Length: 512 pages
About: Overweight retiree symbolises America's demise
Style: 3rd person
Where: US (Florida & Pensylvania)
In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is
behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring, and summer of 1989,
Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live.
Rabbit wonders how the Dalai Lama is doing, after all that exile. Do you still believe in God, if people keep telling you you are God?
Fine glints of detail like this dazzlingly and paradoxically fleck Updike's four-decade saga of coarse-grained materialists. And in Rabbit at Rest, a book often sombre and funereal, these
reminders of life's transient sensory largesse flicker out with particularly haunting power.
The Sunday Times, Peter Kemp, October 28th 1990
Not so good:
...''Rabbit at Rest'' is certainly the most brooding, the most demanding, the most concentrated of John Updike's longer novels....
Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review 30 September 1990
About the author
John Updike was born in 118 March 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in England on the Knox Fellowship, at the Ruskin School of
Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker, to which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews.
Updike married Mary E. Pennington, an art student at Radcliffe College, in 1953. She accompanied him to Oxford, England, where he attended art school and where their first child, Elizabeth, was
born in 1955. The couple had three more children together: writer David (born 1957), Michael (born 1959) and Miranda (born 1960). They divorced in 1974. In 1977 Updike married Martha Ruggles
Bernhard, with whom he lived for more than thirty years in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.
He died of lung cancer at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, on 27 January 2009, at the age of 76.