Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his—or any other—generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification and family duty—even, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine Grace. Though his flight from home traces a zigzag of evasion, he holds to the faith that he is on the right path, an invisible line toward his own salvation as straight as a ruler’s edge.
“Brilliant and poignant . . . By his compassion, clarity of insight, and crystal-bright prose, [John Updike] makes Rabbit’s sorrow his and our own.”—The Washington Post
“The power of the novel comes from a sense, not absolutely unworthy of Thomas Hardy, that the universe hangs over our fates like a great sullen hopeless sky. There is real pain in the book, and a touch of awe.”—Norman Mailer, Esquire
“A lacerating story of loss and of seeking, written in prose that is charged with emotion but is always held under impeccable control.”—Kansas City Star