John Updike's "Rabbit" Series

shelved under Fiction and Rest In Peace

If you ask someone to name a John Updike novel, odds are that he or she will name one of his "Rabbit" novels. And no wonder — two of the four won the Pulitzer Prize.

For those who never came across one of these in high school, college, or on their own, they chronicle the adult life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, a faded high school basketball star who's trying to make sense of the realities of adulthood.

In reference to the series, Updike once wrote ''to me [it] is the tale of a life, a life led by an American citizen who shares the national passion for youth, freedom, and sex, the national openness and willingness to learn, the national habit of improvisation. He is furthermore a Protestant, haunted by a God whose manifestations are elusive, yet all-important.''

P.S. I'm fairly sure that Faulkner was the only other novelist to win the Pulitzer Prize twice — but don't quote me on that.

Rabbit, Run (1960)

Rabbit, Run (1960)

by John Updike

Chris Connaughton from Hampshire, UK says:

It's been years since I first read this, but it sticks in the mind forever. Updike succeeds in recreating a period of long gone American society in flawless details, yet like all good writing it still seems up-to-the-minute incisive and relevant. The central character could have invented the term "Everyman", and his struggles, tragedies and small triumphs are as heartwarming, frustrating, terrifying and hilarious as life itself. Heartily recommended for those looking for a way in to the late, great John Updike.

I want to read this book     I've read this and liked it

You should click here for more on this book

This book also appears on In Honor of Darwin, A Menagerie of Species

 
 
Rabbit Redux (1971)

Rabbit Redux (1971)

by John Updike

I want to read this book     I've read this and liked it

You should click here for more on this book

 
 
Rabbit Is Rich (1981)

Rabbit Is Rich (1981)

by John Updike

Cary Branscum says:

In his "Rabbit" series, John Updike captured the spirit of the upper middle class from World War II through the decline of the modern age. Rabbit Angstrom's climb to wealth via his own auto dealership explores the darker human relational side of the American Dream. Rabbit's struggles with spouse, son, in-laws, and other social climbers is the experience of many who grew to maturity in that age. You'll feel like you're there, so enjoy the ride. You asked for it... you got it... Toyota. RIP John Updike. You wrote life.

I want to read this book     I've read this and liked it

You should click here for more on this book

This book also appears on Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction

 
 
Rabbit at Rest (1990)

Rabbit at Rest (1990)

by John Updike

Cary Branscum says:

It is a fitting culmination to the "Rabbit" series. Angstrom continues to scrap with the angels and demons in his life, Updike puts the reader inside the character, while also continuing the kaleidoscope narrative of Rabbit's world. Very readable, and the concluding scene from Rabbit's point of view is imprinted in my memory. I read Rabbit's life as a requiem for American consumerism. You ask for it, you got it, Toyota.

I want to read this book     I've read this and liked it

You should click here for more on this book

This book also appears on Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction

 
 
Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, "Rabbit Remembered" (2001)

Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, "Rabbit Remembered" (2001)

by John Updike

Flashlight Worthy says:
A collection of short stories (considered uneven by many) that also includes a return to one of his longest-running franchises, The "Rabbit" series. In a 182-page novella, "Rabbit Remembered," Updike brings back his characters for a superb, unexpected finale.

I want to read this book     I've read this and liked it

You should click here for more on this book