Friday, January 23, 2009

And I know it's my own damn fault

Current book: Rabbit, Run
Pages read: 167-271

Blah. Still not good. (I'd even go so far as to call this book hateful. It certainly makes me hateful. That's the same thing.) After a few more weeks of Rabbit being a complete deadbeat, which subjects us to Updike's thrilling narratives of cheap dates in tawdry clubs, Rabbit's pregnant wife goes into labor. He still has enough of a conscience left that he feels like he should be there, though god knows if I were his wife I'd want him as far away from me and my newborn child as possible. So he goes to the hospital where his wife has a daughter, and he's impressed enough by the miracle of birth that he decides he ought to get back together with her. (What a brilliant plan. I was not at all skeptical of their renewed marriage vows. I was just sure they'd live happily ever after.) A couple of weeks later, he gets frustrated with her yet again (to be fair, she's an alcoholic, but the real reason is that he can't stand the baby crying) and walks out one night. She goes on a drinking binge alone in their apartment and accidentally drowns their brand-new baby girl in an attempt to bathe her. The last bit I got to was Rabbit finding out about the whole thing and coming back to see his wife.

So, this is a cheery and uplifting little tale, isn't it? Gee, I really do love accidental child death, alcoholism, and two-timing deadbeat husbands.

So far, I have discovered no redeeming social value in this book. I would have stopped reading it a long time ago if I weren't so dedicated to my adoring public. So, adoring public, I hope you're appreciative.

Oh, I almost forgot! Before Rabbit decides to go back to his wife, he gets his prostitute-mistress pregnant, but she's too afraid to tell him because of his verbal abuse. (Did somebody send out a memo that told everybody to write books composed entirely of characters the audience hates? Because I missed it. Rushdie and Updike got it, though. Boy, did they ever.)

I continue to read at an astonishing rate in order to get this damn thing over with. Sometimes paragraphs might get skipped, it's true, but when they all say the same thing, it's really fairly irrelevant.

1 comment:

  1. David Foster Wallace wrote about Updike: not the book you're reading, but one that seems to have a fair amount in common with it. He does not have much nice to say, so I thought maybe you'd like the essay:

    Just be advised that the asterisk in the first sentence isn't supposed to be there, and if you read the footnote as if it were, you'll be very confused. It should be after the sentence that ends "...they especially don't love women."



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