Rabbit Is Rich

( 9 )

Overview

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award
 
The hero of John Updike?s Rabbit, Run, ten years after the events of Rabbit Redux, has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as the chief sales representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of ...

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Rabbit Is Rich

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Overview

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award
 
The hero of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run, ten years after the events of Rabbit Redux, has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as the chief sales representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national self-confidence. Nevertheless, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last—until his wayward son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to the lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit’s middle age as he continues to pursue, in his zigzagging fashion, the rainbow of happiness.

Winner of the 1982 National Book Award

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Unquestionably Updike’s finest novel . . . Funny and sharp and damnably intelligent.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Dazzlingly reaffirms Updike’s place as master chronicler of the spiritual maladies and very earthly pleasures of the Middle-American male.”—Vogue
 
“Rich, funny . . . Updike at the very height of his powers.”—New York magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449911822
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Series: Rabbit Quartet , #3
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 198,731
  • Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.

Biography

With an uncommonly varied oeuvre that includes poetry, criticism, essays, short stories, and novels, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John Updike helped to change the face of late-20th-century American literature.

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Updike graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1954. Following a year of study in England, he joined the staff of The New Yorker, establishing a relationship with the magazine that continued until his death in January, 2009. For more than 50 years, he lived in two small towns in Massachusetts that inspired the settings for several of his stories.

In 1958, Updike's first collection of poetry was published. A year later, he made his fiction debut with The Poorhouse Fair. But it was his second novel, 1960's Rabbit, Run, that forged his reputation and introduced one of the most memorable characters in American fiction. Former small-town basketball star Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom struck a responsive chord with readers and critics alike and catapulted Updike into the literary stratosphere.

Updike would revisit Angstrom in 1971, 1981, and 1990, chronicling his hapless protagonist's jittery journey into undistinguished middle age in three melancholy bestsellers: Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest. A concluding novella, "Rabbit Remembered," appeared in the 2001 story collection Licks of Love.

Although autobiographical elements appear in the Rabbit books, Updike's true literary alter ego was not Harry Angstrom but Harry Bech, a famously unproductive Jewish-American writer who starred in his own story cycle. In between -- indeed, far beyond -- his successful series, Updike went on to produce an astonishingly diverse string of novels. In addition, his criticism and short fiction became popular staples of distinguished literary publications.

Good To Know

Updike first became entranced by reading when he was a young boy growing up on an isolated farm in Pennsylvania. Afflicted with psoriasis and a stammer, he escaped his self-consciousness by immersing himself in drawing, writing, and reading.

An accomplished artist, Updike accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts at Oxford University. He decided to attend Harvard University because he was a big fan of the school's humor magazine, The Harvard Lampoon.

One of the most respected authors of the 20th century, Updike won every major literary prize in America, including the Guggenheim Fellow, the Rosenthal Award, the National Book Award in Fiction, the O. Henry Prize, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Union League Club Abraham Lincoln Award, the National Arts Club Medal of Honor, and the National Medal of the Arts.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Hoyer Updike (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 18, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Shillington, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Death:
      January 27, 2009
    2. Place of Death:
      Beverly Farms, MA

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2001

    Rabbit: The Next Generation

    In this third installment of the Rabbit series, it is 1980 and we find Harry ('Rabbit') Angstrom confronted by inflation, gas shortages, the Carter Administration's crisis of confidence, and most important of all by his son, Nelson. Nelson, who is now in his 20's, wants to work as a salesman in Rabbit's Toyota dealership, even though that would mean displacing one of the company's top salesmen. Harry feels that Nelson lacks the necessary maturity and competence for the position and wants him to return to college. To complicate matters, the dealership is also co-owned by Harry's wife, Janice, and by his mother-in-law, who inherited the firm from Rabbit's late father-in-law. The women are on Nelson's side and, of course, gang up on Rabbit. These are only a few of the many complications in this great novel. Updike further develops the Harry/Nelson father and son relationship that was begun in _Rabbit Redux_. Updike has an uncanny ability to write realistic diaglogue. I was able to get into the heart and head of Nelson, whose anguish is palpable and who desperately wants to break away from his past and to attain adult responsibility, while still immaturely clinging to both his mother and his grandmother. Nelson, thus, must not only struggle with his feelings about his very pregnant girlfriend, whom he feels it is his responsibility to marry and to support, but also with some very painful memories for which he severely blame his father. Mutual resentments are felt by both father and son. Both admit a fear that Nelson may be doomed to repeat the same mistakes made years earlier by Rabbit. The novel also realistically presents the various sexual insecutities of the average American middle-aged male. Who better represents this 'demographic type' than Harry Angstrom? Rabbit, later in the novel, discovers some very interesting things about himself in a sensitively portrayed, but unexpected sexual encounter with a friend's wife. I highly recommend _Rabbit Is Rich_ to anyone who appreciates excellent writing and rich characterizations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Gorse Tunnel

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If you're not prudish, you'll like this novel

    This book is very long, probably too long, nonetheless it is enertaining from start to finish, authentic, and crafted with well thought out characters.
    Rabbit is a middle aged man in the best position of his entire life, yet he's still restless. When his son, Nelson, an underachieving college student, unceramoniously comes home his life only becomes more complicated. The story and narrative is a sardonic portrait of American marriage and the typical mid-life crisis.
    Problems that exist with the book are small ones. I know this novel won a pulitzer so I'm probably not suppose to critize the writing but I will anyhow. Some of the paragraphs are too long and bog down the rhythm of the story. Also, some of the extended sex scenes are too drawn out. He's already made his point with the sexual act, but the narrative of the procedure will just go on for another four pages or so.
    Regardless, this is still a story worth reading.

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    Posted November 28, 2011

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