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Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, "Rabbit Remembered"by John Updike
Synopses & Reviews
The dozen short stories in John Updike's new collection revisit many of the locales of his fiction: the small Pennsylvania town of Olinger, the lonely farm to which the hero moves as an adolescent, the New England of adulthood, the New York City of art and glamour. Love exerts its spell in all twelve; the title derives from a story in which an American banjo virtuoso demonstrates his licks to an enthralled Soviet audience in the heart of the Cold War, while being hounded by the aftermath of a one-night stand in Washington, D.C.
To these tales Mr. Updike has added a novella-length sequel to his quartet of novels about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Old strands come together at last, and the dead man's survivors fitfully entertain his memory while pursuing their own happiness over the edge of the millennium.
"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
"A provocative read....Bringing the Rabbit novels' setting and actors credibly into the twenty-first century seems a warm gift from the author. That he renders their arrival with optimism makes the gift more dear." The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Ah yes, indeed, licks from Updike's New Yorker forays and sundry meanderings." Booklist
"[R]ichly evocative....This is a treasury of Updike's craft, each story a small gem." Publishers Weekly
"Updike...could no more pass up the opportunity for a further Rabbit report than Rabbit himself could forgo a bowl of macadamia nuts....His observations eddy and swirl into the main stream of his narrative, swelling it with life." The New York Times Book Review
"'Rabbit Remembered' is a thing of rich satisfaction....Impossible to forget....Throughout the collection are passages of stylistic certainty and bittersweet intimacy." The Boston Sunday Globe
"A touching, elegiac collection of stories about infidelity, about the weight of family, about the dwindling of years, about the heart and other organs....[Updike] works so slowly and carefully that you rarely see the emotional punches coming." Newsweek
About the Author
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. He is the father of four children and the author of more than fifty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. He lives in Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
The women who got away — Lunch hour — New York girl — My father on the verge of disgrace — The cats — Oliver's evolution — Natural color — Licks of love in the heart of the cold war — His oeuvre — How was it, really? — Scenes from the fifties — Metamorphosis — Rabbit remembered.
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