Rabbit, Run by John Updike
(Knopf, 1995, 308 pages)
This has been on my to-read list forever so I finally picked it up. While I definitely appreciated Updike’s writing this was not at all what I expected. Rabbit, Run was really hard for me to read because the book was so depressing.
Rabbit is in his mid-20s and he seems to be struggling with the reality of what his life has become. His pregnant wife irritates him and, while he loves his son, he doesn’t seem to be into the notion of being a “family man.” So Rabbit attempts to escape and ends up leaving his wife and child alone with no word of where he is or what he’s doing. Rabbit is incredibly self-involved and seems obsessed with living in the “now” and not thinking about consequences or anything that will bring him down. Despite the best work of minister Eccles (who has reached out to Rabbit in an attempt to get him back on the right path with his family), it doesn’t seem like Rabbit can see beyond himself…
I’m not sure if I really want to read more of Updike’s Rabbit “series” (at least not right now) because it just felt like too much work to get through this book. I think I just wasn’t in the right mood for something this somber.