Toward the End of Time
Only the most stalwart of Updike fans (and for the most part I consider myself one) would find much of value in "Toward the End of Time". Its half-baked musings on mortality, our place in the cosmos, and post-apocalyptic life is a really tough (and, often, creepy) tour of Updike's brain.
A good chunk of Updike's near-50 books invoke similar themes, with a schlubby, misogynistic, nearly unlikable protagonist/anti-hero coping with issues of aging, occupational success/failure and a hyper ...more
The question is not about his own mortality, which becomes apparent in the pages of his journal, nor it is about the degradation of old age and the dying process. The question which is illuminated in these pages is one of the sheer beauty of life right into its death. ...more
The story is a mish-mash of science and philosophy with some very dark and scathing ideas about the human condition. Thus, I loved it!
here's a funny review that makes me like the book alot more since I dislike David Foster Wallace's review (from wikipedia):
In a review for the New York Observer entitled, "John Updike, Champion Literary Phallocrat, Drops One; Is This Finally the End for Magnificent Narcissists?" (later published in Consider t ...more
Yet despite clever and mesmerising writing, the combination just didn't work for me, with neither social nor scientific aspects of the scenario consistent and credible. Maybe I was missing some clever literary devices, but it just felt lazy, as if Updike thought that using science fiction concepts e ...more
The book got slightly better as I got used to the style and started to understand how carefully-crafted every single sentence is. The descriptions are unique yet oddly accurate. However, I can only take so much botanical imagery before it starts to feel like I'm ...more
Toward the End of Time "is the journal of a 66-year-old man, Ben Turnbull . . . [which] reveals not only the world but the wanderings of his wits. . . . So what if he jumps from a United States in the next century, disintegrating after a war with China, to ancient Egypt, or to virtual reality? So what if characters appear and disappear like phantoms in a dream? . . . Turnbull's journal is like Walden gone haywire. . . . If Ben's ruthlessness is evenhanded, so is his alarming intelligence; it fa