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Rabbit, Run (1960)

by John Updike

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: "Rabbit" Series (1)

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5,6661011,456 (3.58)391
Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back.… (more)
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» See also 391 mentions

English (97)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
I admire Updike's writing style but this book struck me as self-indulgent and childish. Not much moral character despite the official blurb. It came across more as a whining commentary of a man in a mid-life crisis in the Baby Boomer generation. His other books had much more merit. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
A man-baby decides he doesn't like his wife anymore and tries to run away but gets lost, comes back home, brags about how great a basketball player he was in high school, lets his penis take over for his brain (spoiler: it's a toss-up between which organ makes the poorer decisions), and in general acts like a completely selfish, idiotic jagweed. And oh, look, horrible things happen all around him. Shocking. There are no likable characters and none of them show any growth. God, how I loathe this genre of novel, the The Pointlessness of It All Is the Point and Everything Sucks type rubbish. GAH. Just...no. ( )
  electrascaife | Oct 5, 2021 |
So, now I know I don't care for Updike. If you like Anne Tyler, I think you will like Updike.



( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Rabbit, Run by John Updike was first published in 1960, and I expect it had a shock value then as the main character Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom suddenly runs away from his life. He is twenty-six, married with one child and another on it’s way. He goes out to pick up his son and keeps driving. The story goes on to suggest that spoiled, selfish, irresponsible Rabbit felt trapped in his life, stuck with his alcoholic wife, and uninspired by his dead-end job. Oh boo-hoo, he should have instead learned to accept responsibility for the mess he has made for himself and stop blaming everything and everyone else for his problems.

I disliked Rabbit from the get-go, but I could not stop reading this book, I needed to know what was going to happen next. This speaks volumes about the talent of the writing. This reader wanted to know if Rabbit ever matures, gets over his high-school basketball hero days and works to make his life a success. The author excelled in setting his story against a backdrop of a changing 1950s America using songs and advertisements that evoke that post-WW II boom.

Although this is the first book in the Rabbit series, it certainly stands on it own. It is definitely a product of it’s time with it’s thoughts on what is socially acceptable, and how the women are treated but the author presents his thoughts and ideas with strong, colorful writing that brings both the story and the setting to life. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 22, 2021 |
Absolutely fantastic... endlessly descriptive, but in a very controlled way. Sort of the anti-Kerouac, the pro-responsibility story resonates on a deep emotional level. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Updike, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Germeraad, R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glaser, MiltonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oddera, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The motions of Grace,
the hardness of the heart;
external circumstances
-- Pascal, Pensee 507
Dedication
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Boys are playing basketball around a telephone pole with a backboard bolted to it.
Quotations
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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Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back.

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Average: (3.58)
0.5 7
1 51
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187832, 0141037520

 

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