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The Resource Licks of love : short stories and a sequel, John Updike

Licks of love : short stories and a sequel, John Updike

Label
Licks of love : short stories and a sequel
Title
Licks of love
Title remainder
short stories and a sequel
Statement of responsibility
John Updike
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2000
Review
  • Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom has been dead for a decade in Rabbit Remembered, the novella that closes this latest, richly evocative Updike collection. His widow, Janice, is married to Ronnie Harrison, the widower of Thelma, with whom Harry had a long-time liaison. His son Nelson's wife, Pru, whom Harry also briefly bedded, has left Nelson, who has kicked the coke habit and still lives in the old Springer house with Janice and Ronnie. The past surfaces unexpectedly when Annabelle Byers, Harry's illegitimate daughter, makes herself known to the family. The ramifications of Harry's legacy include a strained Thanksgiving dinner that degenerates into political argument and acrimonious insults, and a mordantly funny flashback to a scene in which Harry's cremated remains were inadvertently left on a closet shelf in a Comfort Inn. While Updike explores the dark territory of bitterness, resentment and guilt, he also includes his trademark ticker-tape of current events (Hillary's candidacy, etc.), a typically muddled millennium New Year's Eve and a surprisingly upbeat denouement. For Rabbit fans, this is a must-read. In addition, the 12 short stories collected here present a kaleidoscope of Updike settings and themes. One element is common to nearly all the tales: the protagonist is a libidinous married man, ever on the lookout for adulterous adventures. In all of them, nostalgia is pierced with insight and regret. This is a treasury of Updike's craft, each story a small gem. 60,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
  • At the end of Rabbit at Rest, the dying Rabbit briefly considers telling his son about Annabelle, his illegitimate daughter, then decides against it. "Enough," he thinks. So when Annabelle turns up on Janice Angstrom's doorstep in 1999, the reader is just as surprised as Janice. But "Rabbit Remembered" is not a misguided attempt to resurrect the dead hero. Think of it instead as a novella about aging and loss, with guest appearances by the Angstrom clan. It is thematically linked to the other stories in this tightly focused collection; all are suffused with nostalgia for a lost suburban America that Updike himself helped to define. In "How Was It, Really," stressed-out yuppies unable to cope with parenthood ask their father how he managed it, back in the Fifties. The old man has no recollection, except that the key concept was "benign neglect." In the title story, a banjo player fondly recalls a tour of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, performing for a population unspoiled by television. All of the stories are written in Updike's typically luscious prose, packed with exquisite descriptions and startling perceptions. Recommended for most fiction collections.--Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
  • /* Starred Review */ Pronounced echoes of Updike's earlier fiction dominate this mixed-bag collection of 12 short stories and a novella: jazzlike variations (or "licks") on the difficulties and consequences of trying to love others better than we love ourselves.Autumnal reverie and regret, mingled with touches of erotic fantasy are the keynotes of several stories (including "The Women Who Got Away" and "New York Girl") that evoke the milieu of suburban mate-swapping explored in Updike's once-notorious Couples. "My Father On the Verge of Disgrace" recalls the vividly conflicted filial feelings of another fine early novel, The Centaur. The autobiographical Of the Farm comes to mind as one reads "The Cats," about a middle-aged man who buries his elderly mother, but not the complex memories with which she has burdened—and blessed—him. And renegade novelist Henry Bech rears his busy head again, in a new story (the wistful "His Oeuvre"), and also—by imaginative proxy—in the amusing "Licks of Love in the Heart of the Cold War," about a quite Bech-like banjo master's tour of Cold War Soviet Union and his vulnerability to his own haphazard libido. Except for "Licks," the only piece that isn't ruminative and virtually plotless is "Metamorphosis," a perfectly realized portrayal of a cancer patient's eerie transformative obsession with the woman doctor who performs his "facial surgery." But the volume's real raison d'être is "Rabbit Remembered," in which memories of the late ex-basketball star and serial screwup Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom are dredged up when his middle-aged illegitimate daughter meets her "other" family—and Rabbit's hitherto nondescript son Nelson, himself aging, divorced, and seeking a family he can still belong to, proves to have been all along the one who loved his infuriating father and will honor his memory.Updike has never been better than when writing about the Angstroms and their discontents, in his justly famous "quartet," and in this brilliant and deeply moving coda to it, which can stand by itself as one of his finest novels. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2000)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
060136
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Updike, John
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Angstrom, Harry (Fictitious character)
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
short stories and a sequel
Label
Licks of love : short stories and a sequel, John Updike
Instantiates
Publication
Contents
Women who got away -- Lunch hour -- New York girl -- My Father on the verge of disgrace -- Cats --Oliver's evolution
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
359 p.
Isbn
9780375411137
Lccn
00034906
System control number
  • (Sirsi) BRD54372380
  • (Sirsi) BRD54372380
  • CARL0623384481
  • (OCoLC)44090489
Label
Licks of love : short stories and a sequel, John Updike
Publication
Contents
Women who got away -- Lunch hour -- New York girl -- My Father on the verge of disgrace -- Cats --Oliver's evolution
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
359 p.
Isbn
9780375411137
Lccn
00034906
System control number
  • (Sirsi) BRD54372380
  • (Sirsi) BRD54372380
  • CARL0623384481
  • (OCoLC)44090489

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