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Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom #3)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  9,817 ratings  ·  378 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 Harrry'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 CardBeloved by Toni MorrisonWatchmen by Alan Moore
Best Books of the Decade: 1980's
78th out of 1,030 books — 1,103 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
43rd out of 87 books — 908 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
At this point in the saga, the economy is collapsing, and Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is... doing quite well for himself, actually. He's worked himself into the chief sales representative of his father-in-law's Toyota dealership, and business is good. He's grown to an age with a presence that attracts respect, a subtle but sharp difference from the earlier novels.

But he knows it can't last. There are gas riots in Philadelphia. Now that he has come into his own, he has an acute sense of the fleeting
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
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
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
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
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
Well, now I can say I've read Updike.
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 a
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
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
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
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
I found myself slogging through this book. Not because it's bad but because Updike's writing is so dense. It's incredible writing, varsity level writing but it's not something you can rip through in a few days. At least I couldn't.

I do find some of the criticisms of this book odd. People seem to attach the main characters traits to the author. I don't read reviews of Agatha Christie's books that call her a crazy old lady obsessed with murder. Rabbit is a character, one of the most realized char
Greg of A2
This is where Harry makes a comeback. Another 10 years has past and we pick up his story as he now runs a Toyota dealer. It's interesting to see how Updike moves Harry into middle-age with all the warts visible. He's still the sexual carnivore with lusts no less than when he was much younger. In some ways, I wish Updike had ended Harry's story here but that wouldn't have created the full picture that includes the foreboding sense of death that can creep into later life and which permeates Harry' ...more
"Rabbit is Rich" is feeling like the best in the series so far. I think it may be because I relate to this age more and just remember being this way, so it feels incredibly in touch.
Updike is an ethereal writer. His words are so flowing and beautiful to read, while at the same time full of the raunchy reality that creates our modern humanity.
I was blown away by the plot and honestly couldn't predict it, though I guess I didn't try terribly hard. He surprised me. I like to be surprised by plots.
This was the most enjoyable book in the "Rabbit" series so far. I felt Updike wove the time period throughout the book in a much more interesting and relateable way for me personally and reflected the lifestyles and events surrounding the characters. The relationships between characters have more depth and development as well. Of course, the writing is superb!
Adam Krause
Listened to this one on CD during my long work commute. Updike's similes alone are worth the price of admission, which is good, because Rabbit and his son (whose POV the novel occasionally, halfheartedly dips into) are pretty obnoxious company. For every "The men standing on the golf course were as dull as they must have seemed to God" there's a "Next time he'll have to f*ck her while she's awake!"
I guess this is a 3.5, since I keep changing my rating between 3 and 4. My main complaint, which another reviewer just reminded me of, was that the switching between viewpoints seemed a little uneven in this one. There was an element of that in the others, too, where a couple of other characters suddenly get airtime at what seem like random points throughout the book. It was a little jarring that we didn't get anyone else's perspective in this one until pretty far in, and then, when we might rea ...more
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Q: Does this book stand alone? 4 23 Apr 11, 2011 09:19PM  
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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...

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)
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1) Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2) The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick, #1) Couples

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“How can you respect the world when you see it's being run by a bunch of kids turned old?” 68 likes
“The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started.” 47 likes
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