book 2 of The Rabbit Books
by John Updike
After finishing Rabbit, Run, I had planned on giving Updike a rest. Then I leafed through Rabbit Redux in a bookstore and got hooked -- this guy is an incredible writer. It is set 10 years after the first book, and describes Rabbit's reaction when he learns that Janice has been cheating on him. Updike really picks apart his characters; they are portrayed vividly but coldly, with all their little fears and flaws on display. However, I sometimes found myself liking Rabbit, something that never happened during the first book; he's an innocent living in a nasty world, but he refuses to be beaten, to let anybody get the best of him. As Jill says:
...your problem is that you've never been given a chance to formulate your views. Because of the competitive American context, you've had to convert everything into action too rapidly. Your life has no reflective content; it's all instinct, and when your instincts let you down, you have nothing to trust. That's what makes you cynical.
copyright © 1998 John Regehr