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....
©1996 John Updike; (P)2008 Random House Audio
"Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own." (The Washington Post)
I'm a self-employed woman who enjoys historical fiction, mysteries and thrillers, political and law fiction, and self-development. I enjoy an intellectual challenge. I'm married for 25 years and have a daughter in college.
Wonderful descriptive narrative, a look into the soul of a man leaving his son and family and justifying it. I didn't finish it yet, but I will, I can recognize good literature, which this is, but right now, I just can't stomach it's subject.
Surprising. Frustrating. Redemptive.
I don't want to give away a major plot point of the book, but as Janice's mental state starts to disintegrate near the end of the book, I found this to be a major turning point in the story. For the first half of the book, one can't help but feel this is simply a story about a man going through a quarter-life crisis. The reader sympathizes with Rabbit yet cannot help but be frustrated by his irresponsibility. After Janice's mental decline, the story took a darker, deeper, more satisfying turn than I dared hope for.
I read the book before and found Updike's prose to be beautiful but frustrating. He rambles on about everything, and it killed the pacing of the book for me. However, Arthur Morey's narration is wonderful, and the pacing issues are largely eliminated when hearing the book read aloud instead of reading it silently by oneself. Highly recommended.
While I did not laugh or cry, the book does have emotional moments toward the end. It's painful and heartbreaking yet still redemptive. While I know there are other books in the series, I am going to hold off on reading them - if I ever do. Rabbit, Run is such a strong book - and a largely forgotten mid-century classic - I feel it should be appreciated on its own instead of merely as part of the larger tetralogy.
While many folks have HEARD of this book, I doubt many have read the story. It is a mid-century classic at risk of being largely forgotten. If you love mid-century literature, as I do, read this.
The story has some of the most beautiful language you will ever read, but the plot is a never ending deluge of sick perverseness. I am discouraged because I wanted to read the whole rabbit series since two of the books won the Pulitzer Prize. Unfortunately, just one rabbit book has made me decide to take a break from John Updike. 😧
Updike's grasp of the human condition is amazing. Lyrical prose. Turns a common, narcissistic, not particularly intelligent post-high school athletic has-been into a (somewhat) sympathetic misogynist.
Tell us about yourself! I am a French woman and live in Paris. I love to read - I read almost EVERYTHING! I like also to speak English
Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Twenty-two-year-old Rabbit Angstrom is a salesman in a local department store, father of a preschool-age son, and husband to an alcoholic wife who was his second-best high school sweetheart. The squalor and tragedy of their lives reminds us that salvation is a personal undertaking.
“Rabbit” was once the star athlete of his high school, a great basketball player prized by his team and his coach, Marty Tothero. Now he is twenty-six, stuck in an unhappy marriage and an unfulfilling job selling kitchen gadgets. He joins the game for a bit, and then continues on his way.
To top it all at home, his newly pregnant wife, Janice, pisses him so much that when she asks him to go out, Rabbit immediately saw an opportunity to leave and drove far away from home and leaves his life behind. He deeply needs to escape. He makes it as far south as West Virginia before he finally turns around and heads home. Back in Mt. Judge, he joins Marty Tothero - now just as "washed-up" and as much of a "has-been" as Rabbit, having been fired years ago from his job at the high school due to a "scandal" - and hits the town with his former coach. He meets Ruth Leonard on a double date with Marty, and winds up spending the night with her in her apartment. He grows very affectionate of her, and, though Ruth's opinion of Rabbit fluctuates, the two live together for a solid two months.
It has been a great pleasure reading Upidike’s book. Characters are realistic and the book topic is about things that happen in real life. We are all attempt to run, we’re driven to run for all sorts of reasons – because we don’t like our life, we’re stuck in a marriage that we hate, children are thought to deal with, we hate our job etc. Running is great but the matter of fact is it does not last forever
I hate them all
Yes, he makes the characters alive
When Janice gave birth
A devastating, blistering, painful and brutal tragedy. A train wreck of a main character who blithely bruises and ruins the lives of those he touches as he stumbles like an oaf through adulthood no more aware of his impact than a blind bull. A cutting look at men, marriage and meaning --- pretty timeless in its tale and painful to listen to. Superb narration. An unforgettable book that haunts me long afterward. One of the best Audible listens. I could not stop listening and looked forward to this book like few others.
Rabbit, Run is not an uplifting novel, and despite all the talk of Christ and spirituality, it is not terribly enlightening, either. What John Updike gives us, however, is a priceless, ruthless portrait of youth- complete with its vitality, vigor, and arrogance. By design, Harry Angstrom isn't a likable character; he hurts nearly everyone who loves him as he tries to sort out his life. Or maybe you do like him, despite yourself, and become implicated in his domestic tragedy.
As always, Updike's prose is note-perfect. When he deals with sexuality, he does so with such objective remoteness that one feels like the viewer of a 1960s foreign film, where titillation is chilled by artistry.
I was very disappointed with this book. Having read each of the Rabbit novels over the years, I was looking forward to enjoying them all again. The book was great but the choice of reader was not. I could not even finish Rabbit Run. The voice whined on and on in such an irritating way and just did not fit the charactor of a young "big man on campus" type like Rabbit. I will avoid any future books using him as the reader.
Middlemarch, Middlesex, Middlebrow
The monotonous, uninflected, seemingly uncomprehending, reading doesn't ruin the sublime writing, but comes too close.
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