Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) ePUB

by John Updike we believe that with time comes wisdom, that by the time we’re older we’ll have acquired a natural sense of life and other people and our own self and how to live — how to cast aside the pettiness and do away with the small things that mean nothing more than cancerous nibblings at our gut. but no. it doesn’t just happen. we don’t leave that stuff behind unless we make a serious effort to do so. and it’s hard work. we don’t wanna turn into one of those morons that’s always happy and even (y’know the old ‘let fury have the hour, anger can be power’ business is something i firmly stand behind), but we can’t be one of those people that goes home and lays in bed all night stewing about george bush or how their parents fucked them up or what they should have said to that rude dmv worker or cocky bookfacer or self-obsessed friend etc…


the Rabbit books so perfectly lay down exactly what i’ve spent so much of my life fighting against. and against becoming. how all those forces – the time in which one lives, nature, nurture, genes, parents, bad luck, tragic events, bad people and/or circumstances etc – all work to turn us into a petty and unhappy person. and that hate turns outward against other people and against society and you continue the legacy of unhappiness and impotence and pettiness in the form of a son/daughter who’s gotta spend his/her time in the same demented struggle.


fuck that. i’m stunned by how many of my contemporaries still, in their 30s, blame who they are on their parents – there’s truth in it, of course, but how personally damaging to continue to blame who you are on anything other than to realize that by a certain point who you are is who you decide to be?particularly given the priviliged life even the worst off of us have in america in 2008.


so i give the individual books four stars, but i list the single volume collection with five stars. yeah, they really are more than the sum of their parts. and it’s not a flawless single volume or up there with Moby Dick or Don Quixote or War and Peace… and i don’t think they even match the majesty of Dos Passos’s or Roth’s USA trilogies in detailing american life and history over the first and second half, respectively, of america in the 20th century.it’s simply that the compounded power of 1500 pages of a single life over thirty years is overwhelming. and not all that much even happens. and i love this. many of the threads contained therein have false starts, other seemingly minor ones grow in significance, others are buried and lost under the weight of the pages of life, others are forgotten until a chance encounter… and as with most american lives after the third decade, it’s a steady plateauing off.


i’m turning 35 next month and I can already feel it. the slowing down. i’m tired more than i ever was. i require and relish sleep more than i ever did. i don’t feel as large a need for human socialization. i like things the way i like them. and i know i gotta fight this shit and be curious and surprised and sad and strange and perpetually seek out the new and reinvent myself and dig deeper and deeper and live! live! live! …or else I wake up in the morning look in the mirror and see Rabbit.

Book tags: rabbit rest (rabbit angstrom, #4) epub, download, epub, john updike

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