Jan 15, 09
Read in January, 2009
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this, an early and famous Updike. I found it mostly quite powerful. The protagonist Rabbit Angstrom is a bit of a (mostly) lovable loser, bumbling his way into young adulthood. Many scenes are perfectly setup and described with fresh (even decades after its writing) turns of phrase that captured my attention without pulling me out of the book.
Having said that, there were a few disjunctions, for me at least. One is [MINOR SPOILER:] that Rabbit's initial fleeing from his family (this happens by page 20 or so) was a bit of a surprise. Perhaps I'm just dense, but it seemed abrupt and not sufficiently supported. The other major disjunction was that most of the novel is told from a close third-person point-of-view, sticking very close to Rabbit. But the P.O.V. shifts to other characters for a few (mostly brief) sections, and each time I felt jolted out of the book. All of them except the final POV shift, it seems to me, were of questionable necessity.
Still, it's a powerful, well written book.