Couples by John Updike
A Novel

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One of the signature novels of the American 1960s, Couples is a book that, when it debuted, scandalized the public with prose pictures of the way people live, and that today provides an engrossing epitaph to the short, happy life of the “post-Pill paradise.” It chronicles the interactions of ten young married couples in a seaside New England community who make a cult of sex and of themselves. The group of acquaintances form a magical circle, complete with ritualistic games, religious substitutions, a priest (Freddy Thorne), and a scapegoat (Piet Hanema). As with most American utopias, this one’s existence is brief and unsustainable, but the “imaginative quest” that inspires its creation is eternal.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About John Updike

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John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.
Published March 13, 2012 by Random House. 577 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Couples

Kirkus Reviews

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Pub Date: March 12th, 1968 ISBN: 044991190X Page count:...

Oct 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Couples: A Novel

The New York Times

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Updike follows the adulteries and the basketball games and the cocktail parties of a peculiar sub-group, spawned by World War II and already half-extinct.

Apr 07 1968 | Read Full Review of Couples: A Novel

Gather Books

I might have to amend my review later, because I only finished the book a few hours ago and I'm still trying to take it all in.

May 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Couples: A Novel

Perhaps most memorably, there was novelist and essayist Anna Shapiro, who claimed that Updike’s novels left the female reader “hoping that the men in your own life weren’t, secretly, seeing you that way — as a collection of compelling sexual organs the possession of which doomed you to ridicule-w...

Apr 21 2016 | Read Full Review of Couples: A Novel

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