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Preview — Villages by John Updike
I'm a little reluctant to do so with "Villages", because it's possible, given the author's fame, that I totally missed the point of the book. (I didn't learn how to evaluate literature in high school, and failed the only literature class I took in college.) On the other hand, probably all the good things about this novel have already been writte...more
I guess: if I want to read a novel about the history of 20th century programming, I'll screw a nerd instead. Which I don't want to do, because then I'd be bored. The end.
"Why do women go along with men? Perhaps it was a simple question of electrical engineering: in a world full of plugs, nature must provide...more
The story rating is a 2-3, but the audio presentation is what truly pleased me: Edward Herrmann’s (of ubiquitous History Channel narrations/Mr. Richard Gilmore in Gilmore Girls) reading is simply wonderful. I find that Updike is the perfect writer to have read aloud to you,...more
It was a celibate villager who wrote, 'We know not where we are. Beside, we are sound asleep nearly half our time. Yet we esteem ourselves wise, and have an established order on the surface.' Such a surface order makes possible human combinations and moments of tender regards. It is a mad thing, to be alive. Villages exist to moderate this madness--to hide it from children, to bottle it for private use, to smooth its imperatives into habits, to protect us from the darkness without...more
Former President Reagan hangs heavily over the infant millennium...more
The arc of the book - a man's life - his love life - the rise and fall and recovery of it. The fall - the bulk of the book - is uncomfortable to read. Not nasty or ugly, or terrible, really, in the scheme of human horrors, but a fall that is relationally detached the way the cool yet muddled men in Updike's books avail themselves of others - they being N...more
Updike treads over familiar territory with Villages, his 21st novel. For those who crave more of his famed investigations into suburban sex and the male mind, this novel will prove a welcome addition to the canon. To some critics, however, Villages seemed a rehash of old material, with little to recommend it to modern audiences. Detractors found Owen's sexual antics empty, his life devoid of emotional growth. Still, Updike remains one of the premier stylists of the English language, and he handl...more
still, i loved two things about this book: the language (it goes without saying that updike poeticizes the mundane with u...more