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Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom #3)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  11,033 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Ten years after RABBIT REDUX, Harry Angstrom has come to enjoy prosperity as the Chief Sales Representative of Springer Motors. The rest of the world may be falling to pieces, but Harry's doing all right. That is, until his son returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to his lot....
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 30th 1997 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1981)
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardMatilda by Roald DahlWatchmen by Alan Moore
Best Books of the Decade: 1980's
82nd out of 1,188 books — 1,263 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeMiddlesex by Jeffrey EugenidesThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Pulitzer Winners: Fiction & Novels
42nd out of 89 books — 906 voters

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Community Reviews

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having finished the third Rabbit book I can tell you that john updike thinks a lot about blowjobs. a lot. and i don’t think it’s just that he’s a horny bastard obsessed with facefucking bookish young gals (which he is, of course) -- it's also that the blowjob mirrors other currents in society. i remember when the first of our friends (i’m pretty sure it was paul passarelli) got a blowjob it was a big deal and quite some time until we’d all had the pleasure. and then, a few years later, talking w ...more
MJ Nicholls
Glib Capsule Review:

Rabbit cracks wise. Rabbit talks about cars. Rabbit scrutinises female anatomy. Rabbit bawls out no-good lowlife son. Rabbit’s actions receive entirely undeserved Harvard-strength descriptive torrent. Rabbit screws his wife. Rabbit fantasises about screwing his friend’s young wife. Rabbit makes racist or sexist remark. Rabbit thinks about daughter or dead Skeeter. Rabbit goes into four/five-page thought-stream with no paragraph breaks. Rabbit wants very much to have sexual in
I read this book as the third in the Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, and then Rabbit is Rich). My book group chose Rabbit, Run out of curiosity about books by the recently-deceased John Updike. I was inspired enough to continue with the series. By far, I enjoyed this book the most of the three. Rabbit has finally become a sympathetic character, taking control of his life and making decisions. The previous two books showed Rabbit as a self-consumed ass, indirectly contributing to the de ...more
I'm slowly working my way through the Rabbit books and, where Redux felt like a bit of a mis-step, Rabbit is Rich works rather better. Maybe it's simply the benefit of having had Harry Angstrom in my head for two books already by now, but here he comes across as a more convincing, fully developed character than he did in, particularly, the second book. And while I wasn't around at the time, I thought Updike's evocation of the mood of the time more convincing than in the previous novel.

The relat
His own life closed in to a size his soul had not yet shrunk to fit.

Rabbit is dragged kicking and screaming into middle-age. Regular people are not known to react well to this, and Rabbit is worse than regular people. This makes for an often hilarious read.

Strangely enough, he toes the line for the most part but it's not because of maturity. His wife has inherited all the money he enjoys (and boy, is he smug about all the money he didn't earn) and if he leaves her, he loses the money. He like
La vita si dissolve dietro di noi mentre siamo ancora vivi

Leggere un romanzo nel momento adeguato è determinante per apprezzarlo. A trent'anni è troppo tardi per leggere kerouac e troppo presto per leggere Updike, questo pensavo prima di trovare nella postfazione:
Updike aveva spiegato che Corri, Coniglio era in parte una risposta a Sulla strada di Kerouac e inteso come una «dimostrazione realistica di cosa accade a un giovane padre di famiglia americano quando prende la strada»
Ho letto senza sap
I had no idea what to expect from John Updike. I picked up this book on a whim at the library after hearing about his death, hoping that there was a shred of something in this story that I could relate to. Turns out there wasn't, but John Updike is a gifted writer, in my opinion, and manages to infuse an unremarkable industrial town in Pennsylvania with the light of a thousand ships, illuminating every detail in eye-popping color. I guess the 70's were supposed to be the decade of sexual experim ...more
Both Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux are powerful and engaging novels that cut against the grain of their decades: in the former we see Updike, an anti-Kerouac, introducing Harry Angstrom, an anti-Sal Paradise who doesn't go on the road, who refuses the new freedoms and stays put; in the latter Updike graduates to an anti-Kesey, chronicling Angstrom's nervous flirtation with -and final rejection of - the new liberties that the sixties have opened up. Rabbit is Rich takes us forward another decade t ...more
Gas lines, Krugerrands, the silver splurge, Iranian hostages, the price of oil. Updike settles Rabbit at the age of 46 in the middle of the Carter administration. Thanks to the convenience of his father in law's death, Rabbit finds himself the chief sales rep for Springer Motors. In the midst of the nation's first oil crisis, it's only natural that Springer Motors has obtained a Toyota distributorship. And "Rabbit is Rich." Son Nelson is now 23, a disaffected college drop out, with one too many ...more
Jun 29, 2007 Ashley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like good, round characters
Shelves: mybasicbookshelf
i love updike---i started reading the rabbit books and then got so fully into rabbit that i went through the series pretty quickly.

i liked updike's first in the series, "rabbit run," but it took me a while to really love him as much as i did by the time i got to "rabbit is rich". i love the roundness of his stories and his patience in letting his characters develop slowly. updike pays attention to the details of everyday life without making them of monumental importance. but after a while you s
I expected to like this one better than Rabbit, Redux, and I did not. Mostly seems like getting old is a drag, and I didn't bet on being old already at 46. But Rabbit seems pretty dang old. This book is a whole lot of erectile dysfunction, giving up on might-have-been's, and settling for whatever life has given you. It is at times blisteringly funny and heart-rendingly realistic, but it was more of a drag than a delight. I head into Rabbit #4 with less anticipation than #3.
The children's book of this would be called "EVERYBODY FUCKS". Harry really gets his kink on in his late 40's, but I feel my mentality age with Harry through the series. It use to be like "I saw a vagina today, here are the lovely metaphoric details!" and now I'm like "Yea. Cunts." I imagine Rabbit at Rest is going to be Harry sitting in the barcalounge going "hey, I've seen some pussy in my day!"

But all the sex aside I'm really starting to hate kids of all ages through all times. What a bunch o
Richard Knight
(Spoilers of the first two books abound)

While reading Rabbit is Rich, I often wondered why this book won the Pulitzer Prize, especially since nothing major seemed to be happening in it. But by the end of the book, I think I figured it out, and it's BECAUSE nothing really major happened that it won the prestigious award. By this point in Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom's tale, we've seen him desert his wife, lose a home, and even lose a baby. And in this third book, which deals with him in his mid-40s, I
I expected to find this book dated. I read Rabbit Run forty or more years ago. I enjoyed that book and I started a compulsive bout of reading Updike in the late 60's and early 70's. I later read Rabbit Redux, which I found a little too obvious and a little too pat. Rabbit IS Rich has been sitting in my 'to read' pile for many years.

Perhaps because I am older now, I appreciate the issues of middle age on a personal level. Though the book was written in the 70's, I didn't find it dated in the leas
Alan Mills
I loved this. I read Rabbit Run decades ago, in high school, and had been meaning to get to the rest of the series forever. This one iso it of order, but it was available as an audio book, and I had a long I went out of order.

This is standard Updike. Absolutely nothing happens, and the characters are all solidly middle class, small town, merchant types, more or less happily married, with no big crises. Yet Updike manages to build characters with depth, and keep racking up the tension,
Greg Z
Rabbit remembers climbing trees as a child, "...gripping tighter and tighter as the branches got smaller." As an adult, he realizes, "From a certain angle the most terrifying thing in the world is your own life, the fact that it's yours and nobody else's." In the title of the first book in this four-volume series, John Updike advises Rabbit to Run. But Rabbit doesn't, he can't, he is frozen in place, and now the proverbial branches are getting even smaller, time is running out. One hopes for red ...more
The third part of a five-book series by John Updike..
Rabbit Run
Rabbit Redux
Rabbit is Rich
Rabbit at Rest
Rabbit Remembered
I've read the previous ones, still need to read the last part, but going to of course.

John Updike writes from a manly point of view, you experience the life of Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom as he finally has some luck in his life.
As the previous novel (Rabbit Redux) ends with him back with his wife, this novel starts off with him doing quite well selling Toyota's while the oil cris
Well, now I can say I've read Updike.
Rabbit is Rich won a pocketful of awards, most notably the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. That doesn't mean I have to like it, and I certainly didn't. It's not that Updike's writing isn't great -- no writer can do a better job of placing you uncomfortably inside a character's brain as Updike can, and no book made me want to find a plain brown wrapper to cover it like this book did. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with Harry/Rabbit Angstrom's life journey to this point, having read the first two Rabbit ...more
Andrew Cripe
400 odd pages of Harry Angstrom Scrooge McDucking all over the place. Which is to say, I liked it a lot.

These characters haven't become better people in ten years--some have even managed to blossom into worse--yet I find myself, against all odds, caring about them as much as I have any book character. What I really admire here is their resignation, however denying they are of it, to each other. It becomes a much more generous and warm book than the previous two because it allows these people, fo
"Harry Angstrom -- A Memoir of Boners"

It's the late 1970s and Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is older, fatter, and still just as obsessed with his prick and where it might go as ever.

Example: "He never world have given Charlie a handshake like this two weeks ago, but since fucking Thelma up the ass..."

That's an actual sentence in the book (about 4/5 of the way in).

He's now firmly ensconced in his role as Sales Manager for his dead father-in-law's Toyota dealership, he plays a lot of golf at the local
Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
Published 1981

The third novel in the Rabbit Angstrum series, Harry is middle aged, his son is away at college and he and Janice live with Janice’s mother. Harry is running Springer Motors and believes he is owner but really, he works for his mother-in-law and his wife. Harry has become obsessed with money. His son can’t make a decision and appears to be irresponsible (a lot like Harry) and he is also obsessed with the daughter he had with Ruth.
Rabbit is Rich was awar
Lisa James
Glad to finally finish up this last book in the Rabbit Angstrom series. This one ties up a lot of loose ends, as we find Rabbit comfortable & middle aged, his marriage finally solid again, Rabbit in charge of the dealership his father in law owned after Janice's father passes away. They have a membership to the country club, & at the beginning of the book, Nelson is in college. The problems begin when Nelson quits college & shows up at the family home with a girl, which crowds the ol ...more
I loved-loved-loved this book. In my mind it's a masterpiece, and the only question is whether it's excellence rises enough to compare to Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises. I'll say it's not quite there, but it's close. Harry Angstrom has always been a great character, but in this book Nelson and Janice finally find their voice. What elevates this book is the battle between Rabbit and Nelson, backed up by his mom and grandmother. The kid is coddled and spoiled, and annoying as hell, but Updike gives ...more
This exquisitely written novel, the second of the Rabbit books by Updike and a 1981 Putlitzer Prize winner for Fiction, is a seductive ode to Pennsylvania, Updike's hometown or more precisely, to Middle America of the 70s. Updike's hero, Rabit Angstrom, is now enjoying the fruits of middle-aged wealth though he cannot avoid the decay of old age and the disgust of marital infidelity. Updike brilliantly captures the mood of the period--the moral decay and disgust in spite of economic prosperity--i ...more
Jee Koh
What's extraordinary about Updike's art is how ordinary his materials are. No sensational subjects like pederasty, pandemic or terrorist plot, although Rabbit Is Rich teases with the possibility of incest. There is couple swapping, on a vacation at the Bahamas, its treatment is, however, neither moralistic nor voyeuristic, but sympathetic about human desires and fears. No epiphanic event: Pru, Harry Angstrom's daughter-in-law, falls from the stairs, but keeps her baby. She does not change, and n ...more
News of John Updike's death prompted me to re-read this book. I count it as one of my three favorite novels of the later 20th century (along with "A Fine Balance", by Rohinton Mistry and "The Girls of Slender Means" by Muriel Spark). I first read it in the early 1980s, and despite its concern with topical issues from that era, it has lost none of its immediate and compelling interest. Updike's writing is so rich and rewarding that I had to stop every few paragraphs to go back and carefully look ...more
OK, I admit it: I enjoyed a novel by John Updike. I was good although it certainly had glaring weaknesses. The descriptive prose worked well. On the other hand, there was still a slightly worrying obsession with sex and Rabbit has to be the most unpleasant character I've come across in a while. It amuses me that Rabbit is often described as 'an Everyman for our times': surely that doesn't bode well for our times. After a while, you get used to the terrible things that Rabbit says and s ...more
Justin Pahl
Updike is very hit or miss - more often a miss, to be honest - but this is a very good capsule of middle class America at the turn of the decade. The hostages have been taken in Iran, Carter is on his way out, gas is sky high, and Harry Angstrom is getting fat off selling Japanese cars. But life isn't all roses, and Harry always manages to find the downside in even the best of news. Written in a style that is far less affected, and far more natural, than he's known for, Updike creates vivid, com ...more
It was strange to read this novel and be the same age as Rabbit. I'm not sure I identified with him more because of that, but since Rabbit is often thinking of himself in terms of mortality, it was hard not feel I was basically in the same spot on the escalator of life.
Updike's prose is amazing. His descriptions, humor, poetic lines all infuse his writing with layers of perception. Add to this that he breathes life into full bodied characters and writes a plot that keeps moving forward like a t
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Tackling the Puli...: Rabbit is Rich (John Updike, 1982) 11 28 Nov 17, 2015 01:06PM  
Q: Does this book stand alone? 4 30 Apr 11, 2011 09:19PM  
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John Hoyer Updike 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 his careful craftsmanship and prolific writing, havin ...more
More about John Updike...

Other Books in the Series

Rabbit Angstrom (4 books)
  • Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
  • Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2)
  • Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4)

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“How can you respect the world when you see it's being run by a bunch of kids turned old?” 80 likes
“The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started.” 58 likes
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