Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just Shelved

Rabbit Redux Rabbit Redux by John Updike

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Is it wrong to stop reading a book because you find all of the characters and situations within unpleasant? I mean, not everybody wants to be stuck on a whaling vessel for months on end in the company of crazy ship captains expounding in purple Shakespearian prose...and yet, upon closing the book, most can say: this meant something to me.

Does this mean I need to stick around in Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom's pre-fab living room amongst chintz and peeling linoleum; stick with him as he shacks up with an 18 year-old prep school escapee with (apparently) no soul; keep sticking around as his 13-year-old son gets drawn into a web of sexual power plays and drugged confessions; and yes, continue to stick around through every possible euphemism for the male member or the female ass?

I guess, if I really felt like I needed to know what this period of time felt like for a white, aging, suburban man with his dreams on the skids in the early seventies, then this would be my go-to book. I was right there for Rabbit, Run and Updike's overripe, unhurried prose (oftentimes brilliant, piercing, and precise, too), but after about two thirds of this one, I just wasn't there anymore. In a lot of ways Rabbit Redux seems like an "important" book, but I guess I just didn't like these people, and I didn't want to spend another 100 pages with them. Oh, and the racism and misogyny. I *know* it's true to Rabbit's character. But, still.

Sorry, Rabbit. Sorry, Updike. View all my reviews >>

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