pain in the book, and a touch of awe."--Norman Mailer, "Esquire"
"A lacerating story of loss and of seeking, written in prose that is charged with emotion but is always held under impeccable control."--"Kansas City Star"

Brilliant and poignant . . . By his compassion, clarity of insight, and crystal-bright prose, [John Updike] makes Rabbit s sorrow his and our own. "The Washington Post"
The power of the novel comes from a sense, not absolutely unworthy of Thomas Hardy, that the universe hangs over our fates like a great sullen hopeless sky. There is real pain in the book, and a touch of awe. Norman Mailer, "Esquire"
A lacerating story of loss and of seeking, written in prose that is charged with emotion but is always held under impeccable control. "Kansas City Star""

Synopsis

Tired of the responsibility of married life, Harry Angstrom leaves his wife and home.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 800 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9L8A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’ve read three or four Updike novels and I can’t recall a damn thing about any of them. Never a good sign. I was fifty pages in before I realised I’d already read this one. That in itself – to spend money on a book I’d already read – was irritating! Updike’s novels seem like misplaced objects in my life. He’s one of those writers I feel I’ve underappreciated and yet every time I give him another go I’m left underwhelmed. This isn’t a bad novel by any means. But I was relieved to finish it because it’s not what I would call an enjoyable novel. It’s rather humourless and lacking in vitality for a novel written by such a young man. In terms of its scope it often felt like a short story or a novella that had been fattened up for consumption.
Updike is writing about the blindfolding tyranny of male vanity but I often felt he himself was guilty of it in the register of this novel’s voice. I couldn’t help thinking of our (English) young literary protégé Martin Amis. Like Updike’s Amis’ first novel was a sexy, cynical affair about a self-centred misogynistic young man. Except Amis gets us to like his hero by not asking us to like him. Updike, on the other hand, I always felt wants us to like Rabbit. He knows he shouldn’t but he can’t help himself. He’s trying to work Rabbit’s (for me inexistent) charm on us the reader as if he is a reflection of the writer himself. I never felt Updike was sufficiently detached from the character he created. Amis is a whole lot more subtle in creating his male monsters. Amis’ women are deliberately male projections. Updike’s are male projections but presented otherwise. When he gives us their perspective we discover they have nothing better to think about than Rabbit, usually in terms that gratify Rabbit’s vanity.
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Format: Paperback
Rabbit, Run is an exploration into how a man copes with mediocrity, after being excellent at something. In this case, the Rabbit is Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, a frustrated 26 year old man, who was once a great basketball player, now stuck in a loveless marriage and a second rate job. Rabbit runs, with devastating consequences.

This is a book which cuts to the quick of the human condition, cynically explores brilliantly the difficulty of simply living an 'un-special' existence, and the breakdown of relationships through that costal erosion effect of gradually falling out of love with your partner.

I can't believe that it took me 33 years to come to John Updike. Reading Rabbit, Run is a real challenge, because as a recently married man, the issues that he so deftly deals with, have some resonance. I think the beauty of his writing, is in his ability to unnervingly hit upon the essence of what makes life so hard to live. Parts of the book are uncomfortable to read, but because they are so well written, you cannot help but tag along for the ride. This is not a book to read if you are looking to cheer yourself up, but if you want to better understand the human condition, I think you could do no better.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of the once great college sportsman Harry 'rabbit' Angstrom, who at the age of twenty six has made nothing of his former talent and feels trapped in a loveless marriage, to an alcoholic wife who is unable to keep their home and young son under control. Rabbit is stifled by his dreary suburban existence and cannot escape the feeling that having once been a 'first rate' sportsman, being second rate just doesnt cut it. Unable to accept his life as it is, Harry walks out on his wife and child and begins a complicated journey to rid himself of his dull existence. Along the way, meeting his one time sports coach Mr. Tothero and striking up an odd friendship with a priest.

The book explores the suburban experience of an outsider, one who cannot conform to the life he has become tangled up in. In much the same manner as writers like John Cheever and Richard Yates, this book explores the disasterous effects of characters whose expectations of life have been seriously diminished.

This book is really well written and has a clear narrative voice, while the reader may not agree with Harry's actions, we cannot help but become immersed in his world. This book is the first of four 'Rabbit' books which follow Harry throughout his life, but also acts as a great introduction to Updike. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This is the first in a series of four books Updike wrote to document a rather unique view of America in each decade from the Sixties. The writing style makes for very slow reading, the attention to detail is sometimes painful because you will be left waiting for a dialogue to continue while he describes the character's frame of mind and reference. It brings you very close to the characters, often uncomfortably close.

Updike's characters are not cheerleaders and college football hero's. He writes about everyone else, the vast forgotten people who didn't become celebrities and sports stars and who have become cynical if not downright bitter and angry. It's compelling reading but don't look for a happy ending either, nobody learns any lessons or becomes an American hero and if he does acknowledge the American Dream it is only to say "forget about it, it's not for you".

This is hard gritty writing with a scattering of black humour, you'll need to set some time aside to read it, and the three follow ups. I've read the first two and I will start the third once my sensibilities have had a chance to recuperate. I would recommend this book to everyone except cheerleaders and football hero's.
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