The two soon became collaborators and then married in The good thing is, I don't have to read it again. What's new is a dystopian near-future setting, with America semi-devastated after a fierce war with China.
I have great respect for Updike as a writerhe was one of the writers who inspired me to become a writer myselfbut even great writers occasionally write shitty books, and this one was his. Updike manages an amazing range of moods with his usual grace and dexterity, though this is not a novel for the faint hearted or those who are dictionary deprived.
Age, time, the power struggles between the sexes are gloriously answered within the waxing and waning of the seasons as nature moves through its own cycle and place in time. Metaphors are brilliantly used and is par for the course as far as Updike is concerned. Note the uncanny use of the deer as she slyly turns into a brilliant young Updike manages an amazing range of moods with his usual grace and dexterity, though this is not a novel for the faint hearted or those who are dictionary deprived.
Note the uncanny use of the deer as she slyly turns into a brilliant young whore which Turnbull, the main character, uses to his own advantage. Here we find the ultrarealism of the hell that we call our daily existence as well as the quintessence of mortality.
Updike's wit is applied to a wide range of topics, from flowers, animals, grandchildren, corpses, copulations; ancient Egypt and plastic peanuts; memory, disgust, dread, lust and spiritual rapture. Life encapsulated within pages of devastating literature. View all 3 comments. As the first Updike book I have ever read, I was enamored with his poetic style, and his impressive respect for nature and science. I found him to be an amazing stylist with a talent for being able to decribe things in tremendous realistic detail.
His writing read like poetry, but the side effect of this was that it was very dense and I was only able to read so much of it at a time. The plot was fairly uneventful: There were some cool antedotes about ancient egypt and cosmology, it was very scholarly in that sense: It also took place in Massachusetts, and the descriptions conjured up great memories of growing up in that fine state.
It wasn't the most uplifting of books. I would say the greatest takeaways would be his thoughts on time and the brain excercise that comes from ingesting the dense prose itself. It's worth reading alone to see the power a great writer can have with simple words.
These are the musings over one year of a 66 year-old man set in after the nuclear US-China war. Government has collapsed but a privileged life still goes on in Massachusetts. The book was copyrighted in but at one point the gardener is thinking of seeking a better life in Mexico. But so many people have been doing the same that Mexico built a wall! Its half-baked musings on mortality, our place in the cosmos, and post-apocalyptic life is a really tough and, often, creepy tour of Updike's brain.
Rabbit Angstrom, from Updike's twice-Pulitzer-acknowledged Rabbit series, is the template from which Updike has cut each of his successive grumpy-grousers. Where Rabbit was though, in his days of conception, a marginally sympathetic character, Updike's successive creations just slightly tweak the Rabbit character; their similarity can only lead the reader to think they're semi-autobiographical caricatures of Updike's own life.
This is particularly problematic with Ben Turnbull, protagonist of "Toward the End of Time", and arguably Updike's creepiest concoction. The premise of this seemed somewhat promising: Ben Turnbull is a 67 year-old retired investment advisor in the year , ten years after the Sino-American conflict which destroyed a huge chunk of the US a plot point that is woefully underexplained, and seems only to set up a hare-brained sexual fantasy. He had five kids with his first wife and ten grandkids , and is married to a woman he thinks is trying to kill him.
He predictably grouses about his sex life, and regularly pays for a prostitute. Despite his rather mundane life, he has no problems throwing around nearly every phylum and genus of every shred of flora and biota on his ocean-front Massachusetts property, and has no problems dropping any and every cent adjective the English language has ever invented "chthonous"?
He evidently suffers from dementia or Altzheimer's, too, because he'll a propos of nothing break into first-person flights of fancy, being present around the days of Jesus' crucifixion, there when Egyptian tombs robbed of their booty, present as a Nazi guard in a concentration camp, and HOLY CRAP did Ben just fantasize about auto-fellating himself?
There are smatterings of caustic wit present that remind us that, indeed, John Updike was one great American writer. The aftertaste of some of the skeezy images he leaves us with in this novel, though, are best left in the unread pile, and call for a re-read of the Rabbit series to floss this pseudo-intellectual hoo-ha from the memory banks.
The recipe for Updike's "Toward the End of Time" could be appropriated as thus: Clearly, since "Time" precedes several of these works, I'm not implying they had a direct influence on Updike. Rather I'm trying to characterize the ingredients of my experience reading this book, The recipe for Updike's "Toward the End of Time" could be appropriated as thus: Rather I'm trying to characterize the ingredients of my experience reading this book, and I think that's arguably an accurate portrait.
The strange thing about this novel is that I like some things about it and I didn't like other things, and more often than not, those things overlap. Some days I liked them, other days not. The idea of essentially doing a literary dress-up of science fiction is intriguing, filtering an international apocalypse, quantum mechanics, mysterious spaceships and mutant life-forms through the perspective of an aging libidinous death-doting curmudgeon because let's face it, such people are so often the protagonistic focus of New Yorker-style literary fiction.
But as other reviewers have pointed out, such disparate elements don't really cohere into a satisfactory whole. Especially incongruous, at least to me, are the sexual asides. I wasn't at all offended by them; rather I found them funny, if somewhat disjointedly out of place. Once I finished the book, I could in retrospect see what he was maybe intending with it the "End of Time" referring to the end of history and to that of Ben's personal time, so identified with sex and the need to procreate , but the porn-like passages and the special historical trips to biblical periods or Nazi Germany and the golfing and the Chinese War all kept clanging into one another and never meshing.
The prose is wonderfully crafted, very supple, very rich, and very evocative. However, I think one of the novel's problems might have been solved had Updike chosen third-person limited and not first-person.
For one, such eloquence is difficult to believe coming from the protagonist, given his overall maturity and life spent in finance. The well-crafted narrative creates a disjunct between the character and the reader.
I'm not believing these are Ben's words. They're Updike's, hardly veiled as Ben's. If authors want to run wild with floral prose, they either need to make their first-person narrators believably capable of such eloquence writer, critic, scholar, etc. The journal of Ben Turnbull describes one year of his life, towards the end of his life, he's 66 and life contains a lot of beauty. Where is this beauty? He's a wealthy and educated man, interested in science, history and religion.
The question is not about his own mortality, which becomes apparent in the pages of his journal, nor it is about the degradation of old age and the dying process.
The question which is illuminated in these pages is one of the sheer beauty of life right into its death. Ben has a relish for the great show of nature, trees, flowers and women. That's the brilliance of this book, its concerned with describing beauty of life, and human civilization as life itself, one which seems to be dying, along with the book's protagonist.
What's the purpose of life? And its relation to death? How can we take pleasure in it while our bodies and lives seem to be under attack from the forces of death right the way through? This book isn't just a story about a dirty old man, it's got poetry in it.
There are long descriptions of sex, flowers and women, interweaved with philosophical enquiry, and spiritual questing. It's a brilliant piece of literature and worth reading more than once. Didn't think I'd like Updike. This book proved me wrong.
The story is a mish-mash of science and philosophy with some very dark and scathing ideas about the human condition. Thus, I loved it! It can even be worn under normal, everyday trousers. Gottfried Lemperle DE It should be pointed out that with the PeniMaster PRO system, a membrane dynamically adapts during wear, and does not slip even due to moisture such as sweat.
This shows that it is form fitting. Rather, it combines vacuum with other binding forces. As these holding forces supplement each other, a very secure fastening to the glans is possible, whilst at the same time minimising unwanted side effects. The extender really is very good.
Clinical study PeniMaster PRO prevents shrinkage and causes enlargement of the penis after prostate removal in the case of prostate cancer. PeniMaster PRO base — very easy. Their initial plan was to film "whatever we saw happening around us" in a small town in France, but this never came to fruition. In , the two worked on a film that Godard initially conceived as "One AM" One American Movie on the subject of anticipated mass struggles in the United States — similar to the uprisings in France that year.
When it became clear that Godard's assessment was incorrect, he abandoned the film. Pennebaker's film company was also a notable distributor of foreign films, including Godard's La Chinoise the American opening of which became the context for One PM , but the endeavor was ultimately a short-lived and costly business venture.
Then around , Pennebaker met experimental filmmaker turned documentarian Chris Hegedus. The two soon became collaborators and then married in The resulting film, , was released the following year, and prominently features a group of young fans travelling across America as winners of a "be-in-a-Depeche-Mode-movie-contest," which culminates at Depeche Mode's landmark concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
In , during the start of the Democratic primaries, Pennebaker and Hegedus approached campaign officials for Arkansas governor Bill Clinton about filming his presidential run. They were granted limited access to the candidate but allowed to focus on lead strategist James Carville and communications director George Stephanopoulos. Pennebaker and Hegedus continue to produce a large number of documentary films through their company, Pennebaker Hegedus Films , most notably Moon Over Broadway , Down from the Mountain , Startup.
At Liberty , Al Franken: God Spoke , and Kings of Pastry In May , they directed their first live show when they directed a YouTube webcast of the National performing a benefit show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In he was awarded a Governors Award , introduced by Michael Moore. Currently, Pennebaker and his wife are creating a documentary that will focus on the Nonhuman Rights Project and its efforts to have certain animals, such as cetaceans , elephants, and apes, be classified as legal persons.
Pennebaker's films, usually shot with a hand-held camera, often eschew voice-over narration and interviews in favor of a "simple" portrayal of events typical of the direct cinema style Pennebaker helped popularize in the U. Of such an approach, Pennebaker told interviewer G. Roy Levin published in that "it's possible to go to a situation and simply film what you see there, what happens there, what goes on, and let everybody decide whether it tells them about any of these things. But you don't have to label them, you don't have to have the narration to instruct you so you can be sure and understand that it's good for you to learn.
He instead repeatedly asserts that he does not make documentaries, but "records of moments", "half soap operas", and "semimusical reality things". An accomplished engineer, Pennebaker developed one of the first fully portable, synchronized 16mm camera and sound recording systems which revolutionized modern filmmaking. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Evanston, Illinois , U. Retrieved November 21,