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Publisher's Summary

The assumptions and obsessions that control our daily lives are explored in tantalizing detail by master novelist John Updike in this wise, witty, sexy story. Harry Angstrom - known to all as Rabbit, one of America's most famous literary characters - finds his dreary life shattered by the infidelity of his wife. How he resolves - or further complicates - his problems makes a compelling listen.

©1996 John Updike (P)2008 Random House

What listeners say about Rabbit Redux

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    130
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    42
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    61
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Story
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Bring on more Rabbit!

I became totally engrossed in this wonderful book.
It tells the story of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom who's now in his late thirties and has long since stopped running away from his marriage and other responsibilities. He shirks responsibility in another kind of way by being passive about everything around him. When Rabbit's wife has an affair she challenges him to make a stand and fight to get her back. Not only does he fail her in this but he then gets mixed up in what turns out to be a disastrous chain of events. With his wife gone he agrees to take in a young run away who becomes his lover, and she in turn brings in Skeeter, her black radical, dope shooting friend. Rabbit finds himself in the middle of a chaotic world that collapses around him. But despite the sad turn of events, Rabbit is somewhat transformed by his experiences with Skeeter, hence the Latin title word "redux" meaning restored,and life for Rabbit goes on.
The characters (with the exception perhaps of the too political Skeeter) are very convincing, and Rabbit himself is such an ordinary man who could well be our own neighbor. Another part of Updike's brilliance lies in his perceptive analysis of emotional interactions and in the language that is so rich in astute detail.
The narrator also enriched the whole Rabbit experience by acting out the different characters with distinct voices and he really brought this audiobook to life in my mind's eye.
It's probably best to listen to this Rabbit series in the correct order starting with 'Rabbit, Run' if you want to understand the characters and their backgrounds fully. But it's not an absolute must - so if you fancy this one first, go for it. I just can't get enough of Rabbit and don't want the series to end!



8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 01-30-18

Really poor edit

Why is this version inclusive of the narrator saying, “Go back.” and rereading, skipping and reading sections out of order. Not good and not the quality I a used to from Audible

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Seamy Side of the Summer of Love

Rabbit Redux is compared unfavorably by the critics to the other Rabbit books. In my opinion, this is unfair. Updike's prose is uniformly smooth and rich. So apparently the critics don't like the content.

The book caputures the ethos of 1969--the peak and end of the Hippie Sixties. I was there. I was 12--the same age as Rabbit's son, Nelson. To me, that period was not the groovie barrel of fun Gen-X's think, rather it was often chaotic and terrifying. The world felt like it was going to heck in a handbag.

Updike caputures the zeitgeist. 18 year old rich girl Jill is the perfect rich hippie chick strung out on drugs. Nam vet Skeeter is a mix between a chicken hearted Black Panther and Charlie Manson, complete with pseudo-intellectual rants about how the Man is keeping the brothers down and needs to be shot.

Rabbit himself is a lazy whimp. He sees his world falling apart but would rather get stoned on Skeeter's pot. He could care less about his adulterous wife, and though he loves his son, he's hardly the model father in that he lets a strung out hippie chick and a sociopathic black guy take over his house.

Like most modernistic authors, there are no pure good guys or bad guys in this novel. Everyone is a dingy gray. And such is life.

I enjoyed Updike's lapidary prose and his faithful characterization of how the late 60s was the springboard for the ensuing decades's sins--sex, drugs, and money.

I would have given this novel 5 stars, but on several CD's the narrator makes mistakes and then say's "go back," which is apparently a signal to the producer to rewind the CD. The narrator can hardly be at fault for this, rather the producer needs a slap on the cheek for abandoning the helm.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great production

I noticed that some of the reviewers mistook various occasions of "Go Back" in the audio book as poor editing. That's actually a misconception - the editing is great, no problem there. The instances where the narrator says "Go Back" are part of the book's text; it's where we listen to Harry Angstrom's stream of consciousness while typesetting at the print shop. He often has to "Go Back" because he made a typesetting mistake.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The worst of the series

This one is Updike ripping on the 1960s. Reading is choppy at times.
Sex, drugs, and some rather ridiculous characters and situations.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wrong Rabbit

More than midway through Rabbit Redux on Audible, I shelved it. I might return to it. Probably not. I suppose I chose the wrong Rabbit novel in the series, and the wrong Updike. No character won my sympathy, no one to root for, though I suppose Rabbit was undergoing a transformation by housing the execrable Skeeter and the runaway teen girl, Jill. Maybe I could root for the hapless son, Nelson, who has a hapless father. What held my interest, for a while, were the later 60's societal issues of racism, police brutality, protesting the capitalistic system, which persist 50+ years on, and Updike’s cynical take on them. I liked Janice, the cheating wife. Too bad she went away earlier in the novel. Perhaps she would have breathed life in the novel by returning home and throwing out the trash, including Rabbit. I won’t know, so no spoiler here. The narration got on my nerves but the narrator only reflected the annoying story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lousy recording

I gave this 2 stars "overall" because of the unfinished quality of the recording, The company did a terrible job with production. Several instances of the narrator instructing the editors to "go back" as he re-records where he's made mistakes, but the markers are never removed. Then there are even more places where the language is garbled, or words or sentences are cut off.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

poor editing

good story but there's lines missing and many times the narrator says "go back" and rereads the last sentence. This happened a good bit.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Beautifully written and narrated. Updike is a treasure, and the Rabbit Angstrom series is essential listening. Get this and then read some Frederick Douglass. #Midlife #ComingOfAge #The60s #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the very best

One of the best books of the 20th century. of course I have not read enough literature in my lifetime to be able to say that. But still, if there is something better, I sure hope someone lets me know about it before I run out of reading time...