Stephanie's Reviews > Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run by John Updike
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's review
Nov 24, 2008

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

Rabbit, Run, by John Updike, is the first of four books about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Updike was eventually to win the Pulitzer for the last two Rabbit books. I read this book as a high-school senior, and the only memories that I brought with me to this re-reading were that Rabbit lived an almost unbearably seedy and depressing life.

Part of the danger in reviewing books on this site is that while I am reading a book, I am actually actively engaged in mentally composing my review. While reading the first part of this book, I imagined that my review would eventually read: "while I remembered the unbearable seediness of Rabbit's life, I had either forgotten or not noticed the sheer beauty that Updike brings to his prose and with which he actually imbues some of the more depressing turns of plot." Good Lord! After finishing the book, I don't know that I can let Updike off so lightly. The latter part of the book whopped me upside the head with a two-by-four. There's no "imbuing," with beauty or otherwise. I am left bleeding on the floor with a near-mortal blow to my heart.

And so it is my intention to read the other Rabbit books. Updike is a wonderful writer (see, e.g., my imaginary review composed while reading the first part of the book) who is worth reading even as he hurts me deeply. I also am hoping for some kind of resolution and, perhaps, some kind of absolution for Rabbit. Since there are four books, I may be waiting a good long while.

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