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Rabbit at Rest (1990)

by John Updike

Series: "Rabbit" Series (4)

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2,253255,242 (3.97)79
"Ex-basketball player Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, through the winter, spring and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live."… (more)
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» See also 79 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Harry Angstrom isn't the most likeable character, but Updike's beautifully written novel is a frank, mature, and genuine portrayal of an American life. One of the best novels I have read. I'm not sure I would have appreciated it in my 20s when I read Rabbit, Run, but it hits to the core now. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
Since I read the first Rabbit. He is selfish and self- absorbed. He commits selfish betrayals of wife, friends and family, and seems to suffer no remorse. Still,I read on, to complete the unfolding of a despicable character. Spoiler alert: There is no redemption for Harry Angstrom.

How could this series gain so much acclaim? The disgustingly vivid description of bodily functions and mundane observations of life and surroundings did not, in my opinion, warrant the accolades it received. Harry was, until the end a racist and misogynistic fool. Updike threw in many unnecessary details about t.v. shows, radio broadcasts, and other popular culture references to make the book seem relevant when published. These references now seem to make the book more dated and out of touch. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
This was a concluding statement about the whole of America based in Updike's writings. I found this was another good book in the tetralogy, much better than the second and a slight downward from the third. The characters here are older, particularly Rabbit, and they are dealing with the denouements and conclusions of their lives and existences. Updike explores social issues through these characters and, ultimately, points the finger back at America for what it has created and for what it has become. It was a good conclusion to the series and I'm glad I read it.

3 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jun 19, 2019 |
RABBIT AT REST by John Updike is the second Rabbit book I have read over the last ten days. RABBIT IS RICH is the better book. Probably a masterpiece. Enormously energetic. RABBIT AT REST is less energetic as you might expect since Rabbit is at rest. Rabbit is in retirement and spending half his year in Florida and the other half in Pennsylvania Dutch country where he is from and where Updike is from. Nonetheless, the book moves along pretty well. This book contains more about Nelson his son who has unsuccessfully taken over Springer Motors, the family business and run it into the ground to finance his drug habit. At the end Rabbit is in the ICU, quite sick but still alive, leaving room for yet another Rabbit book. Now I want to read the first and second volumes. I will soon start Rabbit Run, the first volume. I highly recommend this book. The Rabbit books are Balzacian in that they depict the social venue of the period. They are a good take on American society at the time. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Sep 19, 2017 |
Sad in a way for this character to complete his life but an enjoyable series. ( )
  brakketh | Jan 7, 2017 |
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Epigraph
Rabbit basks above that old remembered world, rich, at rest.
                        —Rabbit Is Rich.
Food to the indolent person is poison, not sustenance.
                        —Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
Dedication
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Standing amid the tan, excited post-Christmas crowd at the Southwest Florida Regional Airport, Rabbit Angstrom has a funny sudden feeling that what he has come to meet, what's floating in unseen about to land, is not his son Nelson and daughter-in-law Pru and their two children but something more ominous and intimately his: his own death, shaped vaguely like an airplane.
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"Ex-basketball player Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, through the winter, spring and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live."

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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