Sunday, July 02, 2006

The last of Rabbit, or halfway to 50 books

Rabbit at Rest
John Updike

Over four books (about 1,500 pages), you really get to know a guy. And what I took away from Harry Angstrom is that life is long and short, and hard and easy. You kind of float along and things happen to you. Or you might snap out of the floating. Our roles in life are constantly changing. There's not much separating life and death. People get fat. They get pathetic as they age, or they really come into their prime.

Harry's granddaughter is born the same year I was, and he is a man behind the times, or maybe just of his own time. He talks about "queers," isn't quite racist but isn't quite not racist, isn't quite sexist but isn't quite not sexist.

But somehow I've been able to relate more to him than the men at the center of Independence Day and Herzog. And as I move onto other books, I miss him.

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