Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom #2)
warning! terribly tl;dr
Updike swung for the fences; he wanted to represent the 60s in one novel; but it was like he didn’t really immerse himself in it; like he was trying to write about it from the outside, as an observer. Novels written by the “observer writer” can work, of course; but typically, I...more
What is the novel about? Well it’s about Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom: a man in his early thirties, with a wife, a son and a job on the verge of being made obsolete by technology. In the first novel, Rabbit ran away from his wife and young child. The novel dealt with the way he is pulled between his freedom and responsibility. In Rabbit’s secon...more
In my review of Rabbit Run I touched on the divide between the "clean" Brewer and the "dirty" Bre...more
Ten years after the first Rabbit novel, this book is about many things - marital infedilty and the challenges of middle-age, the 1960s, Vietnam and of course the furher development of Harry Angstrom, an anti-hero whose best times seem to be behind him...more
This latter inability shaded into sexism, a misogynistic misconception of women as the “other.” It’s troubling to observe a protagonist who considers most women cu...more
This book stands apart from the first book through its dialogue. Rabbit, Run wa...more
But Rabbit’s politics are getting complicated, because of race. “The bus has too many Negroes,” he observe...more
How do I put this into words? It's not the infidelity. That doesn't bother me. He's a reckless, destructive, irresponsible person. The running theme in his mind is sex and death. He cheated on Janice in the first book because having sex with her made him feel trapped and about to di...more
But this book, I think, went a bit too far in two areas.
The first. Updike's absolutely astonishing eye for physical detail - his ability to describe exactly how people look at all points, and how their physical appearance relates to their personality - remains there in all its perfection. But the realism that he ma...more
Rabbit is back and it's 1969. Set against the backdrop of the first moon landing and the Vietnam war Harry Angstrom is once again thrown into personal turmoil. His wife leaves him for a co-worker, his mother is slowly dying, and his job is none too secure. Harry repopulates his house, and his life, with an itinerant 18-year-old rich girl and a black messianic veteran. His son Nelson remains at home with his father and has to come to terms with this new bohemian lif...more
In this sequel to Rabbit, Run, John Updike resumes the spiritual quest of his anxious Everyman, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. Ten years have passed; the impulsive former athlete has become a paunchy thirty-six-year-old conservative, and Eisenhower’s becalmed America has become 1969’s lurid turmoil of technology, fantasy, drugs, and violence. Rabbit is abandoned by his family, his home invaded by a runaway and a radical, his past reduced to a ruined inner landscape; still he clings to semblances of d
Unlike Rabbit, Run, Upd...more
"Rabbit, Run" was very good, not great; "Rabbi...more
The second novel in John Updike's Rabbit series, Rabbit Redux continues the story of Harry Angstrom, 10 years after it left off: it's 1969, the bohemian movement is in full-swing throughout the country, and Harry instead finds himself grumpy, hitting a stone wall in his marriage, and warped into a conservative who despises everything about the hippies, the anti-Vietnam War protests, and the Civil Rights Movement.
But eventually things take place that slowly inspire Harry Angstrom t...more
For me, its of interest mainly as a document of changing times and the upheavals of the 1960s as seen from the point of view of an unremarkable and diffi...more
Review by ANATOLE BROYARD
Published: November 5, 1971
By John Updike
When I began this book and found Rabbit Angstrom 10 years older, fatter, softer, settled and no longer even running as he was in the earlier version, I wondered why Updike had locked himself in with this loser, why he had given himself so little elbow room. He has this habit, I thought, of keeping his people small -- old, precious or ordinary -- so he can write all around them, pin them with his exquisite...more
While Rabbit Run was essentially the starter Updike book in this class examining Updike's career, Rabbit, Redux was the graduated version. More freestyle than Rabbit Run since Updike had built up his fame in the interim between books and was on his own personal quest to be bigger than Shakespeare (a personal motive brought about by Updike's rise in career even after a reviewer compared him to Shakespeare).
In this novel, Janice and Nelson have bigger roles. It isn't about Rabbit, and this time, h...more
10 years on from the Rabbit Run, Harry is back with Janice, has a 12 year old boy nelson and is living the american dream - job, house, beers after work.
All of this collapses, as you would expect.
The author also tries to pack the sixties into the novel - at times, we have free love, 60s aggitation against the man, black power, the moon landings etc. all packed into...more