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.
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|Title of eBook: Licks of Love|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Licks of Love|
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Licks of Love
The Women Who Got Away
Pierce Junction was an isolated New Hampshire town somewhat dignified by the presence of a small liberal-arts college; we survived by clustering together like a ball of snakes in a desert cave. The Sixties had taught us the high moral value of copulation, and we were slow to give up on an activity so simultaneously pleasurable and healthy. Still, you couldn't sleep with everybody: we were bourgeoisie, responsible, with jobs and children, and affairs demanded energy and extracted wear and tear. We hadn't learned yet to take the emotion out of sex. Looking back, the numbers don't add up to what an average college student now manages in four years. There were women you failed ever to sleep with; these, in retrospect, have a perverse vividness, perhaps because the contacts, in the slithering ball of snakes, were so few that they have stayed distinct.
"Well, Martin," Audrey Lancaster murmured to me toward the end of a summer cruise on a boat hired out of Portsmouth in celebration of somebody or other's fortieth birthday, "I see what they say about you, at last." The "at last" was a dig of sorts, and the "they" was presumably female in gender. I wondered how much conversation went on, and along lines how specific, among the wives and divorces of our set. I had been standing there by the rail, momentarily alone, mellow on my portion of California Chablis, watching the Piscataqua River shakily reflect the harbor lights as the boat swung to dock and the loudspeaker system piped Simon and Garfunkel into the warm, watery night.
My wife was slow-dancing on the forward deck with her lover, Frank Greer. Audrey had mat...