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My introduction to the fiction of John Updike is The Witches of Eastwick and based on 111 pages, it's going to take Elizabeth Montgomery wiggling her nose for me to pick up one of the author's books again.Published in 1984, this literature is set in a quaint Rhode Island town (described down to the flowers or carpeting) where three bewitching women (described down to their facial features and dialects) become involved with a brutish bachelor named Darryl Van Horne.Nature is the index and context of all health and if we have an appetite it is there to be satisfied, satisfying thereby the cosmic order.Yet she sometimes despised herself as lazy, in taking a lover of a race so notoriously tolerant of corpulence. I found every reason under the sun (of which there has been lots these last two months) to not read this book.Of plants tomatoes seemed the most human, eager and fragile and prone to rot.Picking the watery orange-red orbs, Alexandra felt she was cupping a giant lover's testicles in her hand.All this must be added to her own tomatoes, picked and stored on every window sill these weeks past and now sliced and fed to teh blender: ever since, two summers ago, Joe Marino had begun to come into her bed, a preposterous fecundity had overtaken the staked plants, out in the side garden where the southwestern sun slanted in through the line of willows each long afternoon.
There are three witchy women doing magic of varying degrees and having copious affairs with married men; there is death and destruction; there is selfishness, cruelty and the skeevy underbelly of humanity’s tendency to judgment and heartlessness BUT it all amounts to nothing. And Updike’s writing is so bland that the characters just sort of zombie-walk around while all this is going on, without any depth or comprehension. I read this book the way it ought to be read, or at least in the circumstances which are best suited for it.
There are longer paragraphs in The Witches of Eastwick and shorter paragraphs, but this is representative of Updike's focus, which isn't on character or storytelling but on his own brilliance at turning a word. There are so many attempts to make this book edgy that it came off entirely underwhelming. Things I did instead of reading The Witches of Eastwick:(In no particular order)- Joined a pool league- Joined ANOTHER volunteer committee- Slept (in the middle of the day, for no actual reason)- Re-watched several cheesy chick flicks and dance movies - Started and finished watching 3 seasons of ‘Dance Academy’ (and then started RE-watching them)Okay this ONE probably has something to do with Jordan Rodrigues, as well.
It's writing that is quite pleased with itself and satisfied with how well it has women figured out. I found every reason under the sun (of which there has been lots these last two months) to not read this You know what?! I mean, it took me over 2 months just to finish it for fuck’s sake! - Watched several episodes of ‘Archer’ with the Beast- Read at least 10 other books (only three of which were time sensitive Buddy-reads)- Went for walks, a LOT of walks- Went to Costco and the grocery store ON PURPOSE, when we didn’t need much of anything!
Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick and through the even darker fantasies of the town’s collective psyche.
I'm suprised by all the reviews of this book that speak of Updike's ability to "get" and fully understand women ...