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Rabbit is Rich
by John Updike

John Updike continues to probe the yearning frustrations and pain of suburban America in this third encounter with the Angstroms, Harry (Rabbit), Janice and their son Nelson.

Rabbit, basically decent but no intellectual, is ten years down the road from RABBIT REDUX. Updike's hero, now a middle-aged Toyota dealer, still seeks peace and contentment -- items not standard equipment in his life.

RABBIT IS RICH won the literary Triple Crown: the Pulitzer prize, American Book Award and a commendatory scroll from the National Book Critics Circle. "For Updike is now indisputable at the top of his craft. No one else using the English language over the past 2 1/2 decades has written so well in so may ways as he."










Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (1 of 132), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 11:51 AM I hope nobody minds my starting this thread. I think this is the Rabbit book that will stir the biggest discussion, as it seems to be the favorite of those, here, who have read the entire series. This way we can bop back and forth to the other Rabbit threads without too much of a spoiler for those who are not to this one yet. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (2 of 132), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 03:18 PM Harry is twenty years out of High School now, and where most men hang diplomas on their office walls, what do you suppose Harry is hanging? Old yellow edged newspaper clippings of his basketball days. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (3 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 03:23 PM I'm also getting a charge seeing the pictures of Updike on the inside back covers. He ages just as Rabbit ages with each one.And his look reflects each generation. I love the tennis picture inside Rabbit Redux.. and Ruth? Check out the bony little knees under those little plaid shorts!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (4 of 132), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 03:23 PM Beej: Yellowed newspaper clippings. That's Rabbit. I happened to hear the Bruce Springsteen song "Glory Days" yesterday, and I think it fits Rabbit's life to a T. For such an upbeat arrangement, there's a lot of pain underneath. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (5 of 132), Read 30 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 03:26 PM Dale, its interesting how music and literature tie together as a cultural/generational history, isn't it? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (6 of 132), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 03:45 PM BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Glory Days I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school He could throw that speedball by you Make you look like a fool boy Saw him the other night at this roadside bar I was walking in, he was walking out We went back inside sat down had a few drinks but all he kept talking about was Chorus: Glory days well they'll pass you by Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye Glory days, glory days Well there's a girl that lives up the block back in school she could turn all the boy's heads Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed Her and her husband Bobby well they split up I guess it's two years gone by now We just sit around talking about the old times, she says when she feels like crying she starts laughing thinking about (chorus) My old man worked 20 years on the line and they let him go Now everywhere he goes out looking for work they just tell him that he's too old I was 9 nine years old and he was working at the Metuchen Ford plant assembly line Now he just sits on a stool down at the Legion hall but I can tell what's on his mind Glory days yeah goin back Glory days aw he ain't never had Glory days, glory days Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight and I'm going to drink till I get my fill And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it but I probably will Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (7 of 132), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, May 28, 2001 05:46 PM Oh, I really like this one! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (8 of 132), Read 30 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 08:41 AM At the risk of repeating myself, it continues to interest me that in spite of the despicable things Rabbit does, most of us develop a fondness for him. It has been entertaining watching (listening?) to you develop a fondness for him, Beej. There is a clue to the reason for that in the opening pages here. Rabbit is never intentionally malicious. About fifty pages in he thinks to himself: We are cruel enough without meaning to be. And that is what he is. Thoughtlessly cruel, not maliciously cruel. As far as quotables go, I also very much liked his reminiscence about his father-in-law, the car salesman: That slippery-quick salesman's smile of his, Rabbit can see it still. Like a switchblade without the click. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (9 of 132), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 08:46 AM Oh, and I am picking up on something during that reread that I did not notice before. Previously, I described Ronnie Harrison's wife, Thelma, as plain looking and quiet. She is plain looking. She is relatively quiet. However, it is clear from the beginning here that she is hitting on Rabbit with these cute little double entendres. Every appearance by her. I simply did not notice these before. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (10 of 132), Read 35 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:23 AM I am very fond of Harry. Believe it or not, he's endeared himself to me. Part of the reason is because, despite what seems at first glance to be a real disregard for women, this isn't the case at all. Just the opposite. This man is just crazy, over the top crazy, about women. Be she big, little, fat, thin, short, tall..he loves whatever she is. He accepts women for what they are. And Updike allows us to accept Rabbit for what he is. Another, he's honest. He doesn't even consider being anything but, except in a few instances. And he flubs those, terribly. I cannot tell you how much I love these books. I take Harry Angstrom to bed with me every night. And I really hope y'all will continue into Rabbit At Rest with me. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (11 of 132), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:39 AM Very apt observation, Beej. He is brutally blunt in his assessment of various women, but he does love ‘em. I also have to say that I myself love the way the action of this particular novel is set up. Rabbit is now middle aged, and doubts about his sexual prowess have set it. The old fires are not burning like they used to. Then Janice gets drunk--as usual--and after bouncing off the door jambs initiates sex. The scene ends this way: The climax freezes his scalp and stops his heart, all stealthy; he hasn’t come with such a thump in months. So who says he’s running out of gas? But what is the context of this thought? He has just had sex with his wife after she has fallen asleep! I find the irony of that absolutely hilarious. I laugh every time I read that. Of course the irony of it is completely lost on old Rabbit. Part of what makes this so funny is that he makes use of a metaphor that alludes to the gas crunch, which has made him rich via his Toyota dealership. In any event at the beginning of this book, Rabbit with all his doubts and confusion on this subject is teed up just like one of his own golf balls—ready to get slammed. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (12 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:46 AM I got such a kick out of Harry beginning to call his mother-in-law 'Bessie' instead of 'Ma Springer' after he accidently walks in on her while in the bathroom, as if he now shares an intimacy with her. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (13 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:50 AM Gawd, that's funny, too! There is a certain perverse logic to that. Those circumstances did make them more intimate. Hahahahahahahaha! Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (14 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:59 AM That scene you mention is soooo funny. She is asleep but "He is not displeased to be thus stranded, another consciousness in bed is a responsibility, a snag in his flow of thoughts."..and what is he thinking about while he begins to have sex with this sleeping woman????? An article he's read about electric can openers! And what really tops it off, Janice is SNORING!!!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (15 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:01 AM Yeah. Consumer Reports. What is the old rock song with the lyric, "Ya gotta get it while you can!"? Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (16 of 132), Read 48 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:11 AM He sure did like that issue of Consumer Reports! He carried it everywhere with him. It had a picture of a model on the cover who had white cleansing cream on her face. It reminds Harry of something else, so he likes it....a lot! To the point where, feeling he owes Janice because she was asleep, he is about to go upstairs, but he becomes attracted instead to the "exotic white face of the woman on the cover of the July Consumer Reports". He is just SOOOOOOOOO basic!! This guy has a little imaginary leash, and he just goes wherever it takes him! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (17 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:47 AM Dale, you sure are being mighty quiet! I hope you're not abandoning ship now! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (18 of 132), Read 42 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:01 AM Beej, have you made the acquaintance of the voluptuous Cindy Murkett yet? I have been blithe about spoilers to this point, but I will be careful here. The whole Cindy thing is just too delicious. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (19 of 132), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:11 AM Cindy and I met once at the Country Club pool..Shes the one who describes that polaroid SX-70: "The kind," Cindy says, that spits at you like this." She makes a cross-eyed face and thrusts our her tongue with a thrrupping noise. All the men laugh, and laugh. (obviously, the women did not see the humor in this! I love how Updike gets his meaning across..the men don't merely laugh..they laugh and laugh) But I have not met up with her again yet. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (20 of 132), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:36 AM And did you notice this at the country club? . . .Janice giggles. Some day what would give him great pleasure would be to take a large round rock and crush her skull in with it. I'm tellin' ya! I feel the same way sometimes. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (21 of 132), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:46 AM Steve: Great quote! Yes, a big rock would do it nicely for Janice. Beej: I haven't abandoned these threads; it's way too much fun. Just got waylaid by work deadlines, temporarily. I'll be back. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (22 of 132), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:46 AM Oh yes, that's when she has stolen his thunder over the goose and the golfer story. You know, he really doesn't like her. As for Cindy..get this!!!!This is such typical 'Rabbit' thinking.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EXTREME TACKINESS ALERT #2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'Cindy's towel hangs on her empty chair. To be Cindy's towel and to be sat upon by her;The thought dries Harry's mouth.' Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (23 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:48 AM Dale!!!!! I can't tell you how happy I am you are still with us in this!!!!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (24 of 132), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:14 PM One last thought here...I love the way Updike gets us to feel the character's moods/personality with the use of things like the repeated descriptions of eyebrows,,I noticed he uses eyebrows a lot in each of the Rabbit books I've read. Also, the way he has Janice's mom say her name...Chanice..cracks me up each time I read it! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (25 of 132), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:15 PM Also, Cindy's feet and toes have never been deformed by high heels. They all lie in a row like little candies. "Sucky toes," he takes to calling them. Actually, he does have this stable affection for Janice born of inertia, for lack of a better term. But he is slowly getting a bad case for Cindy. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (26 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:19 PM My, my!..that man sure does have a way with words...LOL! He never did like Ruth wearing those heels, come to think of it...he must have a thing for little sucky toes. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (27 of 132), Read 42 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:25 PM You know, I'm thinking about what you said concerning Rabbits' stable affection for Janice born of inertia..(but I still don't think he really likes her..he's just 'snug' with her)..this might be why he really didn't get too crazy over her affair with Stavros. There is a short sentence in one of these books that says something on the line of..'a wife's value goes up when she has had a lover'. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (28 of 132), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 01:42 PM I didn't say that he likes her. I agree. He doesn't. In fact many times he feels embattled by her, particularly in combination with Nelson. But he does have this stable, somewhat sentimental affection for her. This is a distinction that I am having trouble making. Maybe you are doing better with this "snug" idea. First of all, in Harry's world a man can't really like any woman: Nelson regarding Melanie: "I've told you before, Dad, she's not my girlfriend, she's my friend. Can't you have a friend of the opposite sex?" Harry in reply: "You can try it. . . ." I can hear Rabbit's tone of voice when he says this. On the other hand--and I think I can now safely undertake this since we've clearly lost everyone who's not into these books--Harry warmed my heart during the discussion with the Reverend about the religious instruction of Nelson and Pru in preparation for their marriage: Janice asks, a little prim, "How long would these sessions of instructions take?" It is like she is sitting, in that stright-backed dining-room chair, on an egg that might hatch too soon; Harry tells himself he should try to **** her tonight, just to keep her loose. Now that to me bespeaks a warm, affectionate, and generous regard for the woman. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (29 of 132), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:10 PM Of course. You're right. I guess you can love, and be repelled by, and like, and dislike, and care about the same person, and each emotion takes its turn. Maybe Rabbit and Janice are proof the genders can be just friends. Maybe that's the tie that binds them. Perhaps when push comes to shove, for lack of a better definition, they are but the closest of friends. I don't know. They fit each other like a pair of old, worn shoes. But I don't know if its enough for the man who used to be the basketball hero. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (30 of 132), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:17 PM Dale and Steve, Will you stay with me through Rabbit At Rest? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (31 of 132), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:28 PM I think I can speak for Dale in saying that we most certainly will, Beej. I am getting a little concerned about you though. The way things are going, Beej, I can see that you are not going to take Rabbit's death easily. Start preparing yourself. And try to remember. This is only make-believe. These people are not real. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (32 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:34 PM Oh, I'm so glad I will not continue alone in this. (I know Rabbit isn't real..if he was real, I wouldn't like him) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (33 of 132), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:39 PM NEVERTHELESS!!!!! You and Dale better keep your handkerchiefs handy for that fateful moment..I'm sure I'll blubber all over the place. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (34 of 132), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:41 PM Beej: No way, would I bail out before Rabbit is rested. Is this series a masterpiece, or what? For my money, the concluding volume contains what is at once Rabbit's finest and lowest hour...i.e., the fling with his daughter-in-law. The aftermath of this development compels what is possibly my favorite Rabbit scene of all. Steve knows what I'm talking about. Speaking of Steve, he's an invaluable guide here, and clearly a most engaging reading partner whatever the subject at hand, but don't let him pull your leg in his previous note. These people ARE real, and when Harry bites the dust, it's gonna hurt a lot. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (35 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:44 PM Dale, thanks for coming through, buddy..and I want you to know, I sit here feeling very sad now, knowing my little Rabbit is going to go to the Great Carrot Patch in the sky. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (36 of 132), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:52 PM You're very welcome, Beej. Y'know, I was SO desperate for this series not to end that I read the concluding page of RABBIT AT REST at least 10-12 times and convinced myself that through imagery, verb tense, voice, whatever, Updike was technically leaving the way open for a sequel. Very long shot, but still. The fact that he didn't (well, at least not yet) enhances his integrity for me, and I look forward to reading the later episodes in the remaining characters' lives that, I have a feeling, won't end with the recent magazine piece. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (37 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 02:58 PM Pant, pant, pant, I'm trying to catch up, folks. Have reached the halfway point of Redux. Hang on. Ruth “Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (38 of 132), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 03:01 PM And speaking of Rabbit's regard (?) for women, I just finished the scene in Redux where he and Charlie Stavros are playing verbal poker, moving Janice and Jill around as if they were chips. Rabbit only likes women because they're women, not because they're individuals. It's guys like this that brought the women's movement on themselves. Sheesh. Ruth “Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (39 of 132), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 03:07 PM but he does like the women individually!..well, sort of... Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (40 of 132), Read 43 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 03:15 PM Ruth writes: Rabbit only likes women because they're women, not because they're individuals. It's guys like this that brought the women's movement on themselves. Sheesh. I agree wholeheartedly, Ruth. But because of my genetically predetermined role of Certified Devil's Advocate, I have to start some sh**, just on principle, i.e.: Haven't we all known women who "like" (or at least, interact closely with) men because they're men, with no regard for the man's individuality? This type of woman can very intensely charm and manipulate the opposite sex through a disturbing degree of emotional insulation, either (a) to prove that they can, or (b) to gain some advantage in the social/cultural/economic sphere. Is this tendency in females more a matter of individual temperament and choice than of biology? And has feminism either dissuaded this type of female behavior, or made such females more pariah-like than they were beforehand? My instinct says no to the latter, but I'm open to other views. Not only is Updike a hell of a writer, but he sure can push all of our deepest buttons as human beings, can't he? >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (41 of 132), Read 43 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 03:20 PM Sure, there are women like that, Dale. But I will emphatically disagree with you on your latter point. I think the women's movement definitely has diminished the number of women like that. When men started to realize that women were not possessions. And when women started to realize that success in life could be achieved by their own merits, rather than by the man they could enveigle into wanting them as a possession, the world changed. Ruth “Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (42 of 132), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 04:40 PM So now I'm keeping my eyes open, among other things watching for passages that shed light on Rabbit's feelings about Janice. Here is a dandy. The setting is the little family conference that Ma Springer calls to determine what to do with Nelson after his wedding. Janice sits on the sofa with a post-dinner nip of some white creamy poison fermented from coconut milk the kids have brought into the house, looking girlish beside her mother, with her legs tucked up under her. Nice taut legs. She's kept those and he has to take his hat off to her, tiddly half the time or not. What more can you ask of a wife in a way than that she stick around and see with you what happens next? And I ask, "What more indeed?" Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (43 of 132), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 04:46 PM Certainly nothing that wouldn't risk getting us kicked off this server. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (44 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 06:47 PM (pssst!..Dick!..a hint.. ****************..just use asterisks! Now, go ahead...make my day..) ok,ok.. I'm just joking... Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (45 of 132), Read 41 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 07:05 PM Dale, I knew Rabbit dies..but I'm so desperate for more, I'm hoping for a future series on Nellie! Now, that's DESPERATE! Has anyone read the Bech series and how does it compare to this? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (46 of 132), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:36 PM Oh, Dick, nobody's looking here anymore. I was thinking, Dale, about other aspects of this novel and things that I know from personal experience that Updike has spot on. One of them is the country club scene. Believe it or not, back when I was worth a damn and wore a suit and tie to work every day, I did this country club thing for some years. The wife with the other wives and the kids at the pool in the afternoon. The golf. Updike has the whole catastrophe down perfectly. He captures the apparently easy but superficial camaraderie with this undercurrent of competitiveness. The boozy conversations. The men and women looking each other over surreptitiously. He has the whole thing down to a tee. (No pun intended.) One has to wonder whether Updike is or has been a member of a country club. I know he is a golf nut. However, it seems to me impossible that he could write novels with this kind of insight and be a part of that scene at the same time. The one Bech book I read was very funny and very entertaining, Beej, but in an entirely different way for me because Bech's world is so far removed from mine. Whereas, to some extent I have lived some of the things in these books. You finish these, and if you're still game, we'll figure out what to read next. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (47 of 132), Read 30 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 09:40 PM Steve, YOU. In a suit. Nah. :) (Been there, done that myself. Good thing we saw the light, huh?) Book sales the next couple weeks and I'm going to look for these books. I've been enjoying your banter about them. Bo
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (48 of 132), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:00 PM i am so sorry..we still belong to the country club..in fact we live by the golf course..right on the 8th hole.. i am so ashamed. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (49 of 132), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:29 PM There I go, putting my foot in my mouth. I really did not mean to alienate the country club crowd here. I really do believe in different strokes for different folks. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (50 of 132), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:34 PM hahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (51 of 132), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:36 PM MY NAME IS BEEJ..AND I AM A CLUBAHOLIC Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (52 of 132), Read 39 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:48 PM Beej, this is in danger of turning into another one of those giggle fests like we had over D.H. Lawrence's buffet table ice sculpture. And I'm not going to let it happen, even though I am giggling. Stop this right now! Get a grip! This is a serious goddamned literary discussion. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (53 of 132), Read 42 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:50 PM I will! I will get a grip! ITS A DIRTY JOB BUT SOMEBODY HAS TO DO IT! hahahahahahahaahaahahahaaa~~~~ Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (54 of 132), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@neteze.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:57 PM HMMPH ! Some of us belong to the CRCC. pres
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (55 of 132), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:03 PM Beej! Stop it! You are above grip jokes even though a country club member. You are a better person than that. Fight it. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (56 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:05 PM I can do this! With the help of friends, I can! okay...whew...that was one hell of a back slide.. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (57 of 132), Read 36 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:34 PM Actually, Steve..you're right about some of the club members..I've heard of some pretty rowdy things going on there..And Updike has it dead on. I go to the pool with my kids and I am not a golfer, so I've stayed out of that business..but it's still goes on. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (58 of 132), Read 43 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:45 PM The suggestion that wearing a coat and tie condemns one to the depths of middle-class purgatory is, of course, a gross generalization. Herewith, a photo of yours truly, in a coat and tie, in the company of Myrna and Chanel -- who, if you couldn't tell, are not from Kansas anymore, if indeed they ever were. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (59 of 132), Read 45 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:51 PM Why, I'm surprised you don't have twenty women around you..you look pretty debonair and you are much much! more attractive than Chanel or Myrna (who {sort of} DOES look like the good witch from Oz if you squint your eyes just a teeny bit!) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (60 of 132), Read 46 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:03 AM Funny you should mention the Good Witch. Here's a shot of me with Glenda, including my red satin slippers: Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (61 of 132), Read 45 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 07:22 AM Hahahahaaa!!!!!!! You're a nut! You must keep your wife WILDLY entertained! I am so completely and hopelessly enamored with Updike. Somebody asked me the other day if Updike has replaced Garcia Marquez as my favorite author..Boy, was that a tough question. And then there's Styron. These three authors sure cover the gamut of literary styles, don't they? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (62 of 132), Read 40 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:21 AM Beej: I've skirted that dilemma of choice for years by saying that Updike is my favorite American writer and Garcia-Marquez my favorite international one. But gosh, then there's William Styron and Cormac McCarthy and Russell Banks and Guiseppe deLampedusa and Lord knows how many more out there I have yet to discover. An embarrassment of riches, for sure. But that's a good thing. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (63 of 132), Read 45 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:28 AM Well, I sure feel like a kid in a candy shop with this series! (why did i immediately think of sucky toes? I think I may never have hard candy again without thinking of sucky toes. Funny how a book can permeate our lives in these little ways.) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (64 of 132), Read 50 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:37 AM I just read '(Nelson).. hates to have him (Harry) reminisce about his sporting days.' What is it with this kid? Melanie says Harry grew up in a safe pocket of the world, like one of those places you see in a stream where the twigs float backward and accumulate along the mud. Perhaps this is where Harry is with Janice; accumulating like all the other twigs along the mud. Its a natural flow into a safe harbor, but twigs stagnate and rot away there, too. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (65 of 132), Read 47 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:44 AM I just realized, this is exactly, EXACTLY the opposite of Skeeter..Skeeter was the flip side of the coin from Harry. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (66 of 132), Read 57 times, 1 File Attachment Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:50 AM Dick, of course and as usual, you are right, and I am wrong. You outclass me with the tuxedo. However, my motto is to make do with what you got. I do have a tie on here, but you will just have to take my word for it. Beej, for your information this photo was taken with a Polaroid SX-70. Steve SABLE.JPG (40KB) Sable
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (67 of 132), Read 57 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:53 AM Haahahahahhaa!!!! Well, then Glenda must have been the one to push the shutter with her toes..Dick was too busy displaying those ruby reds. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (68 of 132), Read 57 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:55 AM IHahahahaaa!!!! just saw that photo! I didn't wait for it to pop up! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (69 of 132), Read 57 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:56 AM You look so proud you could burst! Well, she looks like she could, too, actually! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (70 of 132), Read 53 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:12 AM Sable sure as hell would be a HUGE success as an buffet ice sculpture, wouldn't she?! You'd actually NEED a buffet table to hold her! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAA (I'm dying here!) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (71 of 132), Read 54 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:17 AM You're easily amused, Beej. Actually, it's all in a day's work. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (72 of 132), Read 56 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:20 AM oh I am, that's true..but who got paid, here...you or Sable? She does, after all, have some money hanging out of her garter!! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (73 of 132), Read 51 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:32 AM I'm glad we're finally getting all the nuances of Updike's neck-wear issues on the table. By the way: I've heard of 'arm candy' before but upon reflection, 'lap candy' is infinitely better. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (74 of 132), Read 53 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:35 AM There was certainly a neckwear issue here. The end of my tie was caught. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (76 of 132), Read 62 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 10:13 AM Dick, you are dangerous on the internet. You're amazing, but that's why you're so dangerous. There's no business like show business. (No pun intended.) And we get all the big international acts hereabouts. Beej, you mentioned your burgeoning dislike of Nelson Angstrom. You ain't seen nothing yet. I cannot think of any fictional character, bar none, whom I detest more. Not Uriah Heep. Not Captain Queeg. Not Iago. I actively hate this kid. For real. It's not make believe. I could be wrong, but I think that you are going to find that your reaction to him is the same. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (77 of 132), Read 46 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:03 AM Pres, I certainly did not ignore you amusing observation. It's just that I was a bit dazed and confused at first. (In the immortal words of Hunter Thompson.) You see, the Cedar Rapids Country Club is the high end establishment around here, and it is usually referred to as simply "C.R.C.C." They have those initials embroidered on their little Polo shirts and their little jackets. I was a member of Elmcrest Country Club, and we suffered from an inferiority complex.** Therefore, it took me some time to noodle out your allusion. **It also features one of the more ill-designed web sites that I have run across lately: http://www.elmcrestcountryclub.com/ Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (78 of 132), Read 46 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:22 AM LOL! Geezum! I leave here for a little while to go do some really wholesome stuff, and what do I come back to? An illustrious photo of Miss 'Amour-Galore-and-Then-Some-More!' Harry would love this thread, wouldn't he? Right now, Nelson is a bit obnoxious but nothing I can't handle. I imagine I can't be too far from seeing this detestable side, though. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (79 of 132), Read 50 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:34 AM Well, Steve,,I glanced through your club's website..just for comparison purposes, here's mine..not a big difference, really. Brandermill Country Club http://www.mygolf.com/golf/courses/15603 (BTW..That 'this is a private club' business irks the hell out of me..notice how they highlight private in red? I really don't like that at all.) At least yours tells more than just about golf..I don't even play golf. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (80 of 132), Read 43 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@neteze.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 11:58 AM STEVE & BEEJ : Maybe you can't take the country out of the club but you could take the club out of the country ? pres
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (81 of 132), Read 41 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beatrice Soila (bandreino@yahoo.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:28 PM Just piping in to say that this is probably the most amusing thread I have lurked on in my 2+ years on CR. As you were, Bea
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (82 of 132), Read 49 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:39 PM You, too, are easily amused, Bea. It's not my club anymore, Beej. I was allowed to resign my membership quietly and get my deposit back immediately instead of having to wait a year. It all had a lot to do with Pres's last observation here. If Nelson puts one more dent in one more car, I'm going to go really crazy. Nellie! I want to deck him. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (83 of 132), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 01:17 PM I guess I really am becoming very, very fond of Rabbit. He has met Pru, and he is touched by her. He wishes he was the one giving her a baby. I should feel absolutely repulsed by this but I'm not. I'm touched. Nelson does have a way of destroying autos. This kid is a bit too full of himself. Bea, It is a fun thread, isn't it? I am having such a good time with this! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (84 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 01:27 PM Speaking of fun threads, we have been discussing these books for only seven days and this is the 265th post on Rabbit. I added them up. Lots and lots of really great posts, too! And we still have two more books to go! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (85 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:17 PM It's been long enough that the ending sections of this book were like new to me. Gosh, they're great! So much packed in there. Ruth cried, and I cried. . . .but Rabbit is distracted from the exact sense of what she is saying by remembering, when he bent his face close to old Ruth's in the light of the door, a glitter there, on the tired skin beneath her eyes, and by the idiotic thought, which it seems he should bottle and sell, that our tears are always young, the saltwater stays the same from cradle, as she said, to grave. Damn! Is that beautiful, or am I just a sentimental schmuck? I don't think women should have to get old. That's okay for men. We deserve it. But women should be able to stay young. This is a temporary conviction. I'll get over it. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (86 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:24 PM That is truly beautiful. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (87 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:29 PM Steve, Are you done? I should be done by tomorrow and I have Rabbit at Rest here beside me. I dread this one, too. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (88 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:37 PM Yeah, I'm done. In fact I am so well done you could stick a fork in me. I just finished and am temporarily overcome. Hell, all I've done the past two days is read the book and yack with you about it. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (89 of 132), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:39 PM And I appreciate it, too. Thanks, my friend. I hope you aren't too burned out to continue. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (90 of 132), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 02:55 PM Give me thirty minutes to catch my breath, kid, and we'll try it again. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (91 of 132), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 03:04 PM Promises, promises.... Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (92 of 132), Read 16 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:16 PM I know I'm repeating myself here, but what beautiful, beautiful, beautiful writing. Rabbit's visit to Ruth is one of the strongest scenes I can recall, anywhere, and just when he's back home and you think the pressure is off, there's his observation about the salt tears being young that Steve quotes, and my gosh, Updike just rips my heart out. Then the chapter that says so perfectly what it feels like, moving to a new place, and then closing with the description of Rabbit holding Nelson's and Pru's baby as the Super Bowl plays... Hell of a book. Hell of a writer. I've got to get several deep breaths before bringing on RABBIT AT REST. But I'm glad we started this momentous reading project. After reading THE LEOPARD, I'd been floundering for something that packed this kind of punch, and Updike does the trick in a glorious way. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (93 of 132), Read 19 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:22 PM Dale, I am a relative newcomer to Updike, and I am in seventh heaven with this project. I am sooo glad I saw that copy of 'Rabbit, Run' for two dollars. Best two dollars I think I've ever spent. That passage Steve quoted honestly brought tears to my eyes. It doesn't get anymore exquisite than that. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (94 of 132), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 07:18 AM Well! This is certainly getting good! Harry and Janice are at a party, and Janice has had a wee bit too much to drink. Harry is talking about Ollie Fosnacht and how he treats his walleyed wife Peggy 'like dirt'. Janice says: "Harry screwed her years ago, that's why he minds Ollie." Ronnie laughs to attract attention and slaps Harry's knee. "You screwed that big pig, funny eyes and all?" Rabbit pictures that heavy glass egg with the interior teardrop of air back in Ma Springer's livingroom. its smooth heft in his hand, and imagines himself making the pivot from pounding it into Janice's stubborn dumb face to finishing it up with a one-handed stuff straight down into Harrison's pink brainpan. "It seemed a good idea at the time," he has to admit. Harry and Janice,,,the ideal American couple. And, as Ronnie so eloquently put it, "Got pless Ameri-ca." Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (95 of 132), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 07:29 AM Ronnie is a complete jerk. I agree with Harry and thought it was a good idea at the time, too--walleyes and all. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (96 of 132), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 07:30 AM It's back to Thelma for me because I want to make clear how I feel about her. I am not some male jackanapes leering at her. Thelma is a stricken woman. Lupus. She has rashes and is extremely susceptible to sunburn. In fact we know she is doomed to die soon the first time we meet her here. She has a school teacherly look and pronounces her words in a precise way. As I said earlier, if we are alert we notice that she gently hits on Rabbit now and again. That lummox does not notice at all, particularly not on the Caribbean trip because he is so juiced up for the youthful Cindy Murkett. Then the old goof damned near drowns sailing that Sunfish with Cindy, and she has to save him. An old goof myself, I can't tell you how humiliated I was by this. (I had mentally begged the dumb bastard not to go out on that Sunfish. I knew no good would come of it.) Still he persists in his lust for Cindy. What does all that have to do with Thelma? I'll get there eventually. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (97 of 132), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 07:47 AM I hate Janice's holier-than-thou attitude toward Rabbit and Peggy's one time encounter. She seems to forget that she and Harry were separated then, because she had moved in with her boyfriend. She seems to think of her affair with an "oh well, it happened long ago.." attitude, yet is so unrelenting in trying to act the wronged woman with this single event between Peggy and Harry...which also happened 'long ago.' Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (98 of 132), Read 14 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:04 AM Puff, puff. How many messges are left in this thread? David
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (99 of 132), Read 16 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:15 AM Hahahhaaa!! I'm only about 2/3rds through the book, David, so its probably a good idea to swing it over! (wish I knew how you do that..) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (100 of 132), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: David Moody (davidmoody@prodigy.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:19 AM Simple enough, Beej: reply to the very first message in the thread. (I do it when the thread gets up near 100 messages with no signs of dying out.) David
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (101 of 132), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:23 AM Oh! Thanks! I never would have figured that out. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (102 of 132), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:34 AM "Consumer Reports had a lot to say a while ago about the SX-70 land Camera but never did explain what the SX stood for. Now Harry knows. His eyes burn." ha HAA! Harry does like to snoop! I get such a kick out of this guy. Reading this book is like taking a mini-course on the male mind. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (103 of 132), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:47 AM It's no accident that your dissatisfaction in this scene is with Janice and my dissatisfaction is with Ronnie Harrison. Ronnie's remarks about Peggy are maliciously cruel, again in contrast to Rabbit's unintentional cruelty. I have always been pretty fond of Peggy. Granted she has now taken to lecturing on the women's movement and has become shrill. Nonetheless, the news of her mastectomy really hurt (God flicked off her breast with His fingernail), and that is when I figured out that I really liked her. And it's important that we detest Ronnie because Rabbit is going to cuckold him. So rather than take offense at Rabbit's conduct, I (at least) was pretty delighted with it all. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (104 of 132), Read 17 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:49 AM I just can't help but want to defend Harry against Janice. She's just after him about everything. As for Ronnie, I thought it was pretty crass of him to make fun of Peggy's eye while trying to bring attention to his ridiculing Harry. He is a jerk. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (105 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:49 AM So now back to Thelma. . . . . .are you ready for this, Beej, or do you wish to take some more time to bitch about Janice? Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (106 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:50 AM Whatever Ruth might have felt for Rabbit, she sure wasn't under any illusions, was she? Samples from her quotes during his visit to her: God, I'd forgotten what a pushy, obnoxious bastard you are. Stuck on yourself from cradle to grave. And, You're not proving anything to me except what a sad case I must have been ever to take you in. You are Mr. Bad News, honest to God. You're nothing but me, me and gimme, gimme... To Rabbit's credit, he doesn't question these. And I found this exchange particularly insightful: He sighs through his nose again. "O.K., Ruth, if that's how it is. I'll run, then. Really, no soap on the girl?" "Of course not. Think it through. Suppose she was yours. At this stage it'd just confuse her." He blinks. Is this an admission? He says, "I never was too good at thinking things through." Ruth smiles at the floor. The squarish dent above her cheekbone, seen this way from above, was one of the first things he noticed about her. Chunky and tough but kindly, somehow. Another human heart, telling him he was a big bunny, out by the parking meters in the neon light, the first time they met. Trains still ran through the center of Brewer then. "Men don't have to be," she says. I think it would have been safe to stick a fork in Rabbit's butt when he left Ruth's house. He certainly appeared done to me. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (107 of 132), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:51 AM Go ahead..I have lots of time to bitch about Janice.. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (108 of 132), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:52 AM Dale, there is just something about Ruth that inspires respect, isn't there? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (109 of 132), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:00 AM There should be a support group for folks addicted to these Rabbit books. I am spending my nights with Rabbit.. I am with him when I should be eating or sleeping. My home, tho tidy and picked up, is losing that shiny polished gleam because I am reading rather than waxing. Any errands that need to be run are held to the very last moment. This isn't a pleasant pastime any longer! This is an addiction! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (110 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:56 AM Oh, I couldn't agree more, Dale. Ruth just tears him to pieces. What an indictment! I cannot help but add something else Ruth said that rocked me back on my heels: Swell. That's just where you belong, with those phonies. You should have left that mutt of yours twenty years ago, but you didn't and now you can stew in it; stew in it but leave my Annie alone. It's creepy, Harry. When I think of you thinking she's your daughter it's like rubbing her all over with shit. THIS is a hard woman! But very, very strong, too. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (111 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 08:58 AM Steve: Wow, I'd forgotten the quote about her daughter. A hard, hard audience indeed. No rose-colored glasses for Ruth. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (112 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:03 AM That's it! Ruth is not a phoney. The others in Harry's life are trying too desperately to be something they aren't. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (113 of 132), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:03 AM Yeah, and Rabbit tries to be cruel in self-defense, referring to Ruth's youthful whoring, but he is just overwhelmed by her. Beej, that's why she overwhelms him. Because she is so right. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (114 of 132), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:07 AM So he tries to become less overwhelmed by discrediting her and making her less right. And all that he accomplishes is to make her more real and more human. And more right. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (115 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:08 AM Beej, it is addictive because it is the greatest American soap opera ever created. I myself am a little chagrined that you got me back into this. I haven't waxed my floors either. As for your last. . . . . .exactly! Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (116 of 132), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:11 AM Oh, hell with the floors. I have more important things to do than mop. I've spent my entire adult life mopping floors. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (117 of 132), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:14 AM Does Consumer Reports have anything to say about the best product for waxing your floors? Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (118 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:15 AM Are you asking me???? I don't know. I never read it. I just go buy what I want. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (119 of 132), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:17 AM So in a way, these Rabbit books are good for me because now I really do know which is a better can opener! Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (120 of 132), Read 35 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:18 AM It was a Rabbit joke! Sheez, Spot! So now, back to Thelma. . . . . Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (121 of 132), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:12 AM Nelson: Mom used to work at the salted nut and candy section but they don't have one anymore, probably figured out after thirty years and six people died of worms it wasn't sanitary. LOL! Oh, that's funny! How does Updike even think of these things!? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (122 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:23 AM I must resist the temptation simply to list the various ways that I would like to murder young Nelson Angstrom. So I am trying to concentrate on the positive. . . . .Thelma Harrison. Some observations on that scandalous Caribbean deal: 1. It is the women who arrange the swap. It would always and only be so. 2. Janice, being a woman and therefore more perceptive, knows that Thelma is flat-assed in love with Rabbit and has been so for years. Rabbit for the most part has been completely oblivious. So Janice cooperates by setting up Rabbit with Thelma, allowing Thelma her shot. 3. Thelma, for her part, has adored Rabbit for years. I take her at her word on this. She truly loves the guy, warts and all. She completely appreciates Rabbit's craving for Cindy Murkett, and because she adores Rabbit, she is perfectly willing that he have Cindy BUT she's going to have him first--one time before she dies. 4. We find out second hand that the youthful cheerleader, Playboy bunny-type Cindy is actually a zero in bed. Cindy only LOOKS sexy. 5. We find out first hand that the middle-aged, plain looking Thelma--the one men would look by in a group--is some kind of sexual dynamo. She is so much so that I see her as sexual redemption for old Harry at this point in his life. 6. But here's the touch that really got me. After all those years of desire for Harry, after all that subtle flirting and waiting for her chance. . . . . . .it's Thelma's time of the month. I don't think that there is any other American novelist, male or female, to whom it would have occurred to add that twist. It is a touch of genius and an example of why I personally find this damned stuff so marvelously, amazingly real. I love Thelma Harrison. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (123 of 132), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:29 AM So all this romping around in the hay, and here's this dying woman bringing real love into it.. I guess you guys would have to fall in love back. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (124 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:44 AM Yeah. To your first comment about bringing love into it, anyway. As far as giving love back? Not ole Rabbit. We can depend on him. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (125 of 132), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:46 AM Amen, Ruth. "I never have been too good at thinking things through" has got to win some kind of award for understatement, doesn't it? Steve: Excellent Thelma points, all. Let me ask this as regards your point #2...if Janice on the cruise was indeed giving the smitten Thelma her fair shot at Rabbit's affections, does that automatically imply that Janice felt pretty darned smug about how firmly she had Rabbit in her hooks, or was her motivation more complicated than that? I'm reminded of this because of the flip side, which appears late in RABBIT IS RICH: Janice turned away to hide her tears. Everywhere he looked, women were crying. "...the intrusion. To know that it was Thelma that sent the other thing way back when, to think of her watching us all the time, waiting to pounce... They're evil people, Harry. I don't want to see any of them anymore." "Oh, come on." He had to hug her, there in the hollow hall. He likes it now when she gets all flustered and frowny, her breath hot and somehow narrow with grief; she seems most his then, the keystone of his wealth. Once when she got like this, her fear contaminated him and he ran; but in these middle years it is so clear to him that he will never run that he can laugh at her, his stubborn prize. "They're just like us. That was a holiday. In real life they're very square." "His stubborn prize." Another fine understatement, I think. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (126 of 132), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:51 AM Dale, this business of Janice's motivations is tricky. It's the weak point in Updike's construct, I think. In his defense though, I buy it by rationalizing it. I think Janice was acting out of some warped sisterhood in the wild and wooly circumstances down there in the Caribbean. (It is interesting that Updike had them take this trip to do that. He didn't want it happening back home.) Now that's not to say that Janice doesn't regret it later, back home when she makes the statement you quote. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (127 of 132), Read 15 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:13 AM And the more I think about it, the more it is clear you are right, Dale. Janice was absolutely secure in the knowledge that she wouldn't lose Rabbit--which is not inconsistent with my rationalization of the whole thing. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (128 of 132), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:27 AM Good deal, guys. Yes, the novella for sure, Beej. Could somebody tell me again where it's located? A New Yorker back issue? Also, I accidentally ran across the Updike story "Separating" in an old anthology last night, and was again blown away. I nominate it to close out the RABBIT quartet, too, because it's (a) fairly short, and (b) a wonderfully realized story of a marriage split w/kids, and with a protagonist that's strikingly non-Rabbit (anti-Rabbit?); it would be a great chance for compare/contrast, I think. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (129 of 132), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:28 AM "I never was too good at thinking things through." That's our Rabbit. Contrary to you, Beej, I am not fond of the guy. He makes me cringe. Just started Rich. Sheesh,I have GOT to catch up with you people, and now I gotta run out an buy a new vacuum cleaner. Checked it out on Consumer Reports, so it shouldn't take me long. I'll be back. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (130 of 132), Read 24 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:52 AM He doesn't make me cringe because deep inside I know men are just that way and always have been and always will be no matter how they might try to hide it. We are, for the most part, dealing with a lot of Rabbit's thoughts and I bet most men, if they were honest, would say that they have similar thoughts. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (131 of 132), Read 16 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:05 AM I think you're right on the money, Beej. Part of the attraction of Rabbit, to me, is that he's a sort of worst-case scenario of what men can become, through a combination of biology and cultural conditioning, the latter of which has to be lived to be believed, for both genders I'm sure. Harry can either fight it, or accept himself as he is, and for the most part he takes the path of least resistance. I agree many if not most men think in a Rabbit-like way more often than they're comfortable admitting. The fact that we learn (sometimes, at least) how not to ACT on those thoughts, toward the higher goal of being enlightened or compassionate or whatever, should be worth a few brownie points for the gender, I think. But, I've been on the lookout for brownie-point dispensers for pretty much half a century now, and have seen nary a one yet.{G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (132 of 132), Read 14 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:17 AM Oh, Dale, I'm mixing up a batch of brownies for you right this afternoon! I'm glad I wasn't too far off base with this. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (133 of 156), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 04:39 PM While there's a hiatus in the action here, I need to tell you, Dick, something I should have said right away. Those pics of yours are a trip! They knocked me out of my chair the morning I first saw them, and I continue to scroll up to gape at them. They are just too rich! I should never have tried to play in that league with my own tawdry stuff. I surely do hope there are more and that we get to see them soon. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (134 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 06:05 PM Well, boys will be Rabbits. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (135 of 203), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 06:29 PM Dale, I meant to tell you..Updike's "Separating" is also in The Art Of The Tale! It would be a perfect comparative read to Rabbit. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (136 of 203), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:09 PM Okay, Dale and Steve! You guys hold this little Nelson down and let me at him! What an obnoxious little jerk. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (137 of 203), Read 43 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 09:45 PM I find that Updike likes to carry the reader along on a serious wave and then come out with something that is soooo goofy, it catches you by surprise. .This is after Harry has a most interesting intimacy with Thelma: '"Thelma," he admits, "I can't believe you're so fond of me. What have I done to deserve this?" 'Just existed. Just shed your light. Haven't you noticed, at parties or at the club, how I'm always at your side?" "Well, not really. There aren't that many sides..." Can't you just picture Rodney Dangerfield saying this? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (138 of 203), Read 37 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:36 PM I just finished the book. Y'all didn't warn me I'd cry. And you both know I'm a mush. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (139 of 203), Read 41 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:07 AM I'm about halfway. I like this one much better than Redux. So far I'm not detesting Nelson yet. Poor bugger. Rabbit's so downright nasty to him, especially about the convertibles. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (140 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 07:22 AM This HAS to be the mother in you speaking, Ruthie. The convertibles were a typically dumb, boy's idea. There are subtle, little funny things sprinkled throughout this book. Harry and Janice are debating Nelson's future with Harry desperately trying to keep him out of car sales. Harry suggests that he go into the service department instead: "Happiest days of my life," he lies, "were spent working with my hands." I've told that lie myself. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (141 of 203), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 08:23 AM Nelson does say some perceptive things: Harry: "Really, that's how you see it? In my day kids wanted to get out in the world. We were scared but not so scared we kept running back to Mama. And Grandmama. What're you going to do when you run out of women to tell you what to do?" Nelson: "Same thing you'll do. Drop dead." Still, I pretty much agree with Harry's general observation: Khomeini and Carter [Sharon and Arafat] both trapped by a pack of kids who need a shave and don't know shit, they talk about old men sending young men off to war, if you could get the idiotic kids out of the world it might settle down to being a sensible place. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (142 of 203), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 08:34 AM Oh, darn it! I'm sorry, but here's another related one that I liked: "Great," Harry says, enjoying being perverse, letting the women do the constructive thinking. "Maybe his father-in-law can get him a job out in Akron." Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (143 of 203), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:24 AM Steve: My therapist has a favorite expression that I've appropriated..."Even a broken clock is right twice a day," and that sure applies to Nelson in this circumstance. "Same thing you'll do...drop dead," is the kind of retort one waits a lifetime to deliver to an adversary and rarely gets to. Mucho (grudging) points for Nelson, there. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (144 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:34 AM I'm a bit confused. Is Annabelle his daughter? I feel so sad about Ruth's state at the end of the book. That entire meeting was just so completely melancholy. And what an ending! As soon as I read those once before thought words You can feel in the curve of the cranium she's feminine, I knew I better go get the box of kleenex. Not Nelson's. Not Janice's. Not even Pru's. His. It still makes me want to cry. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (145 of 203), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:45 AM And now, on to Rabbit at Rest... (Should I start a new thread or wait awhile?) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (146 of 203), Read 30 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:49 AM Be patient, Beej. You're not supposed to have the answer to that question at this point. Nor will you have the answer from Rabbit at Rest. It will finally be cleared up in the little novella. Dale, that sequel is to be found in a recent Updike collection called Licks of Love. It's titled "Nelson and Annabelle," and the version that appeared in The New Yorker was much abridged. Don't even bother looking for that. The sequel will be an interesting read because even though I have argued to the contrary quite often, deep in my heart I know that Updike has lost it in recent years. I pains me to say that. I will be interested in the opinions of others on this score. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (147 of 203), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:51 AM Beej, my suggestion would be to go ahead and start reading but hold off on a new thread for a little bit to give Ruthie a chance to catch up on this one. I suspect that Ruthie will have lots to say here yet, and I'm looking forward to that. I knew you were an old softie. However, I thought I was healthily cynical about women getting their own house for the first time and grandchildren and all that stuff. That ending affected me deeply though. I liked the remark about Ma Springer touring the new house to find the room that she will have to move into. I myself have picked out my room in the basement of my eldest daughter's house. It's wheelchair friendly, and it will be handy for her to step down occasionally, change me, spoon gruel in my mouth, and swab off my chin. She's promised she will. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (148 of 203), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:56 AM Okay! She won't be long..last I heard she whipped through the first half of the book in one day..(but she might want to stop and reread a few passages in the second part..I know I sure did!) I have already begun Rabbit At Rest.. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (149 of 203), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:59 AM Beej & All: Speaking of Nelson... If you look in some dictionaries under "obnoxious" and/or "twerp," you'll find Nelson's picture. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (150 of 203), Read 32 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:10 AM Dale, Do you have any idea how gullible I am? Remember? I was the one who posted in here that a duck's quack doesn't echo. I was almost out of my chair to get the dictionary so I could see what Nelson looks like.. You must be gentle with me. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (151 of 203), Read 35 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:19 AM Here's something interesting. Nelson's trivia contest. "How many of these people can you identify?" 1. Renée Richards 2. Stephen Weed 3. Megan Marshack 4. Marjoe Gortner 5. Greta Rideout 6. Spider Sabich 7. D.B. Cooper Just give me the number you knew. Don't identify them yet. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (152 of 203), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:20 AM Steve you just want to be in the cellar with the wine bottles. I know you... Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (153 of 203), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:36 AM I must have read too much Time magazine but I think I know all 7 of 'em. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (154 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:39 AM Wow, Dick! I'm impressed! I had no idea who Megan Marshack is nor Greta Rideout. Helluva job! I only had five. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (155 of 203), Read 35 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:42 AM Steve, you have read too much Consumer Reports. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (156 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 10:59 AM Steve: You and Dick are both ahead of me. I only got four. Beej: I don't think my Nelson/dictionary joke was really a fair test of gullibility. With this kid, it seems donwright credible.{G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (157 of 203), Read 56 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 11:08 AM Five. Steve, sure Nelson's a whiny little twerp (I'd shoot myself if I had to bear his child.) But I cannot forgive Rabbit for his gratuitous cruelty. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (158 of 203), Read 55 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 11:16 AM Yes, Beej, this book's fairly flying along compared to Redux. I slogged thru the last half of that one. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (159 of 203), Read 51 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:52 PM Nope, turns out I'm wrong. I had Rideout pegged for serious marital difficulties, but I thought she whacked her husband with a knife or maybe a bucket of gasoline or something. I'd forgotten the marital rape deal. So I'm only 6 for 7. But how could you forget Megan Marshack -- the only person I can recall off-hand to have legally killed a former Vice-President of the United States using nothing but her bare genitals? You wanna talk 'women's self-defense' techniques. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (160 of 203), Read 61 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:58 PM I am so impressed that you knew the name of the woman with whom Nelson Rockefeller was having sex when he stroked out! You are something, Dick! Give me your score on these fourteen: 1. Helga R Hughes 2. Philip Bleiberg 3. Dita Beard 4. Rita Jenrette 5. J. D. Tippitt 6. Eric Stavro Galt 7. Christine McAuliffe 8. Commandante Cinque 9. Bobby Riggs 10. Lance Loud 11. Earl Butz 12. Patricia Krenwinkel 13. Samantha Smith 14. Michelle Triola Just your score at first now. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (161 of 203), Read 60 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 01:09 PM Wow..Lance Loud..who ever could forget Lance Loud.. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (162 of 203), Read 54 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 02:16 PM Obviously, I could forget. Only 8 out of 14. A couple (12 and 14) seem familiar. Otherwise, say what? And who the heck is Loud? Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (163 of 203), Read 61 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 02:19 PM There are a couple of trick ones in there. http://www.psc.edu/~burkardt/puzzles/popquiz_solution.html Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (164 of 203), Read 59 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 03:33 PM Seven. Eight if LL is from the infamous PBS Loud family. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (165 of 203), Read 58 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 05:15 PM I gotta lot of nerve calling myself an American male if I can't remember who Michelle Triola is. I think if you'd given me a visual, I would have done better. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (166 of 203), Read 56 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 05:33 PM Oops. Some of the ones I knew, were wrong. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (167 of 203), Read 61 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 05:36 PM Back to Rabbit. Poor old Nelson didn't have a chance. First he had to weather the Redux period, when Rabbit was too fouled up to help anybody. Then this: Janice asks him why is his heart so hard toward Nelson. Because Nelson has swallowed up the boy that was, and substituted one more pushy man in the world, hairy writs, big prick." Is that the trouble with the manboys? Anything old enough to have pubic hair is either fair game, or a threat to their existence? Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (168 of 203), Read 61 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 06:01 PM I didn't think one way or the other about Nelson until I got closer to the end, Ruth. Then I saw him for the obnoxious little snot he was. Answer me this, please. And its only out of curiosity that I ask. Who do you hold more accountable for baby Rebecca's death, Harry or Janice? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (169 of 203), Read 67 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 06:08 PM "hairy writs" Nelson is suffering from a condition common among barbers who go to law school. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (170 of 203), Read 79 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 06:28 PM I want to ask what is probably a very naive question of you attorneys, here. If a child dies as a result of a mother's lack of judgement while under the influence of alcohol, doesn't she stand the risk of charges being brought against her? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (171 of 203), Read 73 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 07:23 PM Beej,I don't remember the particulars of the baby's death, but I have a ghost of a feeling it was Janice's fault. Refresh me about what happened. Dick, I just now saw what I wrote. Should've known you'd get me on that one. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (172 of 203), Read 83 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 07:34 PM I just read through all the posts in Rabbit, Run. Oh, what fun that was! Ruth, if memory serves me right..Janice and Harry have just gotten back together. Harry wants to have sex with Janice..they haven't had any since the baby was born. She lies there like a dead duck and then tells him she's too tired. He leaves. She gets whopping drunk..even slaps Nelson for nothing, goes to give the baby a bath, and just lets her slip down and she's too drunk to react. And it really bothers me that Harry gets all the blame for this (just as he does from Nelson for Jill's death.) Janice doesn't seem to acknowledge, at least not yet, her responsibility for this little baby's death, and even as far into the series as i am, is still drinking. Everything seems to be Harry's fault. And I don't blame him for not wanting that little spoiled screw up in the Toyota dealership. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (173 of 203), Read 78 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 07:47 PM Maybe I'm too hard on Janice, but the woman doesn't work, she doesn't clean the house, she doesn't cook..and then she goes and gets fall-on-her-butt-drunk and drowns the baby..and the only time in their marriage she does work, she ends up having an affair with her co-worker. She does, however, improve somewhat as the series continues. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (174 of 203), Read 83 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 07:50 PM oh geesh..I should go open a bottle of wine and relax and pull myself together....and remember these people aren't real. That's Updike for you. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (175 of 203), Read 48 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:12 PM Sure Nelson's a whiney screwup. But it only makes matters worse to be so goddamn cruel to him. Rabbit's an adult (supposedly). Those sarcastic remarks of his are like shooting fish in a barrel. Janice's no gem either. They're all pretty pathetic, actually. And the Flying Eagle bunch. Eeeeeeeeeeegad. I used to know that bunch. Thankgaaaaaaaawd I don't have to go to stuff like that any more. I just got outta marriage No. 1 in time. But as much as I disliked this bunch, Updike keeps dragging me along. And I keep turning down the corners of the pages in my library copy (shame) every time he drops in one of his absolutely gem-laden paragraphs. Only every time I'm out here at the computer, the book's back in the house. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (176 of 203), Read 51 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 09:28 PM You know what, Ruth? I see your point now. Instead of harping at Nelson for all the screw ups, it was Harry's responsibility to help Nelson. (You don't keep your computer in your house? Where do you keep it?) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (177 of 203), Read 18 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 12:09 AM Out in the mailbox on the curb. No, actually my office and attached studio are across the breezeway from the main house. I look at it this way, Beej. The kid is a kid. Harry is an adult and his father. It isn't fair of Harry to keep cutting him to the quick. He knows just how to hurt him and he keeps twisting the knife. Can he possibly be so stupid as to think this isn't going to make matters worse? He doesn't have to cave in to the twerp. But he seems to enjoy driving bamboo under his nails. Sheesh. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (178 of 203), Read 22 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 07:49 AM Ruth: We live next door to a Rabbit clone (in the child-raising aspect, anyway) who has raised...and driven away...three sons in this fashion. (I'm sure his daughter caught some of the crap too, but apparently she was able to tune it out and stays on good terms with him. Must be the ol' duel of the chromosomes.) It always made me ache to see Dave shouting at and belittling his sons in public. I know rationally that he's coming from an inferiority complex and his own screwed up childhood, but it doesn't lessen those scars that are going to be there forever. Somehow I can't see Rabbit behaving this way toward a daughter, can you? >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (179 of 203), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:16 AM Just for a change of pace, this is from the recently released (May, 2001) Updike poetry anthology, Americana and Other Poems: "A Brazilian Valentine" 'Lady, when you pass me on the street the air changes color, and I want to bite your brown shoulder. The thought of you puts stars into the phosphorescent sea and warms the cold meal of my life. Come, be the harbor to my ship, the nest to my sharp-beaked bird.' (If a man ever wrote a valentine such as this to me, I think I would crumble. I would be a little pile of crumbs on the carpet.) Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (180 of 203), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:24 AM Dale and Ruth, This is a bit unfair, perhaps, to post this here because it is from Rabbit At Rest, but it might explain, at least a little bit, Nelson's obnoxious attitude toward Rabbit: 'The boy's been trying ever since that business with Jill twenty years ago to protect women against his father. His son is the only person in the world who sees him as dangerous.' Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (181 of 203), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:31 AM Beej: Hmmmm. Lots of food for thought, there. Is this an observation that Rabbit makes, or is it said by someone else? >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (182 of 203), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:35 AM Dale, This is a thought, and apparently not a new one, Rabbit has when he says he wants to take little Judy to the golf course with him, and Nelson's immediate response is that he will not allow Rabbit to take her and have her spine hurt by acting as a caddy for Rabbit. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (183 of 203), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 09:40 AM Beej: Woh. That's heavy. (So to speak.) >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (184 of 203), Read 33 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 10:57 AM You know, Dale, I have a little feeling that when Rabbit does his bunny hop into heaven, its going to be Nelson who is hit the hardest. But I guess we won't find that out until we get into Rabbit, Remembered. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (185 of 203), Read 18 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:05 AM Beej: I think you may be right. Sometimes grief seems to come in proportion to the unfinished emotional business the survivors had with the deceased, and Lord knows with Harry and Nelson there's an ocean of it. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (186 of 203), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:10 AM I'm not far into Rabbit At Rest, but I'm picking up that we will get a few insights into Rabbit and his relationships. I think this book will allow us a window as Rabbit reflects on a whole bunch of past things. I am, very much, looking forward to the discussion of Rabbit At Rest. I believe we will end up with a lot of questions answered. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (187 of 203), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:51 AM I brought home Rest and Rich at the same time, and got all the way back to the Florida condo with the family, before I realized I was in the wrong book. I'm closing in on the end of Rich, now. And as usual, the book is not only over in the house, but clear down in the other end of the house next to the bed. I think what intrigues me with Updike more than anything, is his eye for detail, and his way of describing it. The guy doesn't miss a thing, and then when he describes it with a bit of particularly luminescent prose, all we can do is think, yes, that's the way it is, why didn't I see that. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (188 of 203), Read 19 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 02:43 PM Ruth: I think you've put your finger on why I'm an unregenerate Updike fan, come what may. His gift for description and for freshness of phrasing is astounding, especially considering the sheer volume of the man's output. That wonderful language has pulled me with fascination through countless Updike essays and reviews on topics I otherwise didn't give a hoot about, including his brick of a nonfiction collection, HUGGING THE WAVES. I can turn to any piece, front to back, and spend 10-15 minutes luxuriating in the language and the richness of his thought. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (189 of 203), Read 19 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 03:01 PM Boy, ain't that the truth!...even simple little descriptions have that extra 'oomph': 'In Florida the people are so cautious, as if on two beers they might fall down and break a hip. The whole state is brittle'. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (190 of 203), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 03:35 PM I keep thinking about Nelson..and really, how similar he and Rabbit are. But a big issue to me is the fact that Nelson left Pru when she was pregnant. How does that tie in here, with all that happened with Harry leaving Janice when she was pregnant? Somehow, I think, Nelson is making a statement here. and he didn't return for the birth..is he trying to remake history? Is he afraid if he returns he will cause harm to come to the infant the way he blamed Harry for the death of baby Rebecca? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (191 of 203), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 04:04 PM Ruth, Have you finished Rabbit Is Rich Yet? There are some things I really would like to talk about concerning Nelson and Pru and this baby, but I want to wait until you're done. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (192 of 203), Read 21 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 04:14 PM Ruthie and all, this is a very profitable discussion of the Rabbit's relationship with his son, which is really at the heart of this book, isn't it? Ruthie, I am coming around a little bit after pondering your comments on this. Your slant on it is perceptive and valuable. I have been forgiving of Harry in his treatment of Nelson because I so sympathize with his frustration. There are many of us, far more decent people than Harry I would like to think, who just never get the hang of this parenting business. I have to admit that I myself have been awful at it. Therefore, I am not as resentful of Harry's ineptitude. Having said that, I still hold that there is a very important qualitative difference in the two. Harry's cruelty is of the oblivious sort. He simply doesn't appreciate--he can't think through--the impact on others of his actions and speech. Nelson, on the other hand, is maliciously and intentionally cruel. Now, we might justify that on the grounds of Harry's earlier conduct when Nelson was younger. We might justify that on some sort of self-defense grounds. Nonetheless, I still say that there is that difference between them. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (193 of 203), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 04:20 PM Oh gosh! Funny you wrote that because I just ran back on here to say no, I really don't think Harry and Nelson are alike, that Nelson is intentionally cruel, and Harry, as you point out, is not. But I still think there is a tie between Harry leaving a pregnant Janice and Nelson leaving a pregnant Pru. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (194 of 203), Read 28 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 04:24 PM Beej, clearly that is father/son parallel behavior. However, I think the profit lies in considering the differences in Harry's conduct in leaving his wife and Nelson's in leaving his, rather than the apparent similarity. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (195 of 203), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 05:19 PM Okay, Now that things have quieted down on the home front, maybe I can try to explain what I'm thinking. The similarities between Harry and Nelson each leaving pregnant wives ends right there. They both left. What I'm trying to sort out is Nelson's motivation for leaving. I guess I should have said I think there might be a tie between Nelson's motivation for leaving Pru, and Harry's leaving Janice. Actually, I believe Harry is a good guy, and Nelson is a scum. Another thing I've been meaning to mention... We are being really hard on Harry and his part in Nelson's upbringing. I really think Janice did more damage. She undermined Harry, planned and plotted behind Harry's back..didn't nuture respect for this father at all. How can a child respect a father when the mother doesn't respect the father? And Nelson weasled right in the cracks with his mother to undermine his dad and get his own way..if Janice disagrees with Harry about their child, it should be discussed privately between the two of them before any action is taken. And grandma Bessie should keep her nose out of it. AND!!!!!!!! What the hell is so bad about a kid just starting out getting his hands dirty! Harry did and so did old man Springer. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (196 of 203), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 05:31 PM I'm about 75 pages from the end, Beej. I don't see anything wrong with Nelson getting his hands dirty. Harry should have laid down the law, there, and Janice and Mom-mom should have butted out. Poor ol' Charlie. Okay, now I've got the book with me. Here's just a few of those Updike gems: For years nothing happens; then everything happens. Water boils, the cactus blooms, cancer declares itself. ...outside Brewer there is a planet without ruts worn in it. ...underneath them a sandy strip...filled to a precarious fullness with linear summer cities, etched there by builders who could not see...how easily the great shining shoulder of the ocean could shrug and immers and erase all trases of men. ...her smile has been on her face so long it's as dry as a pressed flower. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (197 of 203), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 05:37 PM Ruth, I think he tried, even to the point of saying if Charlie went then so would he. The women sneaked behind his back and arranged it with Charlie. I feel as though Harry is getting jack slapped by everybody. But I'll let it go, now. I think I've said all I can say about that. That certainly is a gorgeous passage, Ruth, and I did what I learned from you..in my mind I broke it down into a poem. This man just has a way of touching your heart with his words. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (198 of 203), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 05:45 PM Steve, I reread your eloquent post and you say we might be able to justify Nelson's maliciousness on the grounds of Harry's earlier behavior, but Harry tried to be a good daddy for the most part. He screwed up when all that went on with Skeeter and Jill, but I still saw so much love for this boy,even then. Janice left, too. And for a longer time. Here I am, defending Harry again. Okay, I'll stop it now. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (199 of 203), Read 15 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 07:36 PM Okay, I've finished. I bet I know what you want to ask, Beej. And I don't know. What do you think? Okay, Steve, I'm softening a little on ol' Harry. Thankgawd I wasn't on that plane with the Flying Eagle crew. Jeeze, do I hate sitting near a bunch like that---all that false joviality and all that booze. Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (200 of 203), Read 19 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 07:47 PM Did Nelson push her down the stairs on purpose. Is that what you thought I was going to ask? Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (201 of 203), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 07:51 PM Ruth, I'm glad you're softening on Harry a bit..he's not such a bad guy.. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (202 of 203), Read 17 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:15 PM Yeah, I agree, he's never intentionally nasty. But how long can you float on the excuse, "I was just never too good at thinking things through." I just want to kick the guy and scream, "Think, man, think!" Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (203 of 203), Read 11 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 08:23 PM Moving to the left. You fooled me, Beej. I thought you were going to ask if Annabelle was really Harry's daughter. Did Nelson push her down the stairs? I can easily believe he wanted to. You think he had the guts? Ruth "Consider my traveling expenses: Poetry---all of it---is a trip into the unknown." Vladimir Mayakovsky
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (204 of 205), Read 4 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:27 PM Your inter-generational relationship comments about the Rabbit books are interesting -- I'd suggest going back and re-reading the first 50 pages of Rabbit Run and see if you don't think much of what is in those pages isn't, in fact, prologue for all that follows. Dick In The 21st Century
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (205 of 205), Read 2 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Saturday, June 02, 2001 11:46 PM That's an interesting suggestion, Dick, and I will do just that as soon as I can get my hands on it again. Interesting. We're probably going to meet in the middle, Ruthie. Never let it be said that I don't feel like kicking Harry occasionally myself. Charlie Stavros is kind of a fascinating character, isn't he? He may not have completely made the transformation from Greek satyr to Greek oracle, but for my money he is the wisest character in Rabbit is Rich. Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (206 of 209), Read 20 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, June 03, 2001 07:52 AM Dick, I will go back and read those beginning pages of Rabbit, Run. Thanks for the suggestion. I think one of the reasons we can relate to and accept all these characters is that they do have their warts. Nobody is kissing a Prince here, but on the flip side nobody's kissing a frog, either. I can see why you think Charlie is the wisest character in these books, Steve, but to me, he's just the prototype used car salesman.. I do, however, think he's a fair guy. Would I buy a car from this man? Probably. As I continue with Rabbit At Rest, my feelings about Janice are relaxing a bit, too. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (207 of 209), Read 16 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, June 03, 2001 08:06 AM Ruth, I forgot to answer your question. I do think Nelson intentionally pushed Pru down those stairs, yes. But I don't think it was a matter of guts. I think, just as when he wrecked those convertibles in the dealership garage, he acted on impulse. And this brings up a major difference between Rabbit and Nelson. Nelson feels justified. At least when Rabbit screws up, he regrets it. Beej
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (208 of 209), Read 16 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Steve Warbasse (wk4@qwest.net) Date: Sunday, June 03, 2001 08:28 AM Maybe he regrets it somewhat, Beej. However, toward the beginning of Rabbit at Rest, the now obese Rabbit is talking with his granddaughter, Judy: "Whenever somebody tells me to do something my instinct's always to do the opposite. It's got me into a lot of trouble, but I've had a lot of fun. . . ." I understand this. Is it not time now to start the new topic on the next book? Steve
Topic: Rabbit Is Rich: John Updike (209 of 209), Read 19 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Beej Connor (connorva@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, June 03, 2001 08:30 AM Yes, yes, Yes! I've been waiting for Rabbit At Rest... Why don't you go ahead and do the honors? Beej

 

 

John Updike

 
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