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Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
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Rabbit Is Rich (1981)

by John Updike

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: "Rabbit" Series (3)

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Glad to finally finish up this last book in the Rabbit Angstrom series. This one ties up a lot of loose ends, as we find Rabbit comfortable & middle aged, his marriage finally solid again, Rabbit in charge of the dealership his father in law owned after Janice's father passes away. They have a membership to the country club, & at the beginning of the book, Nelson is in college. The problems begin when Nelson quits college & shows up at the family home with a girl, which crowds the old Springer home, where Rabbit & his wife live to take care of her mother after her father's death. Rabbit & Nelson clash multiple times over Nelson's future, & Rabbit is still unhappy with his life.

They go through a bunch of different things, including a "shotgun wedding" when Nelson finally shows up with Pru/Teresa, who is pregnant & refuses to either get rid of or give up the baby.

The terminology of some of the language is part of why this series is on the banned book list, but it was the most engaging & interesting of the four, in my own opinion. ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
This is the 3rd in the Rabbit Angstrom series and won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Interestingly, this is my least favorite book of the series. All 3 books have a common theme of searching for meaning and purpose in life with a constant background of Rabbit's obsession with sex. In the first book, Rabbit, Run, Rabbit is a young man who got his high school girlfriend pregnant and feels trapped in his marriage. I enjoyed this book, partly because the setting is the idyllic 50's and Rabbit's confusion over where is life is going makes sense for his age. The 2nd book, Rabbit Redux takes place in the turbulent 60's. Rabbit is divorced and is going through a midlife crisis and is swept up in the turmoil of the times - Viet Nam, race riots, protests, etc. But in this book, we are now in the 70s. Rabbit has a good job, a stable marriage, but like the other two books, he is still searching. I guess I would expect by now that Rabbit would have grown in character and not have the same obsession with women's bodies and oral sex and fantasize about his son's girlfriend. He is way too old and has experienced too many tragedies to be this whiny and self obsessed. Although I've never liked him, I expected some change. ( )
  jmoncton | Nov 10, 2013 |
Rabbit is Rich is the third installment of the tetralogy written by John Updike, featuring as its protagonist, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. This book follows Rabbit Run and Rabbit Redux which follow the life of Angstrom in his hometown of Mt. Judge, near Brewster, Pennsylvania. When we left Rabbit at the conclusion of Rabbit Redux, he had just lost his job as a linotypist, lost his wife to a Greek car salesman and taken up with two 60s era hippies, an interlude that ended in the death of one and the fiery destruction of his home.

Rabbit is Rich finds Angstrom roughly ten years later, reconciled with his wife Janice, co-owning and managing the car dealership that he and his wife inherited with the death of his father-in-law. Rabbit is drawing a salary of $500/week and taking profits from the dealership of an additional $15,000/year. Rabbit is rich.

The time frame is the late 70s, Jimmy Carter is President, inflation is rampant, gas prices are soaring and a general malaise has fallen over the country, but Rabbit is selling Toyotas like hotcakes. Much of the action centers upon Rabbit’s dysfunctional relationship with his college aged son and interaction between he, his wife and their country club friends.

While much of the writing is entertaining and very well done, it must be noted that at times, Updike seems to fly off on wild screeds of florid, almost unintelligible prose that leave the reader simply rolling his eyes. Nevertheless, the characters contained in the story are well presented and fleshed out beautifully, even some of the more peripheral players. All in all, this is a fascinating look at life during the late 70s, from the perspective of a middle class, Pennsylvania family, though Rabbit and his circumstances can hardly be viewed as representative. This may be the best of the three “Rabbit” books I’ve read so far. On to the finale, Rabbit at Rest. ( )
  santhony | Jun 10, 2013 |
1 of 18 books for $10 today 5.12.2012
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Après ##Coeur de lièvre## et ##Rabbit rattrapé##. Le héros est maintenant presque quinquagénaire, prospère, respectable, avec quelques problèmes domestiques.
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
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Rarely has a single character been so faithfully followed for so many years by so many readers. Rarely has anyone written like John Updike. As a writer, he dared his fellows to be perceptive, to be honest, and above all to be specific. How large his footprint, how ghosted.
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Updikeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Veldhuizen, DorienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'At night he lights up a good cigar, and climbs into the little old 'bus, and maybe cusses the carburetor, and shoots out home. He mows the lawn, or sneaks in some practice putting, and then he's ready for dinner."
GEORGE BABBITT of the 'Ideal Citizen'
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur...
WALLACE STEVENS
'A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts'
Dedication
First words
Running out of gas, Rabbit Angstrom thinks as he stands behind the summer-dusty windows of the Springer Motors display room watching the traffic go by on Route 111, traffic somehow thin and scared compared to what it used to be.
Quotations
Rather than face who it is, he runs. (p. 113)
Rain, the last proof left to him that God exists. (p. 125)
...all the souvenirs of the dead bristle with new point, with fresh mission. (p. 184)
He enunciates with such casual smiling sonorousness that his sentences seem to keep travelling around a corner after they are pronounced. (p. 191, of the Rev. Archie Campbell)
As always when he sees his son unexpectedly Harry feels shame . . . Run, Harry wants to call out, but nothing comes . . . (pp. 240-41)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449911829, Paperback)

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 lengthening, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national self-confidence. Nevertheless, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last—until his wayward son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to the lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit’s middle age as he continues to pursue, in his zigzagging fashion, the rainbow of happiness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

His son's return and reminders of a former romance threaten "Rabbit" Harry Angstrom's comfortable new prosperity.

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