Against the background of general philandering and deceit, couples develop deep attachments punctuated by occasional frenzies of passion and intrigue.
Regarded as one of America's best authors, Updike, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes with painful in...more
you don’t see a lot of this regarding vincent van gogh: “it’s really well painted, but…”, “the brush strokes are nice but… isn’t he just painting a flower? or some wheat? or a dirty bar?”
an imperfect analogy, but close enough. updike digests reality and spits it out with such force and kaleidoscopic beauty i’d compare his description of reality against reality itself as ...more
Ok, now some disclaimers! This is the only Updike I've ever read (except for "Fellatio", surely The Worst Poem Ever Written, and I'm really more embarrassed for him than angry at him for writing it), so I've no comparison ...more
But that's not why I gave it five stars. John Updike is a dazzling wordsmith. Everything from the imagery to the depth of his characters to the story line was top notch. I'd never read such a vivid representation of an asshole as I have with Piet Hanema.
Of course, it w ...more
Basically this novel is about a bunch of swinging couples in Tarbox, a community near Boston-I think. Angela and Peit Hanema are the focus...he is unfaithful, and she is cold. They are not part of the swinging couples in their community, but they are part of their circle. There are a coupl ...more
The early nineteen sixties beckoned on a decade of change. Not only did the world shake off most of the remnants of its most recent global war, not only did Europe’s defeated former colonial powers almost complete their American-dictated divestment of their assets, not only did capitalism institutionalise the shape of globalised future, but also, apparently, married people discovered sex. But not, for the purposes of Couples by John Updike, with their legal partners…
John Updike ...more
Of course it goes without saying that John Updike once again proves himself as a gif ...more
I got a little sick of spinning in this dry tumble with frustrated couples who drink their boredom away and sleep with their neighbor's spouse to try and light the fire again. The whole thing seemed so dismal and pointless, and maybe that was Updike's point about the educated classes on the east coast in the 1960s. However, even with Updike's prose I found it difficult to motivate myself to turn the page and fo ...more
There is a huge difference between people who c ...more
“Couples,” by John Updike (Knopf, 1968). Updike’s sex book. Very explicit and detailed in its descriptions of sex. Speaking brutally, here in 1968 Updike tries out the hedonistic ‘60s, within his WASP New England world. A group of 10 couples in a south shore Massachusetts town party incessantly and screw each others’ spouses relentlessly. They mostly know what they are all doing, but most hide it from each other. All this takes place in the early ‘60s, culminating in the Kennedy assassination--- ...more