29 March 2007

Updike's "Terrorist" -- Should I Read It?

I'm a great admirer of John Updike. I won't say I've read everything he's written -- that would be an enormous task, leaving little room for anything else. I have, though, read and admired Roger's Version, S., A Month of Sundays, The Beauty of the Lilies, Couples ... you get the picture.

The "Rabbit" series is, I think, over-rated. Update is at his best when his characters are engaged with ideas. He can give us a picture of the academic/intellectual worlds without making us choke on the chalkdust.

Both Roger's Version and S. are replete with religious/theological debates, so it might have seemed logical, after 9/11, for Updike to take on the question of jihadism, both at the intellectual and at the all-too-practical levels.

That is, at any rate, what "Terrorist" tries to do. So I'm told. I've put off reading it, though, not just because the subject matter still seems a bit too close to home but because so many of the reviews were so scathing.

Should I take the plunge? Have any of my faithful readers done so?

By the way: the cover design is striking. It takes a moment to adjust to what you're seeing, then mentally flip the image around, and realize that that way, it makes perfect sense. See for yourself what I mean.

1 comment:

Cicily Corbett said...

No. Save yourself the trouble. Read Edward Docx's "The Calligrapher" instead.

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.