Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP John Updike

John Updike dead at 76. I haven't read an abundance of his stuff, but what I've read, I've really enjoyed. Rabbit Runs has what is quite probably one of my two favorite endings both in terms of ways to end a book and in terms of linguistic structuring (the other being Portnoy's Complaint), and the collection of short stories that came out a few years ago offers a great argument that Updike is one of the greatest short story writers ever in any language. Certainly, his New England regionalism may not be everybody's cup of tea, and I've heard that his longer novels could be hit or miss. Still, his passing marks the loss of one of the greater literary talents of the 20th century.