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Extended Audio Sample Rabbit, Run Audiobook, by John Updike Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (21,610 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Updike Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Rabbit Novels Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780739376348
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 2/9/2014

    " we all read them one at a time...............back to back an amzing experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 2/9/2014

    " Rabbit, Run was a very good book in my opinion. I really liked the fact that Rabbit Armstrong, the main character, is believable in all the situations that go on in his life. There are some aspects of the book that are a little bit confusing, but not enough to prevent you from reading the book. A good example of this would be the beginning when Rabbit starts driving his car and rather then pick up his son when he sees how much fun he is having at his parents house and how much more of a family it looks like, he starts driving down towards the South. It's confusing because his motives aren't very practical, but when he returns to visit his coach and have lunch with a couple of girls and his old coach, the situation comes back to reality and the confusion of the driving scene disappears. If I had to interpret the scene I would say that it is mostly about Rabbit trying to run away from his problems at home with his good for nothing wife and seeing if he can live a new life without any prior attachments. Overall, this book is a mix of happy and sad moments for Rabbit and I definitely recommend reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harrison | 2/7/2014

    " My attitude towards this book is in the midst of a serious case of mental revisionism: as I read it wasn't like I was particularly captivated by the novel. I liked Updike's punchy prose, but the characters struck me as flat, and it didn't seem like their actions were rooted in any sort of logic (i.e., I would never have been able to guess how a character would act or think). That said, there are a few moments in this book that are incredibly strong: a few chapters take a first-person stream-of-consciousness viewpoint of a main character, and those chapters are brilliant. One in particular comes at the book's climax, capturing the mind of Rabbit's wife as she goes on a depressed bender while she is supposed to look after her newborn child. It is a haunting self-destruction that is one of the best-written moments of prose I have ever read. Thus, the book was well worth reading just for those moments, even if it wasn't particularly interesting to me overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Spinelli | 1/31/2014

    " Good book. It is not the page-turner that Roth's early books are nor can it compare to Updike's mind-blowing last book in the Rabbit series. Nevertheless it is an important piece of literature for its time and it debuncts the myth that of the perfect family that supposedly existed during the early 1960s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sushil | 12/27/2013

    " Unlike the part two in the series, Rabbit Redux, this opening novel in the trilogy is not easy to read. Updike knows that he is on to something really good and he aims to reach perfection. Nonetheless, it's a beautifully poignant rendition of the uniquely American tale of fall from not so high heights. It's 'Married with Children' without the laughs. Star athlete at high school finds the games of the world outside the confines of the basketball court don't come to him so easily. He tries to regain the old highs but is not cruel enough to break his ties to his family. Not sure about what he really wants, he goes back and forth searching aimlessly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 12/21/2013

    " Follow Rabbit as he unintentionally makes a series of poor life choices. He is conflicted, although I would argue not conflicted enough, about most of his choices. His indecision and minimization made me physically uncomfortable for large portions of the book. The writing is excellent. I appreciated the depiction of Brewer, PA. Despite being written 52 years ago, I think it's still a pretty accurate depiction of the areas of Pennsylvania where my mother grew up. I will definitely read the other books in the Rabbit series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cameron | 12/18/2013

    " Wow, this book through me for a loop. "Rabbit, Run" revolves around Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, a 26-year-old salesman who was a former high basketball star. This novel basically covers a five month span in which Harry is trying to escape from the imprisonment that has become his life. He is married with a son and believes that his marriage is hopeless and is unsatisfied with the way his life is going. On the spur of the moment he decides he has had enough and leaves his family behind. Once he leaves his family, everything falls apart. In the beginning, you feel for Harry, everyone knows what it's like to question where your life has led you and to want more out of it and be restrained by prior engagements. His wife is an alcoholic and treats him pretty badly, and you kind of start to hope that he will leave her. As the story goes on and he finally leaves her, you see who Harry really is and suddenly the pitty you had for him turns into disgust. I can't say too much without giving things away but this novel will definitely pull you in and keep you there until the final sentence. I've always been a fan of Updike for his crafty metaphors and swift imagery, but he shows more than that in this novel. He showed me how to really capture the element of surprise and how to do it without using any twists. There aren't any twists in this book but when things happen it REALLY catches you off guard and is completely unexpected. I also learned from Updike how to be unpredictable and how to really develop characters and make the reader feel a certain way about each one of them. One of Updike's best. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennie | 12/17/2013

    " It was probably a mistake to take this one on vacation--it was a huge downer. I gave up about half-way through, despite my desire to read this as an important work of fiction. It was just way too depressing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 11/13/2013

    " The writing is undoubtedly very sophisticated - perhaps overly mannered - and the subject - a failing marriage - was gloomy. My first Updike - not my last, but I won't rush to read the next one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thatsrite | 11/4/2013

    " Hated hated hated this book. DNF. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lex Bijlsma | 11/2/2013

    " In evocatief en beeldend taalgebruik kent Updike zijn gelijke niet. Maar echte mensen denken in mijn ervaring toch iets helderder dan Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 9/6/2013

    " If you don't appreciated the story (no happy endings, or beginnings for that matter), you can appreciate Updike's writing. It is remarkable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 9/1/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book. The main character was just too unlikeable. I like characters with flaws but Rabbit is an egocentric ass. It was obvious the author wanted us to relate to or at least pity Rabbit. Made me wonder if I would like John Updike (sorry, but it's true). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake Berlin | 8/26/2013

    " if i were a woman, i probably would have hated this book. in any event, i enjoyed the drift through unnameable angst. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mikaela Renz-Whitmore | 4/30/2013

    " Couldn't go there. Not worth finishing for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hilary Stork | 11/22/2012

    " Damn. Makes me want to read the next one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 7/13/2012

    " Love Updike "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyrie | 5/6/2012

    " Rabbit is such a jerk, and yet, so typical of how I remember men of my father's generation. I know he's been hailed as an antihero. I don't see him as that as much as I see him as someone who life assaults and who keeps on making bad choices. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miles | 1/24/2012

    " Hard to argue against Updike's greatness - this book is a staple of a time and place and having not read it in context, I think the impact may have been lost on me. That said, important book, great style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ag Berg | 8/30/2011

    " Enjoyed this book for the story, I was much too young at the tine to really "get" it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeremy Bolen | 6/26/2011

    " I put off reading Updike for a decade and now I see why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/18/2011

    " Read a long time ago. I'm not sure what to say about it now. I was very
    impressed by Updike at the time. Did he have to name him ANGSTrom? A bit obvious... Date read is a guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/12/2011

    " Blew my mind in places, I have the four novel set and haven't gotten through the second one. I can imagine how amazing this book was at the time of publication. Anyone who hasn't read the poems Updike published in the New Yorker about dying... should read them right now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Soli | 5/5/2011

    " I stole this book from my mother when I was 11. She kept it hid because of the racy parts. Ever since I have been an Updike fan and followed Rabbit through the years.

    I am quite fond of him;somewhat like a favorite relative. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 5/2/2011

    " I know it's supposed to be groundbreaking for its era, but it doesn't make the characters any more sympathetic. A rather unpleasant read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Samantha | 4/26/2011

    " this is shockingly sexist! like, i am finding myself repeatedly shocked! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 4/17/2011

    " It is finished. It is begun. Next up: Rabbit Redux "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 4/15/2011

    " Terrific snapshot of 1959 America, via small town Pennsylvania. Great writing. "

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About the Author
Author John Updike

John Updike (1932–2009) was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with two Pulitzer Prize Awards, the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, a collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards: in 2011 for Biography and History, in for History and Historical Fiction, and in 2009 for Nonfiction and Culture. His work has also garnered twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. As a narrator, he has received nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.