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Vintage Updike, in the Present Tense

Terrorist: A Novel by John Updike

Reviewed by Anna Godbersen

"And what would you expect from a John Updike novel with the title Terrorist? Maybe a sentence like this one, somewhere in the first paragraph: 'All day long, at Central High School, girls sway and sneer and expose their soft bodies and alluring hair.' Well, of course. You almost feel sorry for the preening, studious, zealot-in-training Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy; he can try to despise his sexed-up classmates all he wants, but his authorial creator has set him up. This is the Updike you know, and the world is New Jersey in present-tense and unflinchingly observed. The details are fleshy, profane, lovingly prosaic." Read the entire Esquire review.

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