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Rabbit Is Rich

(Rabbit Angstrom #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  15,575 ratings  ·  604 reviews
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award
The hero of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run, ten years after the events of Rabbit Redux, has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as the chief sales representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengt
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 27th 1996 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1981)
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Michael Davis Don't skip the first two; not that any of them could not stand alone, but it is a much more satisfying reading experience to "mature" with Rabbit -- e…moreDon't skip the first two; not that any of them could not stand alone, but it is a much more satisfying reading experience to "mature" with Rabbit -- especially in regard to his relationships with his wife and son. I actually read them a year apart to create at least some distance before revisiting the character (each novel was written and set about ten years after the last). I tend to do this with most 3-4 novel series I read if there is an appreciable break in the timelines. I rarely binge read unless it's poetry or a pop/genre fiction series without large temporal gaps.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Adam Ronnie Harrison's wife.…moreRonnie Harrison's wife.(less)
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Ah, you bad, bad boy, Mr. John Updike.

It's 1979, Jimmy Carter is president, and it's a good time for selling Toyotas. Rabbit is head salesman at his late father-in-law's car dealership. He's still married to Janice. He's buddies with Charlie, his wife's former lover. And, he's rich. He belongs to a club, he drives a nice car, he's buying a house, he's taking vacations, he's ... well, he's having a swinging old time.

Sounds good, right? Well, the fly in the ointment is always there for Rabbit, whe
When Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom begins to weep at his son Nelson's wedding, the ladies stare at him with surprise and become wistful, witnessing these unlikely, raw emotions. Aw, heck, ladies would you just look at Rabbit, mid-life, becoming a big softie? One woman quickly hands him her grubby handkerchief. The poor dear!

Oh, if only they knew. . . that, as the 46-year-old Rabbit stares at the page of his prayer book, which he thinks looks as “white and blank as the nape of Nelson's poor mute frail
MJ Nicholls
Glib Capsule Review:

Rabbit cracks wise. Rabbit talks about cars. Rabbit scrutinises female anatomy. Rabbit bawls out no-good lowlife son. Rabbit’s actions receive entirely undeserved Harvard-strength descriptive torrent. Rabbit screws his wife. Rabbit fantasises about screwing his friend’s young wife. Rabbit makes racist or sexist remark. Rabbit thinks about daughter or dead Skeeter. Rabbit goes into four/five-page thought-stream with no paragraph breaks. Rabbit wants very much to have sexual in
Michael Finocchiaro
Watching Rabbit Angstrom at almost my age was fascinating. The text is deliciously Proustian and I love the perspective on the 70s. The world microcosm Brewster is alive fascinating as a study of America in the waning years of the 20th century's hangover after the 60s. His descriptions of human relationships are among the most realistic I have ever read. A must.

A much better book IHMO than Redux, Rabbit is never really rich, but the text is incredibly rich in the relationships - particularly bet
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third decade of Rabbit’s shenanigans is... incredibly dull. Didn’t the 70’s include all that Disco & outrageous fashion and pre-80s outrageous & vapid opulence? It does exist in Rabbit’s (albeit OUR) America, but Rabbit has become such an old man (at the age of 46!) that he cannot enjoy his monetary glory at all. He worries still, not for the well being of his family, no, but mostly over his own selfish hide, his manly desires fulfilled (though mostly not). I hated the dialogue between the ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Rabbit is the great American schlub. He's perfectly mediocre. He's one of those guys whose best days were as a high school athlete and now he's growing a beer gut. He's got an okay job, he's a pretty shitty father, he's a pig, he loves Consumer Reports, he's racist but not so racist that he thinks of himself as racist. He's an everyday asshole.

Updike has managed to neither love nor hate him, just describe him. But he gets you deep enough into him that you find yourself feeling bad for him when
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer-fiction
Rabbit is Rich won a pocketful of awards, most notably the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. That doesn't mean I have to like it, and I certainly didn't. It's not that Updike's writing isn't great - no writer can do a better job of placing you uncomfortably inside a character's brain as Updike can, and no book made me want to find a plain brown wrapper to cover it like this book did. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with Harry/Rabbit Angstrom's life journey to this point, having read the first two Rabbit ...more
Christine Boyer
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christine by: Julie
Pulitzer Prize winner 1982. Wow. Wow. Wow. Just finished this today, and once again, "Rabbit" Harry Angstrom has left me speechless and wanting more! This third book (in the four-book series) is the best so far. The writing is absolutely unique and mind-blowing. I can't even believe I don't get to read it tonight!

As I said in my review of #2, if you're going to read this series, you must start with the first book and read in order. There were so many references to #1 and #2 in this novel, that a
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's rich, and in the third volume he miraculously manages not kill anyone while looking for some quick sex. Who says you can't learn from experience?
Priyanka Vavilikolanu
His own life closed in to a size his soul had not yet shrunk to fit.

Rabbit is dragged kicking and screaming into middle-age. Regular people are not known to react well to this, and Rabbit is worse than regular people. This makes for an often hilarious read.

Strangely enough, he toes the line for the most part but it's not because of maturity. His wife has inherited all the money he enjoys (and boy, is he smug about all the money he didn't earn) and if he leaves her, he loses the money. He like
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Harry Angstrom -- A Memoir of Boners"

It's the late 1970s and Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is older, fatter, and still just as obsessed with his prick and where it might go as ever.

Example: "He never world have given Charlie a handshake like this two weeks ago, but since fucking Thelma up the ass..."

That's an actual sentence in the book (about 4/5 of the way in).

He's now firmly ensconced in his role as Sales Manager for his dead father-in-law's Toyota dealership, he plays a lot of golf at the local
John Pistelli
There are two kinds of male authors you love to hate.

The first is well-known and easily explicable: Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Ellison, Cormac McCarthy. Their works are all masculine self-assertion and lighting out for the territory; they describe the world of men and the world at war, a world of incised identity and imperiled honor; woman, if she appears, is just a vampire or squid, a mouth that devours, vagina dentata, sucking the vitals out of everything.

The second c
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
John Updike's masterful Rabbit quintet established Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as the quintessential American White middle class male. The first book Rabbit, Run was published in 1960 to critical acclaim. Rabbit Redux was the second in the series, published in 1971 and charted the end of the sixties - featuring, among other things, the first American moon landing and the Vietnam War.

This third book finds Rabbit in middle age and successful, having inherited his fat
Chad Malkamaki
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting that I chose to read Rabbit is Rich at the same time I decided to read Independence Day. Each book deals with a protagonist that is trying to find his way in America in his forties. The former is set in 1979, dealing with the gas crisis, the last years of the Carter presidency, and a struggle to connect with his college age son who is just as lost as he was when he was that age. The later is set in Summer of 1988 gearing up for the Dukakis vs. Bush showdown that November.

As far
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as the third in the Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, and then Rabbit is Rich). My book group chose Rabbit, Run out of curiosity about books by the recently-deceased John Updike. I was inspired enough to continue with the series. By far, I enjoyed this book the most of the three. Rabbit has finally become a sympathetic character, taking control of his life and making decisions. The previous two books showed Rabbit as a self-consumed ass, indirectly contributing to the de ...more
Jef Sneider
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-reading
Rabbit is much more likable in this book, though he continues to desire things he can never have and follow his own thoughts in ways that he shouldn't. He objectifies women as sexual objects so completely and consistently that every encounter he has with a woman no matter how unattractive or taboo, he can't help himself. He's a lecherous old man at 46. The problem is that it rings true, from my twisted baby boomer male perspective. I think many men are the same, and it must be disorienting to a ...more
Gas lines, Krugerrands, the silver splurge, Iranian hostages, the price of oil. Updike settles Rabbit at the age of 46 in the middle of the Carter administration. Thanks to the convenience of his father in law's death, Rabbit finds himself the chief sales rep for Springer Motors. In the midst of the nation's first oil crisis, it's only natural that Springer Motors has obtained a Toyota distributorship. And "Rabbit is Rich." Son Nelson is now 23, a disaffected college drop out, with one too many ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Rabbit remembers climbing trees as a child, "...gripping tighter and tighter as the branches got smaller." As an adult, he realizes, "From a certain angle the most terrifying thing in the world is your own life, the fact that it's yours and nobody else's." In the title of the first book in this four-volume series, John Updike advises Rabbit to Run. But Rabbit doesn't, he can't, he is frozen in place, and now the proverbial branches are getting even smaller, time is running out. One hopes for red ...more
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
It is 1979. Gas lines wrap around the block and there are hostages in Iran. I was in high school in 1979 and the setting is interesting to me because it is so real. It made me remember much that I had forgotten.

Rabbit is older though not more mature. He is still a poor husband, father, friend, and boss. Worse, he is still a poor human. And yet the book is a good read. Updike works magic, making me care about the story even though I dislike the characters.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, fiction
This is the third installment in Updike's celebrated tetralogy about the life of Harold "Rabbit" Angstrom, a regular American guy living a regular American life. Told in that uniquely graceful prose that was the key to Updike's brilliance, this series stands out as a set of memorable portraits of a place (Pennsylvania), and an average man who lives there and deals with the changes in his world and in himself. The first Rabbit book showed us a young man bucking against the conformist world of the ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux are powerful and engaging novels that cut against the grain of their decades: in the former we see Updike, an anti-Kerouac, introducing Harry Angstrom, an anti-Sal Paradise who doesn't go on the road, who refuses the new freedoms and stays put; in the latter Updike graduates to an anti-Kesey, chronicling Angstrom's nervous flirtation with -and final rejection of - the new liberties that the sixties have opened up. Rabbit is Rich takes us forward another decade t ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm slowly working my way through the Rabbit books and, where Redux felt like a bit of a mis-step, Rabbit is Rich works rather better. Maybe it's simply the benefit of having had Harry Angstrom in my head for two books already by now, but here he comes across as a more convincing, fully developed character than he did in, particularly, the second book. And while I wasn't around at the time, I thought Updike's evocation of the mood of the time more convincing than in the previous novel.

The relat
I enjoyed this one better than the previous book,Rabbit Redux. It was interesting to read this one as Rabbit is roughly the same age as I am now so I felt I could relate to some of his thoughts. A lot of thinking back upon life, feeling comfortable in the moment, yet wondering what the future holds as you see people around you pass on into the next life.

Also, a lot of chuckling every time Consumer Reports was mentioned. It appeared to be Rabbit's bible!
Nov 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Made it to page 38 before I could no longer handle the toxic masculinity. Don't know how I tolerated the first 2 books. Will not attempt the last 2 books. ...more
Baron Rothschild
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great ending to a trilogy...
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book of a four part series about the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982. The book was entertaining and John Updike's dialogue between characters is funny. I give this book 4 stars and look forward to completing the last book in the series. ...more
Jun 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like good, round characters
Shelves: mybasicbookshelf
i love updike---i started reading the rabbit books and then got so fully into rabbit that i went through the series pretty quickly.

i liked updike's first in the series, "rabbit run," but it took me a while to really love him as much as i did by the time i got to "rabbit is rich". i love the roundness of his stories and his patience in letting his characters develop slowly. updike pays attention to the details of everyday life without making them of monumental importance. but after a while you s
Jee Koh
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's extraordinary about Updike's art is how ordinary his materials are. No sensational subjects like pederasty, pandemic or terrorist plot, although Rabbit Is Rich teases with the possibility of incest. There is couple swapping, on a vacation at the Bahamas, its treatment is, however, neither moralistic nor voyeuristic, but sympathetic about human desires and fears. No epiphanic event: Pru, Harry Angstrom's daughter-in-law, falls from the stairs, but keeps her baby. She does not change, and n ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved-loved-loved this book. In my mind it's a masterpiece, and the only question is whether it's excellence rises enough to compare to Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises. I'll say it's not quite there, but it's close. Harry Angstrom has always been a great character, but in this book Nelson and Janice finally find their voice. What elevates this book is the battle between Rabbit and Nelson, backed up by his mom and grandmother. The kid is coddled and spoiled, and annoying as hell, but Updike gives ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Rabbit Angstrom (4 books)
  • Rabbit, Run
  • Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2)
  • Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom #4)

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