RIP John Updike

Here he discusses "A & P."

The sheer, possibly suspicious abundance of his output conspired with my indifference toward adultery in New England to prevent me from investigating much of his work while he lived, but I never would have described him, as someone once claimed his friends did, as "a penis with a thesaurus," because that's just cruel. That work of his which did manage to attract my interest was solid, even masterful ("A & P") -- or highly entertaining (Witches of Eastwick). The Rabbit books and The Centaur have been nagging me for years. Maybe I'll put aside my prejudice and tackle at least one of those. Or maybe one of his fans could enlighten me on what I've been missing. Clearly a lot of folks were ga-ga over him.

I'm sorry for his death, but if there's a silver lining, it's that this sad event should approximately double the available annual slots for publishing stories and poems.


kclou said...

I read the four Rabbit books last year and posted something about it on this site. I'd recommend anyone start with the second, Rabbit Redux. If you like that one, keep reading. If you don't, he probably isn't for you.

Sentence by sentence, the guy could throw down. His New Yorker piece on Ted Williams's final game is masterful.

Grendel said...

kclou's post last year Updike and the Rabbit novels.

And here's that Updike essay on Williams.

kclou said...

Thanks, Grendel. You're always cleaning up for me with the links.

He wrote that Ted Williams essay when he was 28, by the way. What did Frank say? Thrills and chills for this cowboy.