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Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom #3)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,143 Ratings  ·  451 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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Best Books of the Decade: 1980's
89th out of 1,353 books — 1,591 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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brian
Dec 12, 2008 brian rated it really liked it
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
...more
Alex
Aug 24, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Rabbit is the great American schlub. He's perfectly mediocre. He's one of those guys whose best days were as a high school athlete and now he's growing a beer gut. He's got an okay job, he's a pretty shitty father, he's a pig, he loves Consumer Reports, he's racist but not so racist that he thinks of himself as racist. He's an everyday asshole.

Updike has managed to neither love nor hate him, just describe him. But he gets you deep enough into him that you find yourself feeling bad for him when
...more
Fabian
May 27, 2016 Fabian rated it liked it
This third decade of Rabbit’s shenanigans is... incredibly dull. Didn’t the 70’s include all that Disco and outrageous fashion and pre-80s outrageous opulence? It does exist in Rabbit’s (albeit our) America, but Rabbit has become such an old man (at the age of 46!) that he cannot enjoy his monetary glory at all. He worries still, not for the well being of his family, no, but mostly over his own selfish hide, his manly desires fulfilled (though mostly not). I hated the dialogue between the main c ...more
Diane16
Jul 25, 2011 Diane16 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tim
Jan 10, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, america
This is the third installment in Updike's celebrated tetralogy about the life of Harold "Rabbit" Angstrom, a regular American guy living a regular American life. Told in that uniquely graceful prose that was the key to Updike's brilliance, this series stands out as a set of memorable portraits of a place (Pennsylvania), and an average man who lives there and deals with the changes in his world and in himself. The first Rabbit book showed us a young man bucking against the conformist world of the ...more
Patrick
Oct 11, 2013 Patrick rated it really liked it
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
...more
Priyanka
Dec 02, 2013 Priyanka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit, favourites
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
...more
Nood-Lesse
Jun 16, 2015 Nood-Lesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Richard
Jan 03, 2016 Richard rated it it was ok
Shelves: pulitzer-fiction
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
Stefani
Mar 09, 2009 Stefani rated it really liked it
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
Drew
May 01, 2013 Drew rated it liked it
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
Lawyer
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
Ashley
Jun 29, 2007 Ashley rated it really liked it
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
...more
Bookslut
Apr 13, 2015 Bookslut rated it liked it
Shelves: pulitzer
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.
Brittany
Jan 03, 2014 Brittany rated it really liked it
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
...more
Greg Z
Feb 11, 2016 Greg Z rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Ian Mapp
Jul 06, 2016 Ian Mapp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-fict
A piece of muscular american fiction to get my teeth into whilst holidaying.

This is the 3rd of 4 books charting the life of an Everyman - Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom.

At last, I think I am finally getting the series. Maybe it is because I am the exact same age as Harry in this book.

Very similar to the other books - a soap opera played out against the morals and politics of its time - the end of the 70's early 80s. Harry is running a Toyota dealership (his father in laws), his son has quit college, tu
...more
Richard Knight
Aug 14, 2014 Richard Knight rated it really liked it
(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
...more
Tom
Jan 27, 2014 Tom rated it really liked it
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
...more
Alan Mills
Oct 29, 2015 Alan Mills rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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 drive...so 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,
...more
Nathalie
May 02, 2015 Nathalie rated it really liked it
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
...more
Marcelle
Jun 16, 2011 Marcelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, now I can say I've read Updike.
Jeffrey
Jan 30, 2016 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-reading
Rabbit is much more likable in this book, though he continues to desire things he can never have and follow his own thoughts in ways that he shouldn't. He objectifies women as sexual objects so completely and consistently that every encounter he has with a woman no matter how unattractive or taboo, he can't help himself. He's a lecherous old man at 46. The problem is that it rings true, from my twisted baby boomer male perspective. I think many men are the same, and it must be disorienting to a ...more
Andrew Cripe
Oct 15, 2014 Andrew Cripe rated it really liked it
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
...more
Christopher
May 06, 2014 Christopher rated it it was ok
"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
...more
Kristel
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
...more
Lisa James
Oct 21, 2012 Lisa James rated it really liked it
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
Dan
Mar 02, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing
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
Pa
Jan 07, 2009 Pa rated it really liked it
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
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Tackling the Puli...: Rabbit is Rich (John Updike, 1982) 11 33 Nov 17, 2015 01:06PM  
Q: Does this book stand alone? 4 31 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?” 85 likes
“The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started.” 68 likes
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