Licks of Love by John Updike
Short Stories and a Sequel

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Synopsis

In this brilliant late-career collection, John Updike revisits many of the locales of his early fiction: the small-town Pennsylvania of Olinger Stories, the sandstone farmhouse of Of the Farm, the exurban New England of Couples and Marry Me, and Henry Bech’s Manhattan of artistic ambition and taunting glamour. To a dozen short stories spanning the American Century, the author has added a novella-length coda to his quartet of novels about Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. Several strands of the Rabbit saga come together here as, during the fall and winter holidays of 1999, Harry’s survivors fitfully entertain his memory while pursuing their own happiness up to the edge of a new millennium. Love makes Updike’s fictional world go round—married love, filial love, feathery licks of erotic love, and love for the domestic particulars of Middle American life.

 

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 December 18, 2007 by Random House. 370 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Licks of Love

Kirkus Reviews

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Except for “Licks,” the only piece that isn’t ruminative and virtually plotless is “Metamorphosis,” a perfectly realized portrayal of a cancer patient’s eerie transformative obsession with the woman doctor who performs his “facial surgery.” But the volume’s real raison d’être is “Rabbit Remembere...

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Publishers Weekly

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Harry Rabbit Angstrom has been dead for a decade in Rabbit Remembered, the novella that closes this latest, richly evocative Updike collection. His widow, Janice, is married to Ronnie Harrison, th

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The Guardian

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Licks of Love John Updike Hamish Hamilton £16.99, pp359 Buy it at a discount at BOL John Updike has been precocious and prodigious for 40 years.

Mar 25 2001 | Read Full Review of Licks of Love: Short Stories ...

The Guardian

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Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, 'Rabbit Remembered' John Updike 368pp, Hamish Hamilton, £16.99 Buy it at a discount at BOL A gathering of fictions, Licks of Love is a book in two halves, broken almost exactly down the middle.

Mar 17 2001 | Read Full Review of Licks of Love: Short Stories ...

Publishers Weekly

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The ramifications of Harry's legacy include a strained Thanksgiving dinner that degenerates into political argument and acrimonious insults, and a mordantly funny flashback to a scene in which Harry's cremated remains were inadvertently left on a closet shelf in a Comfort Inn.

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Book Reporter

multi-volume chronicle of the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom.

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Entertainment Weekly

In his new book, ''Hooking Up,'' in a self serving polemic called ''My Three Stooges,'' Tom Wolfe trumpets the power of the naturalistic novel to capture the ''irresistibly lurid carnival of American life today'' while lambasting the writers John Irving, Norman Mailer, and John Updike -- all detr...

Nov 22 2000 | Read Full Review of Licks of Love: Short Stories ...

BookPage

The second half of Updike's new short story collection, Licks of Love, is a novella, Rabbit Remembered, which resurrects Harry in spirit if not in his perpetually libidinous flesh.

Jul 07 2014 | Read Full Review of Licks of Love: Short Stories ...

London Review of Books

Updike does not appear to believe that words ever fail us – ‘life’s gallant, battered ongoingness’, indeed – and part of the difficulty he has run into, late in his career, is that he shows no willingness, verbally, to acknowledge silence, failure, interruption, loss of faith, despair and so on.

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Austin Chronicle

A friend once told me, incredulously, that while he devoured all of John Updike's "Rabbit" books (Rabbit, Run was followed by Rabbit Redux in 1971, Rabbit Is Rich in 1981, and finally Rabbit at Rest in 1990), he could not imagine he would want to spend more than two minutes in a room with Rabbit ...

Dec 22 2000 | Read Full Review of Licks of Love: Short Stories ...

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