...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

April 17, 2006


I just read an interesting article about John Updike. I've never read him. Are there any Updike fans out there? Should I give him a try?

Correction: Actually, when I was in undergrad, I tried to read Memories Of The Ford Administration, but it was pretty boring, so I never finished it. But I'm wondering if the Rabbit books are better.

Posted by annika, Apr. 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Arts


By misusing the American military to steal Iraqi oil you have placed us on the bad side of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And I am gay.

Posted by: DEAN BERRY -- REAL AMERICAN on Apr. 17, 2006

Well gawd damn, isn't it nice to have a true man and prophet of God stop by and drop the word. Drink the koolaid Dean.

Posted by: Casca on Apr. 17, 2006

I have read the Rabbit books, and I found them very depressing. Every character in those stories is a loser who screws up their life. It makes me wonder about Updike's sanity-he certainly can't be a happy man.

I recommend the books to people who think their lives are crap. It will remind you that there are a lot of people with worse lives.

Posted by: Jake on Apr. 17, 2006

if you think Updike is depressin you ought to read anything by Henrik Ibsen. That will make you want to cut your throat.

Posted by: kyle8 on Apr. 17, 2006

My dad loves Updike - and especially loves the Rabbit books. He keeps telling me to give them a try - so they are on my perpetual "To Read Someday" list!

I've read a lot of Updike's short stories - and the only novel of his I read was Witches of Eastwick, which is kind of a riot. Lots of fun. He's a fine writer.

Posted by: red on Apr. 18, 2006

Anni I would say it was the subject, not the author. Anything written about the Ford Admin would naturally be stonestiff boring as hell. It was bad enough living through it, I damn well ain't a gonna read nothing about it!

Posted by: 2Hotel9 on Apr. 18, 2006

Dean Berry's incisive comments on Updike eclipse anything I might say on the subject; but be that as it may ("and I'm not sure that it is," as Steve Allen would add). . . . Updike's Ford Administration book, 2Hotel9, isn't really about the Ford Administration (except perhaps in some subtle satirical way that went over my head); but what life was like in that era, as remembered by a college professor looking back at it. Gore Vidal's derisive statement that mainstream fiction is mostly about adulterous academics certainly could be applied to this book; except that about half of it is a historical novel about James Buchanan, whose biography the professor has been working on. The novel shifts back and forth between Buchanan's story and the professor's marital troubles and sexual escapades. On paper it is the kind of contemporary fiction I would ordinarily avoid, but Updike's prose style drew me in and held me; the Buchanan parts were more interesting than I would have expected; and I liked the various comments about life in early Seventies. I often quote one of the professor's observations, when he and a woman who is trying to seduce him (successfully, it turns out) are alone in her hotel room together. I don't recall the exact wording, but it's something along the lines of: "During the Ford Administration, a man and a woman alone together in a room where they wouldn't be disturbed felt almost a moral obligation to shtup." (Come to think of it, the word "shtup" may be something else in the original.) The sentence really drove home to me why I miss that much-despised era.

Posted by: Bilwick on Apr. 20, 2006