The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, the president collapses while running in a marathon, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national confidence.
Nevertheless, Harry Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last - until his son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to his lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit's middle age, as he continues to pursue, in his erratic fashion, the rainbow of happiness.
©1996 John Updike; (P)2009 Random House
"The power of the novel comes from a sense, not absolutely unworthy of Thomas Hardy, that the universe hangs over our fates like a great sullen hopeless sky. There is real pain in the book, and a touch of awe." (Norman Mailer, Esquire)
I loved this book dearly. We find Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom a decade later in 1980, having settled down again with his wife Janice,and now running his father in law's business Springer Motors. Rabbit is enjoying his middle class life - he has finally made it! The only thorn in his side is his son Nelson...
Don't expect an exciting storyline to this book; it's more like a snapshot of middle class, middle age life for the American 'Everyman'. But it's a picture created in fine prose with vivid metaphors, explicit almost clinical sexual descriptions and rich language that is a feast to the senses. Add to this Updike's great insights into interpersonal relationships, middle age and the complexities of parenting, and there you have it, a modern day classic.
You can listen to this book even if you haven't read the previous two in the series. Just close your eyes, sit back and slide into the world of Harry Angstrom and friends...
I know that Mr. Updike is very famous and has received the top literary awards, but each time I attempt one of his books because of his reputation, I cannot finish it. And the reader in this edition is SOOOOOO boring! The best I can figure is that I am an California boy and I just cannot relate to this East coast angst. No, the angst I can relate to, it is the idea of making a story out of it that I do not relate to. Oh well, I know I am in the minority. But to me, this book is not worth the time. Examine your own life and the story will be better lived.
Mundane, tedious, dull thud of a book, hard to imagine it deserving high literary honors. Comes across as an offhanded, uninspired use of Updike's talents.
I read Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux and they were both excellent, but never got around to reading Rabbit is Rich, so I looked forward to the audio book. However, I should have listened closely to the sample first. The narrator demostrates perfect enunciation, but is totally lacking inflection and emotion, making the story very difficult to follow. After about 15 minutes I knew I could never listen to the whole thing. A huge disappointment after wasting two credits.
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