April Book Club Review: Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run

John Updike
85386
[xrrgroup][xrr rating=1.45/5]
[xrr rating=1.1/5 imageset=grenade label=Manliness:][/xrrgroup]

 

 

The literary tastes of the men in iUMBC range from dudes who will only read a book all the way through if there is a steady barrage of explosions, shootings, and space aliens to dudes who were English majors and read books seeking out the aspects of a novel which must be present in order to create….I just fell asleep typing, but you get the idea. We had one guy who went so far as to declare he loved Russian novels. We shipped him to St. Louis, where I am told he finds the winters a bit too light-hearted for his tastes.

The point is, we are a varied minded breed, and so it must take an extraordinary piece of work to unite us all towards unanimous love or unanimous hate of a book.

Rabbit, Run is just such a book. There is no denying that the late Mr. Updike was a brilliant writer. That is to say, he was excellent at description, at creating and displaying his characters. His words were carefully crafted to make each page deliver his story in a way that made it feel as though the reader might have met these people, and is only now recalling their tale.

Maybe that is the reason we all hated this book so damn much. In Rabbit, Run, we were confronted with a character so selfish, so clueless, so undeniably immature and underdeveloped as a human, that we, the men of iUMBC, hated to turn each page to see what Rabbit would do next. One spur of the moment bad decision after another left us dreading the consequences of this man’s life. Who would he hurt next? Who would he use next? How would he abandon his next “friend”? Updike managed to make Rabbit so very real, that I as the reader looked up from the pages in disgust, and was ultimately frustrated to realize there was no actual person to confront about Harry Angstrom’s antics. I had only to rely on Mr. Updike to lead Rabbit in the right direction. And let me tell you, Mr. Updike most certainly did nothing of the sort.

All of this might have been forgivable if there were other characters to like, maybe even to side with. Sadly, this was not to be. Each person met through this Holden Caulfield-esque trip down the selfish rabbit hole (too many literary metaphors? I, like john Updike, apologize for nothing) is the worst-case-scenario of people to live life with. From a wife checked out and too drunk to care, to parents too afraid to interact with their children, to a preacher man who is more worried about enjoying golf with his anti-parishioner than actually helping*, each character Rabbit encounters makes the reader like the whole story less.

The bottom line here is, this is a story about people at their worst, just trying to figure out how to survive. The writing is pretty darn good, but the story left us in the Ultra Manly Book Club with such a depressed and angry feeling in our gut, that none of us could fathom reading the follow-up books (Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest, Rabbit Remembered). Though Dave might, but that is because he is a literature major and smarter than the rest of us.

Read at your own risk my friends. But really, don’t.

*I am in the minority regarding the preacher Eccles. Most of the gents of iUMBC actually found him to be a sincere man trying to help the incredibly selfish and lost Harry Angstrom.

About john

After an unfortunate run in with a narwhal forced early retirement from his life as a pirate on the Seven Seas, John turned his attention to his second love, Mountain Watching. He is currently fighting to prove that Mount Huascaran has moved 3 feet to the left in the past year, and that one night he saw it crying. When he is not watching mountains, John can be found practicing for the National Caber Toss competition, having staring contests with jaguars, or helping little old ladies cross busy streets.

Currently Reading:
"River of Doubt" by Candace Miller
"The Buried Giant" by Kazuo Ishiguro
"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel
"S." by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams
"Hamilton" by Ron Chernow
"Storm Front" by Jim Butcher
"Lisrael" by Garth Nix

Comments

  1. I just want to say I am new to blogging and site-building and seriously loved your page. Likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You actually have great stories. Bless you for sharing your web page.

  2. I merely want to show you that I am new to having a blog and completely enjoyed your website. Probably I am probably to remember your blog post . You really have outstanding article information. Truly Appreciate it for giving out with us your current web page

  3. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Actually rarely must i encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve got hit the nail to the head. Your notion is outstanding; the issue is something which there are not enough individuals are speaking intelligently about. We are very happy that I came across this in my search for some thing regarding this.

  4. Some truly nice and useful information on this website, besides I believe the design has got superb features.

  5. As soon as I found this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  6. Just wanna comment that you have a very decent web site , I enjoy the design and style it really stands out.

  7. Some really excellent posts on this internet site, thank you for contribution. “Always aim for achievement, and forget about success.” by Helen Hayes.

  8. Hey there, have you ever in your life wondered to write about Nintendo or PS handheld?

  9. I believe you have observed some very interesting points , thankyou for the post.

  10. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s.” by Henry Ward Beecher.

  11. Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  12. You have mentioned very interesting details! ps nice internet site.

  13. You have brought up a very great details , appreciate it for the post.

  14. Thanks, I have just been searching for information approximately this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  15. Hey very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m glad to search out numerous helpful info here within the put up, we’d like develop extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing.

  16. I conceive this website contains some rattling wonderful info for everyone. “Je veux que les paysans mettent la poule au pot tous les dimanches.” by King Henry IV of France.

  17. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

  18. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  19. You have brought up a very fantastic details , regards for the post.

Speak Your Mind

*