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Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  41,618 Ratings  ·  2,590 Reviews

Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his—or any other—generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification an

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Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 26th 2010 by Random House (first published 1960)
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Caroline I'm with Shaun. It's terrible, and I regret wasting time on it. I elaborated in my review, but Rabbit is an unlikable character that cannot be…moreI'm with Shaun. It's terrible, and I regret wasting time on it. I elaborated in my review, but Rabbit is an unlikable character that cannot be sympathized with at any point. Now, there's nothing wrong with unlikable characters--I've enjoyed many books containing them--but Updike failed to make Rabbit relatable in any way. When it comes to unlikable characters, readers have to be able to sympathize in some way, to at least understand why they're the way they are, and there's simply no understanding him. He's just a despicable man through and through. You have missed out on nothing. Move along to something else on your TBR and feel no regrets. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Jul 12, 2009 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God, do I hate Rabbit Angstrom! How much do I hate him? If I was in a room with Hannibal Lector, the Judge from Blood Meridian, the Joker from Batman, and Rabbit Angstrom, and someone handed me a gun with only 3 bullets, I'd shoot Rabbit three times.

This is the first book by Updike I've read, and his reputation as a writer was well-earned. I'd had a vague idea that this story was about a former hot shot basketball player struggling to adjust to a regular life. I was completely unprepared for th
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Shovelmonkey1
Jul 07, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to see teenage angst plus ten years
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list but not Kemper
I'm sorry I think I might have to pause before the start of this review and scream discretely into a pillow:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Phew, that's better, very cathartic. This is yet another book from the 1001 books list which has made me question whether or not the people who write the list actually like people who read books or if they are really secretly intent on torturing us all for their own amusement?

The review w
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Justin
Nov 05, 2016 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I've read this year. Period. Maybe last year, too. Maybe. I don't know. But this book is amazing. I just looked up synonyms for "amazing", and all of them are adjectives you can use to describe this book.

Man, John Updike just has this way of making the most mundane, ordinary stuff extraordinary. He takes pages and pages to set a scene or describe the inner thoughts of one of his main characters, and all of it is awesome. I mean there were paragraphs that went on for pages
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brian
Nov 23, 2008 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bellow's writing blows my mind but rarely touches my heart. a handful of mailer's essays and novels are essential, but it's his guts and brain and balls and heart and the ferocity with which he lived life that's the real inspiration. roth? well, i've made my views on roth very well known in bookface world. and the few updike short stories i've read only convinced me that his elegant & writerly style really bugs the shit out of me.

all of 'em (bellow, mailer, roth, updike) found themselves as
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Michael Finocchiaro
This was the first and shortest of the Rabbit books from Updike. I think that the last two are better because Updike had 30-40 more years of maturity and writing under his belt but this book grabs you and doesn't let you go and makes you beg the the next one. The original concept behind the series is that Updike describes the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom in 1959 in Rabbit Run, 1969 in Rabbit Redux, 1979 in Rabbit is Rich, and 1989 in Rabbit at Rest. There is even an epilogue Rabbit Remembered ...more
Richard Derus
Get over it! Pull up your socks and get on with it! Sheez.

Book Circle Reads 96

Rating: 2.5* of five

The Book Description: Penguin's bumf--Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his — or any other — generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual g
...more
j
You know what would be nice, is if there was a wikipedia for life, and every time you met someone, you could just give it a glance and see if, you know, you really want to be associated with that person.

Sure, it would backfire, it would reveal your prejudices and narrow-mindedness, your circle of friends might become a lot less varied and interesting. On the other hand, you'd never have to fake a conversation about football again, and you could easily avoid the total assholes like Rabbit Angstr
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Matthew
Have you ever seen something noted because it is a representation of a specific thing? For example, a building might be marked with a plaque as a perfect representation of a type of architecture. Well, this book should be marked with a plaque as a perfect prose example of America in the late 50s/early 60s. The thoughts, ideas, acceptable social standards, treatment of women, etc. are so vivid and strongly represented, but soooooo dated!

The book is very interesting, but mainly held my attention t
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Alan
Jan 23, 2008 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Rabbit Angstrom and John Updike while sitting in the Intensive Care Waiting Room at a local hospital. My mother languished in a coma for one month before she finally found peace, and I spent most of those days and many of my nights in that waiting room. During much of that time I'd blown through typical waiting room crap like books with plots about overthrowing the government, stories about detectives who were psychoanalysts, stories about psychoanalysts who were detectives, etc. On ...more
Violet wells
I’ve read three or four Updike novels and I can’t recall a damn thing about any of them. Never a good sign. I was fifty pages in before I realised I’d already read this one. That in itself – to spend money on a book I’d already read – was irritating! Updike’s novels seem like misplaced objects in my life. He’s one of those writers I feel I’ve underappreciated and yet every time I give him another go I’m left underwhelmed. This isn’t a bad novel by any means. But I was relieved to finish it becau ...more
Fabian
Aug 02, 2011 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very precision of words makes this Man-Bad-so-Man-Punished tale oh-so jolting. A writer like this composes a cautionary story out of perfect and incredibly complex sentences. He is undoubtedly a poet, especially in his navigating the traditional ('somnambulent') realm of late '50s idyllic Americana gone to the dogs.

"On The Road" bears a comparison in its obvious Grownass-Young-Man-Seeking-Escape motif. The time-frames are also relatable. But this is closer akin to the intrepid tale of '50s S
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Ben
On the surface, Rabbit, Run is about a guy who runs around on his son and pregnant wife, and ends up living with a prostitute. Real interesting, right? Actually, yes. Because the characters come to life and they’re struggling with their own moral weaknesses and existential problems -- their problems and interactions are truly believable. So this is an interesting story, because Updike can write, and he pulls it off.

But first, I must explain why my rating is only 3 stars (or, 3 and a half, really
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Erin
Nov 25, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
If it's hard to love a book when you dislike the hero, it's harder still when the book leaves you cursing the nature of humanity.

I hate John Updike right now.

I hate him as an idealistic dreamer, for making me remember how ugly we are – all of us humans with our selfish hearts and boring thoughts, our fractious flaws, and our suffocating sense of doom and exceptionalism.

I hate him as a woman, for cringe-worthy moments of misogyny, for the distancing male sexual fixation, and for making me wonder
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Manny
Nov 29, 2008 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guys are like that. Why blame Updike?
Rebecca Waller
Apr 11, 2007 Rebecca Waller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers looking for writing inspiration
John Updike has a very non-traditional interpretation of redemption, and you find that in his main character, Harry Angstrom, also known as Rabbit. In this first Rabbit novel, he is 26, and he finds himself in crisis about where his life is headed. I found myself loving Rabbit and sympathizing with him (mostly), but also hating him and hating his choices. As a friend once put it to me, "He is Holden Caulfield grown up." It is a painful and powerful book. The writing is delicious, and I have neve ...more
Alex
Mar 08, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sassy fannies
The Rabbit Series
Here's the thing about Updike: he's such a good writer. He's a pure natural. His sentences are incredibly good. (Here in Rabbit, Run, sometimes you can feel the effort a little; by the third book, Rabbit is Rich, he's flawless.) His characterization is brilliant: Rabbit most of all is one of the great real people in literature, and the supporting cast - his wife and child, among others - are also real individuals. And, listen: some writers are good at writing but not good at boo
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MJ Nicholls
Mar 11, 2012 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
Something of a masterpiece, this first in the trilogy of five explores the universal themes of domestic humdrummery, fidelity, and the repercussions of discarded dreams. The titular Rabbit is a compelling portrayal of a now somewhat stock character, the coulda-been-a-contender (in this case basketball) bounced into a life of McJobs, dowdy small-town wives, and unwanted children. Updike’s novel is the best depiction of this soap-opera conceit I have read: he transforms every banal scene into some ...more
Γκέλλυ
Τα χαιρετίσματα μου στον πιο αντιπαθητικό ήρωα που έχω συναντήσει τον τελευταίο καιρό. Και αριστούργημα να είναι, εγώ χαλάστηκα. Au revoir. Και οχι à tout à l'heure.
Jason Pettus
Sep 13, 2010 Jason Pettus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #48: Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike

The story in a nutshell:
(Much of today's recap was culled from Wikipedia, for reasons that are explained below.)

Released
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Laura
May 18, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
For the three days since I've finished this book I've been going back and forth about whether this is 5 stars, or 4, or 3. Part of the problem is John Updike himself. Liking him as a writer somehow feels politically incorrect. Even mentioning him in mixed company gets glances, "you're reading HIM?" The Rabbit books have always had an aura of ho hum who cares to me. I'd hear Rabbit blah blah and tune it out like it's hockey. I knew Updike was competent, certainly anyone picking up a random issue ...more
Caroline
***ALL SPOILERS HIDDEN***

Never have I read a book with a more unlikable main character. Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom is a married man with a toddler son who despises his wife and (view spoiler). At least, that’s as much as I know. Maybe (view spoiler). This book is so insufferable I abandoned it at page 134 (out of 264 pages), and I have no regrets about doin
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Celeste
Dec 06, 2016 Celeste rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comentário editado em 9/12/2016

"Corre, Coelho" pode ler-se como um livro/crónica da vida americana de meados do século passado.
A escrita de John Updick tem todas as virtudes que faltam à personagem, Harry Coelho Angstrom.
Coelho reconhece apenas a sua "grandeza", deixando de lado o reconhecimento da sua miséria. É imaturo, cobarde, monstruosamente egoísta, assustado, medroso,, não confiável, indeciso, mas há, não obstante, um reverendo que acredita na sua salvação.

Excerto:

" Decide dar a volta ao
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Vit Babenco
Apr 10, 2013 Vit Babenco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rabbit, Run is a book of running nowhere.
We grow up, we marry, we work, we have children and one day we see that our life became a drab routine and total disappointment. And we wish to return to the days of our youth when everything was new and the world shined. And we revolt and run away… But is there a place to run to?
“His idea grows, that it will be a monster, a monster of his making. The thrust whereby it was conceived becomes confused in his mind with the perverted entry he forced, a few ho
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Yulia
Damn Updike, I wanted to find an immediate reason to dislike this, but he's so smooth in his text, I have no excuse to not continue reading it: it's very frustrating for us curmudgeons.

*********************************************************

Okay, that didn't last long. I refuse to finish this book. I find the prose self-indulgent, the understanding of human nature self-serving, and the protagonist impossible to empathize with. Would reading this book help me understand individuals I find narci
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Andrew Smith
Aug 23, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-finished
I really didn't like this book. In fact I got to about half way and gave up in despair. I’d really wanted to like it – to love it, in fact – and so I was really disappointed to have to abandon it.

I'm a big fan of American literature and gobble up books by Auster, Roth, Wolfe, Franzen and even Salinger, as well as any number of contemporary thriller writers. In fact, I've struggled with the work of very few authors from the States, with only DeLillo springing readily to mind. So I was confident I
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Teresa
Apr 05, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, l-1001bymrbyd, e4
Num dos ensaios de a herança perdida, James Wood diz que a escrita de John Updike é "de uma liberalidade aristocrática, como se a linguagem fosse uma despesa sem importância para um homem muito rico e Updike acrescentasse a cada frase uma gorjeta."
Foi a bela prosa de Updike que não permitiu que, levianamente, eu abandonasse este livro no início por não conseguir sentir qualquer empatia com as personagens e ser, até, um pouco aborrecido. Mas, no decorrer da leitura, a minha visão das personagens
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Robert
Sep 18, 2007 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since the first time I read this book years ago, I bet I haven't gone 24 hours without thinking about it in some way. It's not my favorite book in the series, but it's the emotionally rawest thing I've ever read. A recurring image in the book is that of things spilling over, appropriate for a novel in which the title character's frustration with his life can no longer be contained. Updike chronicles the caustic results caused by Rabbit's inner restlessness that surfaces, then boils over, when he ...more
Steve
Feb 12, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Rabbit is one of the most reprehensible characters in literature. Updike is a great writer, and knew what he was doing when he created this jerk. So just what was Updike up to? I'm not totally sure, since I'm still chewing over this. I've seen a lot of comments about Rabbit being some sort of Everyman. I don't see that at all. This guy is as worthless as it gets. He's nearly the complete shit package, though he's oddly fastidious when it comes to smoking and drinking. Maybe Updike did that to un ...more
Jim
Apr 19, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-bymrbyd, fiction
Holy Hannah! I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this one. Actually, this is my first Updike book, but I'm sure it won't be the last. Not that it was a pleasant read, necessarily; it may be the only book I've ever read where all the major characters had serious flaws. Rabbit (Harry Angstrom) is immature, irresponsible, selfish and narcissistic, and those are just his best qualities! He's oversexed, his wife is a frigid drunk, and you don't need a crystal ball to see where this one's h ...more
Steve
Mar 29, 2010 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rabbit Angstrom is appropriately named. For one thing, he’s a bit of a hare-brain. But it’s more about how he flits from one matter to another, twitching his nose a few times at something or someone (often a sex partner/object) before moving on to his next passing fancy. At times he’s capable of reflection, though he’s typically at a loss for how forces he misperceives to be random dictate his circumstances. Construing his psyche, he has a rabbit’s concept of the super-ego, i.e., very little. I ...more
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Reading List Comp...: Rabbit, Run but John Updike (Starts February 1st, 2017) 22 15 Feb 19, 2017 11:47AM  
Rabbit, Run 29 236 Jan 12, 2017 10:33PM  
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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 Redux (Rabbit Angstrom #2)
  • Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom #3)
  • Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom #4)

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