America lost one of its best writers today in John Updike. One of my hobbies for the last couple years of high school was to check used bookstores for the next volume in the Rabbit series. They always seemed not to have the one I was looking for and it took me a couple of years to get through the whole series. It really is as fantastic as people say, and to anyone who hasn’t checked him out, pick up Rabbit, Run at your local used book store and you’ll be hooked. He’s one of those writers (along with Philip Roth and Don DeLillo) that we don’t read in high school because he hits too close to home. I wasn’t alive for the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or much of the 80’s, but I lived them through his novels. His ability to capture the zeitgeist of the times through his everyman Rabbit was unrivaled.
His book reviews in the New Yorker displayed the kind of depth of literary knowledge only someone who’s been there and done that could have. Up until two days ago I would search the table of contents every week for his name. It didn’t matter what he was writing about, he was John Updike and I would read about books I’d never heard of just to hear what he thought. The Centaur, which is sitting on my shelf, just moved up a slot on my reading list.