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Rabbit Redux by John Updike

Rabbit Redux (1971)

by John Updike

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: "Rabbit" Series (2)

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2,072294,920 (3.68)104
In 1969, the times are changing in America. Things just aren't as simple as they used to be for Rabbit Angstrom. His wife leaves him, and suddenly, into his confused life comes Jill, a runaway who becomes his lover. But when she invites her friend to stay, a young black radical named Skeeter, the pair's fragile harmony soon begins to fail.… (more)



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English (27)  Dutch (2)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This book was an exercise in self-destructive humiliation and deprecation. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong for Rabbit, and his son, did in this novel. I felt that this, essentially, plotless novel was not up to the standard of Rabbit, Run and I wasn't quite sure what Updike was trying to get at. It didn't seem as real as the novel before and I did not really enjoy it as it mostly seemed to be concerned with degeneration of Rabbit's life in such a way that was not appealing. While it was a character study, this one did not grip me and I did not really enjoy it. I stumbled through this one to see if the series picks up again but, I must admit, this one was a heavily disappointing read.

2 stars, and barely that. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jun 18, 2019 |
After Rabbit, Run comes this. Rabbit’s now settled down but he’s definitely not put the past behind him. He’s in a real dead end job instead of a pretend one, and the woman he felt he couldn’t face in the first book is tired of facing him and gives him some of his own medicine. His son is old enough to know but not old enough to understand.

Once she’s left him, Rabbit starts hanging out with pretty much anyone, and this results in him inviting a couple of strangers to live with him. At this point, Updike finds his philosophical muse in the character of Skeeter and the novel started to bog down a bit for me.

It all comes crashing down in misery towards the end before coming to what, for Rabbit, is something of a happy ending, i.e. mediocrity resumed.

What I became more convinced of through this novel (and the third novel only cemented my opinion) was that here we have people whose existence is entirely pointless. They fulfill no useful function in their society, love only themselves, are entirely self-absorbed, and no one misses them when they’re gone. It’s absolutely miserable.

In every nation, there are communities made up of people like this, and why Updike wrote this is beyond me, although he wrote it very well. The people who are like this won’t read it, and the ones who aren’t hardly need reminding. ( )
  arukiyomi | Nov 10, 2018 |
Rabbit, Run is one of the best books I've ever read. So it is disappointing to report that Redux (though pretty solid for the first 100 pages) drops off precipitously once the second chapter starts. Rabbit's visit to a 'black' club and the introduction of a group of pot smoking, jazz-listening African American characters really shows the limitations of his imagination. Every cliché about jazz musicians and the hilariously bad use of patois takes the reader out of the reality of the situation. Also, I must say: Updike's use of the "c" word is excessive and a little nauseating. And don't get me started on the hilariously awful sex scenes. Read Rabbit, Run and be done. ( )
  BrookeBurgess | Jun 27, 2018 |
The first two thirds of this book were brilliant. The part between the that and the last third of the book were the most trying. Harry Angstrom is so hard to like sometimes: he's racist, sexist, and all around makes horrible decisions. The strongest part about these books has been Updike's writing. He can write things that paralyze your soul. I must have dog eared the shit out of this book. I should come update this review sometime and quote from some of the passages. He reminds me of how Cormac McCarthy can write things that...just end you. I hated Skeeter, I hated him so much. Jill herself was a pretty ghostly/unfinished character. I mean, really, none of the characters of this book are loveable...but somehow his writing brings you to feel *something*...and that something is really powerful. I can't wait for the next two: they both won the pulitzer prize... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Race and free love in America and Rabbit continues to wander through American history like a lost lamb looking for love and acceptance. ( )
  brakketh | Nov 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Updikeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Koning, DolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Men emerge pale from the little printing plant at four sharp, ghosts for an instant, blinking, until the outdoor light overcomes the look of constant indoor light clinging to them.
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