Rabbit Is Rich

Rabbit Is Rich

by John Updike
4.7 8

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Rabbit Is Rich 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
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AK95 More than 1 year ago
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.