Rabbit at Rest

Rabbit at Rest

4.3 8
by John Updike
     
 

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In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring,… See more details below

Overview

In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Brilliant...It must be read.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harry ``Rabbit'' Angstrom, morbidly depressed, overweight and living with wife Janice in a Florida retirement community, recovers from a heart attack and is led astray by his libido one last time. ``Updike is razor-sharp and mordantly funny,'' said PW. ``If this novel is in some respects an elegy to Rabbit's bewildered existence, it is also a poignant, humorous, instructive guidebook to the aborted American dream.'' The book took a Pulitzer Prize. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Harry ``Rabbit'' Angstrom is back in this final installment of Updike's four-decade chronicle. Now 55 and semi-retired, Harry spends half the year in Florida with wife Janice while Nelson, their son, runs the family business. Yet Harry's ``golden years'' are far from happy: he has ballooned to 230 pounds and suffers from angina. Janice is becoming increasingly independent. Nelson's cocaine habit is bankrupting Springer Motors. Harry sees decline on all sides, and the novel's great strength is how Updike links Harry's decline to that of his country, giving his sense of loss an elegiac feel. Despite some flaws--excessive length, a weak characterization of Nelson--the novel measures up well against the rest of the series. This is the saddest and deepest of the ``Rabbit'' novels, an aching portrait of America at the end of the Reagan era. Certain to be in demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/90.-- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
Carol Joyce Oates
Rabbit at Rest is certainly the most brooding, the most demanding, the most concentrated of John Updike's longer novels....One begins virtually to share, with the doomed Harry Angstrom, a panicky sense of the body's terrible finitude, and of its place in a world of other, competing bodies: ''You fill a slot for a time and then move out; that's the decent thing to do: make room.'' ....The being that most illuminates the Rabbit quartet is not finally Harry Angstrom himself but the world through which he moves in his slow downward slide, meticulously recorded by one of our most gifted American realists. -- The New York Times, September 30, 1990
From the Publisher
“Rich and rewarding . . . Updike is working at the full height of his powers.”—The New York Times
 
“Brilliant . . . It must be read. It is the best novel about America to come out of America for a very, very long time.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“Powerful . . . John Updike with his precisian’s prose and his intimately attentive yet cold eye is a master.”—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141188447
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Publication date:
05/28/2010

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