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eBook Couples ePub

eBook Couples ePub

by John Updike

  • ISBN: 0233960740
  • Subcategory: No category
  • Author: John Updike
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch; 1st edition (November 1, 1968)
  • Pages: 458
  • ePub book: 1128 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1964 kb
  • Other: azw lrf lit rtf
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Votes: 177

Description

Home John Updike Couples: A Novel. Couples is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Home John Updike Couples: A Novel. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Published in the United States by Random House Trade Paperbacks, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, In. New York.

John Updike writes about sex with such lyrical pull that I must bow to the beauty. He writes the dialogue of people laying in the dark together like none other. This is why I opened up this book, and so in that sense I got what I came for.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Trapped in their cozy catacombs, the couples have made sex by turns their toy, their glue, their trauma.

By John Updike Amanda Donahoe, Henry Goodman and Lorelei King star in John Updike’s Couples – the first of his books to be dramatised for radio

The violent death of John F Kennedy has cast a cloud over the sophisticated couples of Tarbox, New England. A cloud that even the excitement of adultery seems unable to shift. Dramatised by Shelagh Stephenson. Producer/Director Eoin O'Callaghan Repeated on Saturday at 9pm Contributors Unknown: John Updike. Amanda Donahoe, Henry Goodman and Lorelei King star in John Updike’s Couples – the first of his books to be dramatised for radio. Set in Sixties New England, in the town of Tarbox, Couples is a slow and intricate satire on the lives of a group of newly married couples struggling to find meaning in their lives.

John Updike, author of "Couples" died from cancer in 2009 at the age of 7. Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959).

John Updike, author of "Couples" died from cancer in 2009 at the age of 76. He never won the Nobel Prize for literature but many critics and writers felt he should have. He wrote 21 novels, including. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns--marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex.

John Updike was an writer, poet, literary critic and novelist. John Updike was popular for many of his previous books but he rose to great eminence with his novel ‘Rabbit Run’ that was published in 1960. Born on 18th March 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Read John Updike's biography. His 1968 novel, ‘Couples’ created a great hype by portraying the relationship of young married couples and the complications in their lives. This book gave birth to one of the most famed American characters of the 20th century; Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom. His story starts in high school where he was appreciated as a terrific basketball player.

John Updike, Beverly Farms, M.

When we first met him in Rabbit, Run (1960), the book that established John Updike as a major novelist, Harry (Rabbit) Angstrom is playing basketball with some boys in an alley in Pennsylvania during the tail end of the Eisenhower era, reliving for a moment his past as a star high school athlete. Athleticism of a different sort is on display throughout these four magnificent novels-the athleticism of an imagination possessed of the ability to lay bare, with a seemingly effortless animal grace, the enchantments and disenchantments of life.

John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once (the others being Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner), Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.

Couples is a 1968 novel by American author John Updike. The novel depicts the lives of a promiscuous circle of ten couples in the small Massachusetts town of Tarbox. The author was living in Ipswich, Massachusetts when he composed the book

1968 4th impression, worn dust jacket has a faded spine, previous owner's address label inside front board. Shipped from the U.K. All orders received before 3pm sent that weekday.

Comments

Cel Cel
John Updike, author of "Couples" died from cancer in 2009 at the age of 76. He never won the Nobel Prize for literature but many critics and writers felt he should have. He wrote 21 novels, including the four in his famed "Rabbit" series, as well as poems, short stories, essays, children's books, a play and a memoir.

"Couples" was written in 1968; the 458 page story takes place in the early 60's in the fictional community of Tarbox, somewhere outside Boston. Tarbox is a community of 30-something couples, coupling with each others' spouses, not exactly "wife-swapping", nor is the word "swinging" precise. Some characters used the term "adultery", while others were more comfortable with "affairs". There were a lot of affairs, lots of coupling and uncoupling with each other but generally everybody was rather north-easternly civil about it; virtually no punches nor naughty words are thrown. Nor were there whips nor sex toys nor legal abortions - this was the early 60s. While there are about a dozen couples who pop up from time to time, going to dinners, cocktail parties, ski events, etc. "Couples" focuses mainly on a half dozen or so of them.

This was a very racy story for its time, and contrary to some reader reviews still racy for 2017; it's sex scenes are often lengthy and detailed though without being grotesquely graphic. And the writing is just excellent. In the background, Updike reminds us of the political and social upheavals of the day - the Cuba crisis, the Assassination, women's evolving role in the workplace, the Viet Nam war.

Though the book is about couples, it is not a romance. You don't see the word "love" much at all; there are no heroes. There are lots of community flaws exposed - it's about married life, it's about relationships, it's about sex, it's about the 60s. Highly recommended.
Ann Ann
My heading indicates my noting that this excellent novel by the great writer John Updike has a bit of a misleading title. While the characters are introduced in turn as members of their respective marriages, the narrative is propelled really by frequent uncoupling and re-couplings, if you will. The situation described is in many ways a product of Updike's virtually autobiographical approach to using material in his fiction, although the word virtually is an obvious modifier here. Those familiar with Updike's work will recognize and not be surprised by this, and the recent Begley biography on Updike makes a good case for how how much of Couples is based on his personal experiences living in Ipswich, Massachusetts, after Updike chose to leave New York City, quite intentionally so, for the suburban life just outside of Boston. Perhaps Updike anticipated that such a move would lead to this kind of book.

But of course the specific social circumstances from which so much of Couples's material comes from would lkely not have been anticipated by Updike. The book literally explains not only what those specifics were, but also offers some explanations for why they were. For example the characters in teh story were described as really people who had moved to Tarbox, the fictional name for Ipswich. This distanced them from those born and bred locally, as well as how their roughly equivalent ages did from others. Along with the age equivalence came similar domestic situations with children as well as placing them in generally the same economic class, here the educated upper middle, with some exceptions. Yet the specifics, while providing details, and the time setting of the novel, will explain some of the goings on (for example the newness of use of the birth control pill seemed to create a social moment where some of the more obvious and brutal results of adultery could be avoided, while the long term effects of increased divorce rates and damage to children were not yet evident), Couples also speaks to the post modern condition more generally.

this is not a work of fiction heavy on or even centered around what plot there is, but it would be an overstatement to say there is no plot. Central to the work is the effect of adultery and its related considerations, such as love, sexual satisfaction, moral purpose, how we are with others, on the Hanema marriage. Only at the very end do we find out what the net effect is, meaning whether the marriage survives or not. But there are a number of other subplots and story lines.

While Updike does speak from inside a number of characters, including several of the women, the main character is Piet Hanema, a second generation Dutchman (thereby explaining the name). Updike's own family background was Dutch, and no doubt much of what we read of his thoughts, and apparently even actions, come from Updike. But at the same time Piet is not Updike, instead serving as a kind of alter ego, much as Harry Angstrom did in the Rabbit novels.

Piet, but not only Piet, addresses many of the themes frequently found in Updike's work. His character's relation to their times, the connection between religion, thoughts and feelings about God, and the moral aspects of life, the effect of sex and love on people both individually and in relationships, intergenerational considerations (here sometimes most touched upon by what is NOT going on between parents and children), the effects such mundane considerations as the day to day pursuit of work and leisure have on us. In that respect Couples is very much in the nature of a "typical" Updike novel, but I think in a very good way.

Updike is noted for his steady focus on the real, and Couples is an excellent example of Updike's ability to portray the world in which his characters live as well as their thoughts, feelings and experiences. In reading this book one becomes aware, again if not your first Updike novel, of the persuasiveness of his approach showing how such details can underscore and make real to the reader the examination of the thematic aspects of his work.

As a word of caution, I feel compelled to advise that the overall experience is not one of uplift. Updike is hardly a feel good writer. But I was sad to come to the end of the book. One of his longer ones, the novel reminded me to some extent of some of the mostly English nineteenth century long novels, such as by Trollope, where one inhabits a fictional world each time you pick up the book with characters who you come to know. Perhaps here we do not come to love the characters as much as in Trollope, but neither do we hate, or even condemn, them.

In short i highly recommend this excellent work, which for all its ties to the early sixties in an American suburb, speaks to the timelessness in the human condition.
Xanna Xanna
I originally read Couples some 40 years ago. My copy of the book got lost in one of our moves and, although I always intended to read it again, I didn't until I bought a copy for my Kindle. I found that the book has aged well. The personalities of the characters and the situations that they get themselves into are, I think, timeless. "Welcome to the post-pill paradise" is one of the lines in the book and so it seemed to be - at least for a while. Certainly the sixties were a unique period in time with many old cultural mores' breaking down with women as well as men asserting their right to go after what they want even when the consequences may be dire for all concerned. The book reminds me of the brief 2008 CBS TV program "Swingtown" which also dealt with many of these same issues roughly a decade later in 1976 in the tony north shore suburb of Winnetka. All in all I found both the Book "Couples" and the short lived "Swingtown" to be fascinating views into suburban life at a time when people were getting loose and enjoying themselves with their like-minded neighbors!
Beydar Beydar
Don't let appearances deceive you. This book is not what it seems, it is much, much, more. Through a slow and careful description, Updike manages to portray a unique array of infidelities. From the traditional male-female secret affair, to the open exchange of partners, and a touch of group sex. Pretty much all the options are there, which might repel many readers for moral reasons. But later on Updike closes the circle by bringing the conflicts that these situations always carry: impact on marriage, undesired pregnancy, divorce, etc. In fact, if the first half of the book focuses on the pleasures associated with extra-matrimonial sex, the second half of the book complements it with all the moral responsibilities.

The book ends with a well balanced representation of both sides of the spectrum: infidelity versus infidelity. Don't let moral prejudices deter you from a great read. Leave criticism for the end.