Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rabbit, Run- John Updike

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Published:  1960
Pages:  264
ISBN:  9780449911655
Genre:  Literary Fiction, Series (book #1)

Start Date:  Feb. 4, 2011
Finished Date:  Feb. 12, 2011

Where Found:  Xmas 2010 gift from my dad (on my wish list)
Why Read:  I've always been interested in John Updike, given his consideration in the literary world as one of the greatest American writers ever.

Read For:  1st in a Series challenge

Summary:  A former high school basketball phenom still clinging to his days of glory contemplates leaving his pregnant wife and young son when he falls in love with his saucy mistress while a local priest tries to repair the damage.


John Updike is often listed as one of America's greatest writers, and one that I've wanted to read at least one book by, even if it was just to say I did, and, if I'm really lucky, to say that I did and I loved it or even that it's a newfound favourite. the Meat Loaf song goes, "two out of three ain't bad."

Once I finished the book and allowed it to settle with me, I didn't mind it but was far from tops.  I had an on-and-off reaction to it, stopping & starting like a stalled motor.  The characters can be rather nervy and self-centred without a smidge of empathy or restraint but the irresistible prose paints quite a symbolic picture of bleak 1960s suburban life.  The character of Harry Angstrom is like an adult Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye stuck in the symbolic setting of The Great Gatsby, and contemplating an escape reminiscent of On the Road, all works written during or as an allusion to the Beat Generation, but with more dire consequences.  Apparently, Updike's purpose was to show how one person's actions for their own self-benefit or self-desire affects those invested in the person, such as family, friends, and colleagues.

The bottom line is I wasn't too impressed by it but I'm glad I read it.  At the moment, I'm not interested in continuing the series, though I may give it a try if I get stuck for reading suggestions...though that's not likely to happen with the size of my TBR list :D  The 3rd and 4th books won Pulitizers, so perhaps it would have been better to try one of those rather than reading the intial book of the series.  It must be the type-A side of me coming through :D  I will try The Witches of Eastwick some time as I hear that it's very different in style from the Rabbit series.

Rank:  (C)- Okay, Maybe Try It


  1. I thought about reading this book for the reasons you stated, but after reading the synopsis at Amazon and reading your review I think I'll just give it a pass. Thanks for helping me out here!

  2. Yikes! I could only skim your review, but apparently I shouldn't be looking forward to this one. Sometimes it helps if my expectations are set really low... I'll let you know what I think next month.

  3. I have heard fabulous things about this book but also that Updike is a very challenging author. Good on you for giving it a go. It sounds like an interesting story but sometimes those authors that are lauded as the best of the best fall a bit flat. Maybe it's to do with expectations a little bit?

  4. I read this a long time ago and can't remember any of it.

    When you read a book by a great American author and then go, "meh" over it, don't you sometimes think you missed something? I will typically re-read books if I have that reaction to see if I missed the big picture but I don't recall doing that with this one.

    I think it's good to have read it though. As you said, now you can say you've read Updike.

  5. Sharon & TwoBibliomaniacs~ I would only try it if you really like the titles I mentioned in the review: Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, and/or The Great Gatsby. It gives you a good idea of the book's themes.

    Becky & Ti~ I agree, reading a lauded author can make you expect something flawless and then feel disappointed...or sometimes you actually DO get what you wished for! I will try Updike's The Witches of Eastwick some time as it's supposedly written in a different style, and then maybe I'll have a better grasp of him as a writer.

  6. This one's been on my TBR shelf for a long time, but I've never felt a huge desire to pick it up. Thanks for the honest review.