The hero of John Updike's Rabbit, Run (1960), ten years after the hectic events described in Rabbit Redux (1971), has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as Chief Sales Representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, the President collapses while running in a marathon, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national confidence. Nevertheless, Harry Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last -- until his son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to his lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit's middle age, as he continues to pursue, in his erratic fashion, the rainbow of happiness.
About the Author
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker, and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.
"The reviewers seemed to be under the impression that the hero was a terrible character. It's incredible! No, I think it's the most interesting American novel I've read in quite a long time"
-- Mary McCarthy, interviewed in The Paris Review
"The power of the novel comes from a sense, not absolutely unworthy of Thomas Hardy, that the universe hangs over our fates like a great sullen hopeless sky. There is real pain in the book, and a touch of awe"
-- Norman Mailer, Esquire
"...An American protest against all the attempts to impress upon us the 'healthy, life-loving and comic' as our standard for novels. It is sexy, in bad taste, violent, and basically cynical. And good luck to it."
-- Angus Wilson, naming three Books of the Year in the Observer
And Rabbit Redux
"Against all odds, Rabbit Redux is a sequel that succeeds; it is in every respect uncannily superior to its distinguished predecessor and deserves to achieve even greater critical and popular acclaim."
-- Brendan Gill, The New Yorker
"I can think of no stronger vindication of the claims of essentially realistic fiction than this extraordinary synthesis of the disparate elements of contemporary experience. Rabbit Redux is a great achievement, by far the most audacious and successful book Updike has written."
-- Richard Locke, The New York Times Book Review