Aug 12, 2012

Rabbit, Run

Original Title: Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
English Title: Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
Turkish Title: Tavşan Kaç (Rabbit Angstrom, #1)
Author: John Updike
Pages: 396
My Rating: 2/5
When I was reading this book...: ... I kept trying to figure out why I wanted to read this book at the first place.

Honestly, I don't know. Maybe because it was listed as a classic in many different lists. Maybe because it was an award-winning book. Maybe because it was one of 1001 books you should read before you die. Maybe because it was banned.

It is the story of Harry Angstrom (Rabbit) who runs from one unpleasant situation to another, ruining the lives of those he lives behind. He tries to straighten out, but his despair keeps overwhelming him. So he runs, over and over. In short, it is the story of Rabbit is a sociopath, a user of people, a loner who deep down doesn't really believe other people exist in the same sense that he himself exists.

I, sincerely, do not understand why this book is a classic, why it is chosen as one of 1001 books, why it was awarded so many times. I was really annoyed with the main character and I couldn't find a way to relate with him at all. Many reviewers claim that  John Updike created such a sociopath that any reader can at least partially understand. Well, I don't. I remember myself getting really annoyed and pissed off when I was reading "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger but I liked that book. This one was a failure though.

None of the characters, including Rabbit himself, make sense out of his or her existence at some point in time in the book. Rabbit is never once grounded. All his longing is for the past,or for some immediate temporal gratification in the present. Rabbit's wife, Janice, likewise has no moment that makes sense to her in the overall scheme of things. The same is true of Ruth Leonard, the prostitute. And over against her, is the Reverend Jack Eccles, who would heal Rabbit, but in the end is as confused as anybody else in the novel. Believe me, even summarizing all these is boring itself.

It's a depressing, embarrassing, provoking and sadly, realistic book. That's why it managed to get 2 stars from me instead of 1.

It was my first (and probably last) John Updike novel so I can count it for New Author Challenge.
At least the book title was useful so I can count this book for What An Animal Reading Challenge.
After I bought the book, I saw some negative reviews and decided to include it a book about which I've heard bad things for Semi-Charmed Kind of Life's Summer 2012 Book Challenge.
It is also in my list for The Classics Club.

1 comment :

  1. I'm so glad to read an honest review of this one. I've been trying to make myself read this series for years but it never sounded good to me. I think I'll skip it.