Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Things really were wrong in the '70s

Rabbit is Rich
John Updike

Harry Angstrom's son is almost as old as Harry was in the first Rabbit book. And that means lots of conflict.

It reminds me of this play a student and teacher wrote for my high school's one-act play festival. It was called Oelvis Oedipus. Young Elvis kills old Elvis, etc. (This followed the success of the previous year's Kung Fu Hamlet, which really was much better.)

In this case, young Elvis does not kill old Elvis, but he'd probably like to. Harry's been far from a perfect father -- maybe he hasn't even been a good father -- but it's hard to understand what Nelson's real beef is.

The daquiris are largely absent in the third book. Harry drinks lots of beer, and gin and tonics, and some brandy, wine and champagne (at a wedding). They get a mention, though, when the Angstroms go to the Caribbean with two other couples. Mostly, though, even there, they all drink pina coladas.

Speaking of the Caribbean, the couples all go down there and then decide to get in a little key-party-style action. Because, you know, it's vacation and it's the '70s, so why wouldn't I sleep with my friend's wife?

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