Ian McEwan on Updike

McEwan was interviewed on some of his favorite books, and he launched into an appreciation of John Updike. He’s called him  ‘the greatest novelist writing in English at the time of his death’.

Interviewer: What is it about Updike that deserves that praise?

Rabbit At Rest

McEwan: Great sentence-maker; extraordinary noticer; wonderful eye for detail; great fondler of details, to use Nabokov’s phrase. Huge comic gift, finding its supreme expression in the Bech trilogy. A great chronicler, in the Rabbit tetralogy, of American social change in the 40 years spanned by those books. Ruthless about women, ruthless about men. (Feminists are wrong to complain. There’s a hilarious streak of misanthropy in Updike). He reminds us that all good writing, good observation contains a seed of comedy. A wonderful maker of similes. His gift was to render for us the fine print, the minute detail of consciousness, of what it’s like in a certain moment to be another person, to inhabit another mind. In that respect, Angstrom will be his monument.

And it goes on…click here to read the full interview.

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