Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rabbit Finally at Rest......

I can still remember the exact moment I fell in love with John Updike. It was 10th Grade English class. The story was A&P. It took place in the '50s, in New England, in a grocery store! How could I relate?

By the fourth sentence I was hooked. The first three sentences were great, but that fourth.....

I didn't know you could say such things! I felt wicked, and wrong, and giggly. We were reading a story in school...that talked about girls' butts. Heaven.

I went on to devour Updike. The Rabbit series, of course. A Month of Sundays was always a favorite, and for some reason--though it was hardly his best reviewed--I always had a special place in my heart for Roger's Version.

I didn't find out he died until last night. I was a little sad. And outraged that more hasn't been said. You could make an argument that Updike is one of the 5 greatest American authors. Shouldn't he get a State Funeral?

If you're going to read one of his books, I hope I don't have to tell you to start with Rabbit, Run. If that doesn't grab you, the man isn't for you, and I don't know what to tell you.

But if you're going to start with a short story, I still recommend A&P. I just didn't know a short-story could do those things.

John Updike
1932 - 2009
sniff sniff

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