After a good week of reading, I’ve finished Rabbit, Run by John Updike, my 38th read from The List. In many ways it was similar to number 37, The Sportswriter. Both novels follow men unsure of their place in the world, both trying to figure out where to go. But where The Sportswriter offers hope for the future, Rabbit, Run takes it away.
Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom lives a typical life in Brewer, Pennsylvania; a place that could double for Anytown, USA. In high school, he was a star basketball player and an important person. But that was eight years ago. Now, after a four-year hitch in the military, Angstrom is married to an alcoholic wife, has a three year old son, works selling the MagiPeeler kitchen gadget, and lives in a drab and dreary apartment. A life that isn’t uncommon for someone of his education. But one day, feeling trapped, Harry decides he’s had enough and runs from his less than ideal life. He eventually finds minor comfort in the arms (and the apartment) of a prostitute, having abandoned his wife and son.
Listen to my CBC Eyeopener discussion of Rabbit, Run right here.
Time magazine's original review from November 7, 1960 can be found here.
My next book will by Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian, I believe the only book resembling anything close to a Western on The List. I know little about the book, but have heard it is one of his more violent stories. Having seen the movie No Country for Old Men, I figure that says a lot.