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Rabbit Is Rich
     

Rabbit Is Rich

4.7 8
by John Updike
 

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John Updike continues to probe the yearning frustrations and pain of suburban America in this third encounter with the Angstroms, Harry (Rabbit), Janice and their son Nelson.

Rabbit, basically decent but no intellectual, is ten years down the road from RABBIT REDUX. Updike's hero, now a middle-aged Toyota dealer, still seeks peace and contentment -- items not

Overview

John Updike continues to probe the yearning frustrations and pain of suburban America in this third encounter with the Angstroms, Harry (Rabbit), Janice and their son Nelson.

Rabbit, basically decent but no intellectual, is ten years down the road from RABBIT REDUX. Updike's hero, now a middle-aged Toyota dealer, still seeks peace and contentment -- items not standard equipment in his life.

RABBIT IS RICH won the literary Triple Crown: the Pulitzer prize, American Book Award and a commendatory scroll from the National Book Critics Circle. "For Updike is now indisputable at the top of his craft. No one else using the English language over the past 2 1/2 decades has written so well in so may ways as he." (Time)

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449200179
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/12/1982
Series:
Rabbit Quartet , #3

What People are Saying About This

Roger Sale
Someone once said that reading a John O'Hara novel is like reading the Sears catalogue. Updike can be like that too, since once he starts on . . .the way it was, he usually goes until exhausted. So the book is too long. . . .But . . .the sentence-by-sentence writing here is, at least by Updike's lush standards, not excessive at all. . . .For me Rabbit Is Rich is the first book in which Updike has fulfilled the fabulous promise he offered with Rabbit Run and The Centaur. . . -- The New York Times

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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
March 18, 1932
Date of Death:
January 27, 2009
Place of Birth:
Shillington, Pennsylvania
Place of Death:
Beverly Farms, MA
Education:
A.B. in English, Harvard University, 1954; also studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England

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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.