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That's the bad news. The good news is that the rest of the collection is a sheer delight. "My Father on the Verge of Disgrace" explores some fascinating Oedipal outskirts, even as the narrator's first cigarette takes on a theological accent: "It was my way of becoming a human being, and part of being human is being on the verge of disgrace." In "How Was It, Really?" Updike unveils the real dirty secret of old age, which is not the persistence of erotic appetite but the inevitable, appalling failure of memory. Best of all, he returns to two of his longest-running franchises, with admirable results in both cases. "His Oeuvre" revives that Semitic doppelgänger Henry Bech for one more lap around the track, and finds the author making intermittent fun of his own fancy prose style. Harry Angstrom is, needless to say, beyond hope of resurrection. But in a 182-page novella, "Rabbit Remembered," Updike brings back his survivors for a superb, surprising curtain call. The author's present-tense notation of American life (whose paradoxical epicenter is, as always, Brewer, Pennsylvania) remains as mesmerizing as ever. And despite his death, the putative hero is everywhere, as his illegitimate daughter returns to the unwilling bosom of the Angstrom clan: "A whiff of Harry, a pale glow, an unsettling drift comes off this girl, this thirty-nine-year-old piece of evidence." Wallowing in this unexpected bonus, Updike fans should steel themselves for a single pang of regret: this is likely to be the last Rabbit he will pull from his hat. --James Marcus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
It appears that Updike needs a little longer set up to really get a plot in motion.
I have been a John Updike fan since reading the RABBIT novels in the mid-90s and have recently been going back to the short stories.
If you want to be touched by love and feel its power, buy this book, read this book and cherish this book.
The last section, about Rabbit's son and daughter, is the best. It has the ability to draw in the reader that the earlier Rabbit books do.Published 1 month ago by Bill
Updike's Rabbit series is a true modern American classic. I have read all four several times, and the last two, "Rabbit is Rich" and "Rabbit at Rest" more than that. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mary- Jude Neal
Mostly excellent, very readable short stories and excellent novella ("Rabbit Remembered", part of Rabbit series taking place after Rabbit dies and his family recalls him). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Shelley K. Simcox
All who read about Rabbit tetralogy understand me - so do not want to part with the hero. And this last gift from the author. Thank you John!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
maintained the highest standards of john updike. I have a complete set of allk the updike works. one of my favorites and I did not realize that I was missing Licks of Love and the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ernie
I just recently "discovered" the Rabbit books and have read all but Rabbit Redux. I have enjoyed them all very much. Read morePublished 13 months ago by BrokenArrow
Having read all the Rabbit books in the year they were written, I feel I grew up with Rabbit and John Updike--then Rabbit went to rest and so did John Updike. Read morePublished on November 8, 2012 by Mary
I mainly got hold of this volume to follow up on the Rabbit series. The other short stories help to underscore the impression I got of Updike reading the earlier Rabbit novels: he... Read morePublished on January 25, 2012 by Volkert Volkersz
I have been a John Updike fan since reading the RABBIT novels in the mid-90s and have recently been going back to the short stories. Read morePublished on November 13, 2011 by Stacy Helton