“Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, Updike’s lovably mediocre alter ego, is one of America’s great literary protaganists, up there with Huck Finn and Jay Gatsby,” The Guardian wrote in naming Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels No. 88 on their list of 100 best novels.
“John Updike is 20th-century American literature’s blithe spirit, a virtuoso of language whose perfect pitch illuminated every line he wrote with an airy and zestful brilliance,” Robert McCrum wrote. “He was always something of a miniaturist. His first hope was to be a poet. When that ambition misfired, he took his delight in the English sentence and made a name for himself as a New Yorker short story writer. Finally, he brought his gifts of wit, curiosity and invention to the American novel. By the end of his career, he had become one of the most complete and versatile men of letters in his country’s history. Among many possible fiction choices – his debut, The Poorhouse Fair; the sensational scandal of Couples; the exhilarating magical realism of The Witches of Eastwick – I’ve picked his panoramic masterpiece, the Harry Angstrom series, a portrait of America compiled over four decades: Rabbit, Run (1960); Rabbit Redux (1971); Rabbit Is Rich (1981); and Rabbit at Rest (1990).
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