Rabbit, Run - John Updike

Sometimes I like the Amazon description even better than Wikipedia. This will do:

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 and family duty—even, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine Grace. Though his flight from home traces a zigzag of evasion, he holds to the faith that he is on the right path, an invisible line toward his own salvation as straight as a ruler’s edge.


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  • Lisa

    You know, I've been thinking about it more, asking myself what Updike is all about and what he's trying to get at. I think, from the few books I've read, he thinks Americans act too much like sheep and he wishes they would think more. The real stars in this book are the characters who think for themselves. I loved the discussion and seeing everyone.

    August 24

    • chrissli

      Thanks for hosting!--always wanted get into Updike more. Really interesting to see the breakdown between readers who identified with RA's desire for flight and those who won't let him off the hook for it. Testament to novel that it can contain both.

      August 24

    • Rick O.

      We should do the next Rabbit in the not so distant future.

      August 25

  • Betsy S.

    Lisa, great insight! I loved today's discussion and everyone's comments.

    August 24

  • Randy S

    Great discussion! Lots of participation by all. I may re-read this book at a later date just because it was a good discussion.

    1 · August 24

  • Randy S

    Something that caught my eye:

    "The fullness ends when we give Nature her ransom, when we make children for her. Then she is through with us, and we become, first inside, and then outside, junk."

    August 22

    • Rick O.

      (when Rabbit encounters Lucy in church)

      "Hello," she says. "You're the last person I ever expected to see here."
      "Why?" He is pleased that she thinks of him as an ultimate.

      August 24

  • Randy S

    Well, if you've ever felt a time when you were unsettled or dissatisfied and made a rash or impulsive move, then I think you will relate to this book very well. (I have and sometimes have regretted the impulse as I suspect Rabbit will as the plot moves on.)

    Notable quote from the book:

    "Everybody who tells you how to act has whisky on their breath."

    August 7

    • Rick O.

      hands down my favorite sentence in the book is the one that ends "and sobs into a still channel."

      August 13

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