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Rabbit, Run | [John Updike]

Rabbit, Run

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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Publisher's Summary

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....

©1996 John Updike; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (351 )
5 star
 (98)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (180 )
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (176 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Judith 02-16-09
    Judith 02-16-09 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
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    29
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    5
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    "Not for the depressed"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeff 08-03-15
    jeff 08-03-15
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Why is it a classic?"

    Very well written and performed, but a mundane story about an uninteresting protagonist who is not likeable. Not sure why it is such a well liked and reviewed book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 01-07-15
    Michael 01-07-15 Member Since 2004
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    4
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    "Good performance, amazing writing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chandon Paris, France 02-01-13
    Chandon Paris, France 02-01-13 Member Since 2011

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"
    Where does Rabbit, Run rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I hate them all


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Arthur Morey?

    Yes, he makes the characters alive


    Who was the most memorable character of Rabbit, Run and why?

    When Janice gave birth


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Barth Cambridge, MA, United States 05-30-12
    G Barth Cambridge, MA, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2000
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    "Wow"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer New York, USA 10-25-11
    Kindle Customer New York, USA 10-25-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A priceless, ruthless portrait of youth"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KAREN OEHLSCHLAGER 07-28-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor choice of reader"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 04-03-09
    Eric 04-03-09 Member Since 2005

    Middlemarch, Middlesex, Middlebrow

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""...press two to hear the next chapter""

    The monotonous, uninflected, seemingly uncomprehending, reading doesn't ruin the sublime writing, but comes too close.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 12-06-09
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 12-06-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Rabbit,Run"

    Along with the narrator's droning voice,the main character sounded like a whiny,immature fool.It was not clearly stated why he just up and left his wife,so it came across as though one day he just did not feel like being married anymore.It was annoying listening to his character whine and crazily sleep with dysfunctional women instead of taking his stupid behind home where he should have been.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 03-21-09
    Diane 03-21-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "hated it"

    Absolutely hated this book. Way too much flowery language; pointless story lines; the whole book could have been cut down to about 30 minutes! UGH

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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