My non-existent experience with Updike

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve only read one book by John Updike, and one short story. The book was The Witches of Eastwick and I read it after seeing the movie twice. I saw the movie twice by accident — sort of. Dean and I saw it and then some friends wanted to see it so we saw it again. So I read the book — but I don’t recall why.  Perhaps so I could say I read a book by John Updike?

The short story I read was A&P. I remember liking it. I read it in college, I think. My son recently had to read in for his high school freshman English class.

I knew about Updike from a young age, however. My mom had a book of his called Couples. It had sex in it and I’d skim the book to find the parts with sex. I tried to read it from the beginning, but it was boring to me otherwise. (this may have been after sixth grade though)

When I was in the sixth grade an author came to our class to tell us about being an author. His name is Larry Woiwode. (his sister was my student teacher that year). I’ve not read any of his books either, although I have most of them. He called John Updike his friend when he visited our class. I knew who Updike was by then, but perhaps Woiwode’s mentioning him made me more aware of him. [Although now that I think about it I was in 6th grade in 1968 when Couples was published — but perhaps I’d heard of the author before somehow.]

A friend of mine really liked John Updike. She liked his Rabbit novels. I didn’t even try to like them.

So. Perhaps I’ll try to read another book by Updike in honor of his passing. Or perhaps I’ll read a Woiwode book instead.

Oh wait — Updike wrote a sequel to The Witches of Eastwick. There. Decision made.

9 thoughts on “My non-existent experience with Updike

  1. I think I “took” as they say one of the Rabbit books in an American Lit. course in college. It’s always sad when one of these icons dies and we all start to feel a bit older.


  2. Am I missing something? I’m looking under “What you said” AND SEE THAT (SORRY, CAT IS STANDING ON CAPs lOCK KEY) and see that (cat has been summarily removed from caps lock key) Indigo commented on a post called Report about future from the past. When I click on it in that list it shows up, dated Jan. 29. But I canèt (sorry, cat has stepped on some key that turns computer into a francophone, but I am not sure which key it is to turn it back into an anglophone) see it on your regular page. ÉÉÉ (those are question marks…)


    1. Helen — it is confusing — that is a post that I designated a “mini-post” so it doesn’t normally show up on the regular page unless you are at the post itself. Mini-posts are located in the left sidebar under “Briefly noted”.

      I think that if you subscribe to feeds it would show up as a new post, but if you just visit the front page of the blog it would not show up except in the sidebar.


  3. Donna:

    I haven’t read any Updike, and I actually have a few of his books knocking about the house. I made a mental note to read one or two when I heard he had passed away. In addtion to all the fiction, he was also a noted reviewer and essayist. I think one of the Updike books I have is titled Hugging the Shore. I’ll have to rummage about for it.

    Last year, when Madeleine L’Engle passed away, I located my copy of A Wrinkle in Time and gave that a nostalgia read. Corny, but still fun after all these years.

    BTW, I howled about your husband’s steam cleaner rampage. I meant to send you a warning to keep him away from the lawn with it… 😉


    Fiske’s last blog post..Common Redpoll


    1. I’ve not heard of Hugging the Shore, Fiske — maybe that would be more to my taste than his more mainstream stuff.

      Glad my husband’s steam-cleaning exploits had you laughing. He’s still at it.


  4. I met Madeleine L’Engle once when she gave a little talk at a book-signing. She was very sweet going on about her favourite monkish Scottish islands. She was flogging an anniversary edition of “A Wrinkle in Time.” She signed my copy as she probably signed everyone’s copy: “Tesser well”…


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