Bech Is Back
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Bech Is Back

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  332 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The renowned Henry Bech is now fifty years old. In this wonderful classic novel, Bech reflects on his fame, travels the world, marries an Episcopalian divorcée from Westchester, and--surprise to all--writes a book that becomes a runaway bestseller. If you've never read Updike before, there's no better place to start. If you've read him for years, you'll be delightfully rem...more
Hardcover, 195 pages
Published September 12th 1982 by Alfred a Knopf (first published 1982)
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Harold Griffin
This volume starts very slowly, with more of Bech's travels, annotated with much more detail than I cared to try to absorb. However, the tale picks up momentum about halfway through, when Bech and bride travel to Scotland ("MacBech"), and the ensuing long chapter/story "Bech Wed"
somewhat rewards a reader's perseverance.

In my view, Updike is unsuccessful in creating an authentically "Jewish" author-protagonist. Bech seems indistinguishable from many of Updike's non-Jewish personae. But ethnicity...more
In these stories Updike has some fictional fun with a character called Henry Bech: a successful Jewish-American novelist. Lots of funny lines and moments: one that sticks out is Bech's observation that Bea's languid teenage daughters are always reading 'fat novels of witchcraft and horror in Maine': a nice dig at Stephen King. And Stephenie Meyer, if you want a recent application: all that tosh. And of course they listen to hideous music that sounds like a washing machine breaking down.

Only prob...more
Black Heart
Oddly enough, this is the first book I've read by John Updike. I've never read any of his "Rabbit" series, nor have I read the Witches of Eastwick (nor seen the movie). I picked this one to start with mainly out of necessity: because it was the only Updike available at the Co-op Bookstore, where I prefer to buy my books!

Nevertheless, it was an interesting read, crisscrossing the globe, commenting on Canadians and Australians and Jews and Gentiles. It's the story of a writer, writing. And not wri...more
Irritatingly, this book's structure is identical to that of 'Bech: A Book.' Flimsy travel sketches in which Bech is just an excuse for the relation of rather jejune foreign impressions ("The Holy Land" is excruciating if you've read Bellow's "To Jerusalem and Back") give way, just as one's patience is about used up--is he playing chicken?--to Updike at his strongest. Bech is such an appealing character, his situation such a perfect platform for Updike's observative wit, that I hope I open "Bech...more
Chris Marquette
I've been really enjoying the Bech stories (in this and in Bech: A Book) - they're funny, entertainingly vulgar, extremely poignant and well-crafted. Updike's stories are always at least one of these things, even when their concerns seem trivial or everyday. As a result, I rarely had the impression that a story didn't 'succeed'. Looking forward to more Bech and more Updike.
In Bech is Back, Updike offers us entertaining glimpses into the fictitious life of a famously unprolific author who decides to settle down in his later years. He does so, but only long enough to write his best seller. A front seat view into the dichotomy between reality and the writer's inner life.
Daniel Landes
Liked his writing but not the pretension. Very self important.
Some of these stories go nowhere, but three of them -- "Bech Wed," which is the longest, "Three Illuminations" and "White on White" -- are totally fantastic.
beck is just as clueless as in the first novel, as he unthinkingly he wanders into various sorts of trouble and successfully avoids growing up.
Really liked this one - very fun, pretty lighthearted. The only Updike I've read.
❤ Lady black cat ❤
sincere writing,writer takes you to a travel with himself!
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John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania) was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for hi...more
More about John Updike...
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1) Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom, #3) Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2) The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick, #1)

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