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Rabbit At Rest (Rabbit Angstrom #4)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  12,640 Ratings  ·  404 Reviews
In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in midlife to become a working girl. As, through the winter, spring, and sum ...more
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Published February 17th 2009 by Random House Audio (first published December 18th 1990)
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M. Alex Goldsmith Yes, but you'd be missing a lot of backstory and character development. Each of the four books in the series takes place ten years after the book…moreYes, but you'd be missing a lot of backstory and character development. Each of the four books in the series takes place ten years after the book before it. This is the last book and takes place in Rabbit Angstrom's 50's. The first three books are all good, so you should pick up the first one if you can.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 14, 2008 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
we believe that with time comes wisdom, that by the time we’re older we’ll have acquired a natural sense of life and other people and our own self and how to live -- how to cast aside the pettiness and do away with the small things that mean nothing more than cancerous nibblings at our gut. but no. it doesn’t just happen. we don’t leave that stuff behind unless we make a serious effort to do so. and it’s hard work. we don’t wanna turn into one of those morons that’s always happy and even (y’know ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
This last book in the Harry Angstrom cycle by Updike looks at the end of Rabbit's life and disillusionment at the end of the 80s. It is worthy of the Pulitzer it garnered (Updike's second after the equally superb Rabbit is Rich). Suffice it to say that there is the same set of characters which we know from the previous books and a nice circular return at the very end. An essential read for understanding America on the eve of the 90s.

It is an excellent book which explores the themes of aging and
Aug 23, 2011 Fabian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Q: Where oh where will Rabbit go to rest? Where will it all--all four decades worth of this, an all American life--culminate-- and how?

A: In Florida; and boringly.

This is a tremendously slow trek through Harry Angstrom’s last year and we see the guy eat himself to death and burn bridges with family and friends. (Eh… what’s new?) The sick sad life of the American Male: the fourth novel is overkill; while it's nice to revisit some of Rabbit’s highlights and (mostly) low-lights, how o how can a lif
Mark Juric
Oct 17, 2010 Mark Juric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I dreaded reading this book and I have to admit that it took me two weeks to get through the last 50 pages. I miss Harry Angstrom not as if a dear friend has died, but as if I have died myself and yet somehow remain around to mourn my own loss. What's odd is that I didn't really like Rabbit. I did understand him though, in a way that I've never understood anyone aside from myself. That, to me, is Updike's true gift: chipping away to an unvarnished life to expose the raw emotion and thought upon ...more
Eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Avoid excessive drinking. Don't fuck your daughter-in-law. Lot of good life-style advice in this book...
Sep 29, 2016 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: golfers
Shelves: 2016
"What's a life supposed to be?" asks Rabbit's daughter-in-law. "They don't give you another for comparison." But at its best, that's what Updike has done with the Rabbit books. He's given us another, and it's this terrific shambling asshat of an everyman, a former athlete who goes exactly to seed right before our eyes.

Updike's ability to inhabit such a normal person with sympathy and honesty puts these books, taken together, in the Great American Novel pantheon. He's now covered Rabbit from his
May 06, 2009 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect to be sad at the end of this. But after four novels, each gradually getting deeper into the character, moving from about 300 pages in the first to almost 500 by the last, I've logged in a lot of time with Harry Angstrom. And so when this one brought his story around to the end, I got a little sad.

It's an accomplishment to write a character essentially from birth to death. And so much of Rabbit's story involves all of the mundane details of small-town life -- watching TV, knowing
Aug 11, 2011 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as the first hundred pages of RABBIT, RUN were written in a breathless pace to match their manic tone, the last hundred pages of RABBIT AT REST, which mirror the beginning moments of the series, linger on in a depressingly meaningless manner. Highway billboards, trite pop tunes from past decades, and trivial news headlines about baseball players blur with the names and minutiae of a history book, the snapshot memories of Harry's somewhat uneventful life, and the chronic ups and downs of his ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Updike's Rabbit series is, quite simply, some of the best literature I have ever read, and this last book in the series is the best yet.

Throughout, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom has been a pretty reprehensible character and he still maintains those chops in this book. He is the unchallenged all-time champion of jerks, but here, even Rabbit sinks to new lows. The things he does are enough to make the reader thoroughly despise him. And yet...

He is so completely and utterly human. It wasn't his ambition
Feb 15, 2009 Carole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this at a suggestion from a book group. I had earlier in my life been unable to get through RABBIT, RUN, but thought maybe added maturity would help me appreciate Updike's writing more. I was wrong. Even his gift with words (the reason for the second star in the rating) wasn't enough to make up for the thoroughly unlikable characters and depressing picture of several wasted lives. Even the style of writing I often found difficult, making the reading of this novel a slow and painful experi ...more
Jan 29, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Perfect ending. I got choked up and I loved it.

After 1500+ pages of Rabbit, even with all his flaws I'm going to miss him. Living through four decades along with all his unfiltered thoughts was a roller coaster ride.

Rabbit, Run was a good introduction to this, at many times, unlikable character.
Rabbit Redux was the least enjoyable of the four books and, frankly, hard to stomach in a lot of parts.
Finally, Rabbit Is Rich a Rabbit at Rest were the best of the four books and ended the tetralogy nic
Oct 20, 2010 Pd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer-fiction
My favorite of the tetralogy. Probably because this asshole finally dies.
Dec 07, 2012 Priyanka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
This one is all about death. A little bit about the other stupid things Rabbit does when he turns 56. But mostly about death.

Taken together, the four books are complex character studies of three main people - Harry, Janice and their son Nelson. Observing such richly detailed characters over four decades of mutual history is a treat. But Updike doesn't make it easy. Rabbit is the WORST HUMAN BEING EVER by a very long distance, but even Janice and Nelson aren't always easy to empathize with. Updik
John Updike closes out his quartet of Rabbit novels with what can only be described as a masterpiece. He won his second Pulitzer for "Rabbit at Rest." Only Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner had previously won the Pulitzer more than once.

Rabbit is semi-retired. He has a condo on the Gulf side of Florida. He maintains his historic Pennsylvania home. But things are falling apart, literally and figuratively. HIV has become an epidemic. A jet disintegrates over Lockerbie, Scotland. Cocaine is a p
Nov 16, 2015 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As this is the book I'm reading at the moment I thought I'd use this space to underline how ridiculous I find the idea of the Reading challenge. Books aren't like chilies and I can't see the point in trying to consume as many as possible within the year, as if this was some kind of idiotic competition. In fact it seems to trivialise and undermine the whole point of reading, especially the kind of deep reading that is only possible in books as opposed to the surface skimming which we dedicate to ...more
Oto Bakradze
შენი დედაც მოვტყან ბაჭია ენგსტრომ!

პირველად მოხდა პერსონაჟის სიკვდილი და გაკოტრება რომ მინდოდა :D 2000 გვერდზე მეტი წავიკითხე ამ ოთხტომეულში და მილიონი პერსონაჟის მიუხედავად, ერთი დადებითი არ ჰყავს აპდაიკს.

მთლიანობაში კარგი სერიაა. ცოტა დავიღალე მაუნთ-ჯაჯის და პენსილვანიის გარემოს აღწერებით. საუკეთესო წიგნი მესამეა იმჰო.

I'm done
Hannah Read
'Rabbit At Rest' is the fourth in the 'Rabbit Angstrom' series by John Updike. Naturally, I decided to read this one before all the others, although I don't think it actually made that much difference.

In this fourth installment, main character Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom now lives in a condo in Florida, in 1989. His family business is starting to fall apart, his wife has suddenly decided that she wants to become a 'working girl', and he's slowly developing heart problems. On top of that, he's in the
Sep 13, 2016 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-reading
In spite of my protestations that I don't like Rabbit or Updike's writing, I have read all 4 of the Rabbit Angstrom books. This time, however, Rabbit has been less annoying and a more sympathetic character, perhaps because he is more introspective, perhaps because he is more subdued in his usual reactivity. Until the end, that is, when he reverts back to the old Rabbit we knew and disliked.

In this Pulitzer winning novel, Updike really shows off his skills. His command of the time and the places
Bart Thanhauser
May 27, 2017 Bart Thanhauser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca F.
Dec 15, 2007 Rebecca F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Z
Aug 10, 2015 Greg Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Updike chooses to end this series with a single and perfect word. After all the raw, ugly damage Rabbit creates, I was glad to leave this world on Updike's perfect ending. This is great writing, definitely deserving of a Pulitzer prize, imo, but it's tough going. In the past, I've reserved five-star ratings for books I know I'll revisit. But I'm not sure I can return to Angstrom's world. I've turned to Ann Patchett's "Run" for now, hoping for something dreamy and beautiful like her "Bel Canto".
Sep 13, 2012 Prakash rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The last of the tetralogy was my first - wonder if I would have read it differently if I knew Rabbit from before.

I didn't find it unreadable - in fact there are some great insights and observations on human nature and it's quite funny at times. The characters are interesting - but between it all there are too many pages where nothing really happens..
Feb 10, 2009 Cristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the end of the 'Rabbit' books = the end of my affair with john updike. don't want to read 'Terrorist,' read 'S.,' was disappointed. but the Rabbit books i will read over and over.
Apr 21, 2017 Cheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost five stars, except for an exceptionally rambling chunk at the end. It's the always the end we remember, right?

It's taken quite a few years for me to dig through the four Rabbit books, but I've finally done it - I've read them all. Book four doesn't disappoint. It's a good ending to the Rabbit saga.

One takeaway I had from this novel, and the series as a whole I guess, is the idea that in America we maybe take freedom to far. As the Toyota representative puts it, we value freedom so much o
Feb 15, 2017 Darryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe Rabbit is gone. I feel like we grew up together. I read the first Rabbit novel in high school and now that I'm finally in my 50s, I can appreciate all the stages he went through. I'll miss him. He wasn't as bad a guy as people seemed to think he was.
Chris Gager
Nov 12, 2013 Chris Gager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started last night on the almost-final leg of Rabbit Angstrom's journey through life. Harry's poor self-care will bring him down. The shaky self-esteem and sense of wandering purposelessly through his life are the chords that Updike - a great writer by the way - consistently strikes. I have to admit I root for Harry despite his relentless immaturity and clueless jerkiness. As for Nelson? Like father, like son I guess...

Deeper in now and Harry's had his predictable heart attack. The connection be
Dec 07, 2013 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
“(…) Harry siente con remordimiento la corpulencia, los 104 kilos y pico según las balanzas más benévolas, que lo ha envuelto a los cincuenta y cinco años formando una serie de capas puestas una a una por cada década. (…) A veces el espíritu de Conejo siente que está a punto de desmayarse por arrastrar tanto cuerpo consigo. Unos dolorcillos punzantes le presionan las costillas y llegan hasta su brazo izquierdo. Se queda sin aliento y misteriosamente nota el pecho oprimido, ocupado por una esenci ...more
May 19, 2017 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did it. I finished the last of the series that I had no real intention of reading. I just wanted to read the first one to see why it was on so many best books lists. The inertia though. I've never had such a love/hate relationship with a character in my reading life. Harry Rabbit Angstrom. Once again: Damn you, John Updike. Now I see why.
Ben Hallman
Aug 12, 2013 Ben Hallman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"In the condo, the phone is silent. The evening news is all Hugo and looting in St. Croix and St. Thomas in the wake of the devastation and a catastrophic health-plan repeal in Washington that gets big play down here because of all the elderly and a report on that French airliner that disappeared on the way from Chad to Paris. The wreckage has been found, scattered over a large area of the Sahara desert. From the wide distribution of debris it would appear to have been a bomb. Just like that pla ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Fellini rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Кондо во Флориде, внуки, отход от бизнеса, хобби в виде чтения толстой исторической книги... Кажется, Кролик действительно перестал бежать и примирился с жизнью. Жизнь стала предсказуемой, чуть скучноватой, но удобной как старые домашние тапочки. Но расслабиться и наслаждаться ей не получается, родные подкидывают всё новые сюрпризы. /тут могли быть спойлеры/
В финале Кролик совершает самый удачный, наверное, за всю жизнь побег. Достигая цели, недоумевает и снова и снова переосмысливает свои посту
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Tackling the Puli...: Rabbit at Rest (John Updike, 1991) 16 22 Nov 19, 2015 02:23PM  
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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 Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom #3)

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“We are each of us like our little blue planet, hung in black space, upheld by nothing but our mutual reassurances, our loving lies.” 11 likes
“....his silence he has indicated that he is willing. He hasn't the strength any more, the excess vitality, for an affair—its danger, its demand performances, the secrecy added like a filigree to your normal life, your gnawing preoccupation with it and with the constant threat of its being discovered and ended.” 6 likes
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