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Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Rabbit, Run (original 1960; edition 1996)

by John Updike

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4,090681,236 (3.6)282
Title:Rabbit, Run
Authors:John Updike (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (1996), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Books about Writers
Tags:suburban, suburbs, marriage

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Rabbit, Run by John Updike (1960)


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Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This book came to me with warnings of its dark mood. Great, I thought. Right up my alley. And as I also like my books to be, it is not all about the plot.

The story unfolds slowly, allowing time for a real sense of place and personality to develop. We hear the internal monologues of various characters and however superficial their actions seem, their rationalisations for them are not. Being able to marry the action with the persons justifications for it is quite a treat. And it is this, I think, that made me love reading this book.

The plot itself does exist, and it involves Rabbit- a lanky ex-basketball high achiever, who is navigating his way around his young marriage. This is proving not as exciting for him as his heady days of sport. Rabbit is keen to explore and fulfill the needs of himself only, and has no qualms about making use of anyone who can assist his passage. He has a local church man willing to try to steer him on a more morally sound course, and his parents-in-law also care. His wife is struggling with alcohol and the stress of having a largely absent husband whilst caring for a toddler and being heavily pregnant. It is a sad state of affairs. The book ends with an incident, the result of which there is no coming back from. I look forward to reading the next installment. ( )
3 vote Ireadthereforeiam | Nov 27, 2014 |
Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom was once the star of the basketball team. Now he is the "old guy", married to a wife with an alcohol problem, and just wanting to escape. He attempts to drive to Florida but ends up turning around, driving to his old coach's home who introduces him to a woman that leads him down the wrong path. While I can appreciate that this book is well-written and that it holds literary merit, it is not one that I find particularly enjoyable. It's a book that is read more for the characters and situations in which they find themselves than for a "good feeling" that one might get from reading another work of literature. It shows the consequences of poor decisions -- his own decisions, those of his wife, those of his coach, etc. ( )
  thornton37814 | Nov 10, 2014 |
This is a story of Harry Angstrom who was a good basketball player in high school and at the age of twenty four is married with a two year old kid and a pregnant wife. He works in a store selling kitchen utensils. One day he realises how dull his wife is and how boring his life has become and so he walks out of his house and drives clean across the state. What follows are a series of misadventures and inadequate steps taken to rectify them.

The beauty of this book is that even though we realise that Harry nicknamed Rabbit is an utterly selfish and self centered not too bright person, we still sympathise with him. We get where he is coming from and his disappointments in life. We feel his restlessness and though his decisions are wrong we cannot bring ourselves to criticize him. This fact makes this book a classic and a hit. A five star read. ( )
  mausergem | Oct 30, 2014 |
Very sixties. I could feel the influence of the Rat Pack, Martinis and Bee-Hive Hairdos. Rabbit was a few years ahead of his time -- he should have joined a commune and left behind all worldly responsibilities. It would have been easy to do since he was incredibly irresponsible. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the book despite the fact that I really didn't like Rabbit (what a royal jerk), but the writing was truly inspired at times. Some nice stream of consciousness stuff. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
"Screw you, Janice. Just screw you."

Oh the delights of Updike. Him and Bellow are just too good to be true. 'They're the tits!' as my nana used to say.

You're not a true literary snob until you've read and loved this book. ( )
1 vote DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Updikeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kreitsek, Howard B.screenplaymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Germeraad, R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Boys are playing basketball around a telephone pole with a backboard bolted to it.
A serious shadow crosses her face that seems to remove her and Harry, who sees it, from the others, and takes them into that strange area of a million years ago from which they have wandered; a strange guilt pierces Harry at being here instead of there, where he never was. Ruth and Harrison across from them, touched by staccato red light, seem to smile from the heart of damnation. (p. 144, Penguin 1964 ed.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449911659, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Tired of the responsibility of married life, Rabbit Angstrom leaves his wife and home.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187832, 0141037520

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