Couples

The provocative novel about sex in suburbia, striking in its complete sexual frankness and rightly praised as an artful, seductive, savagely graphic portrayal of love, marriage and adultery in America.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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Write, Publish, Promote. Words I am learning to live by. Want this to be your motto too? Join me and together we'll navigate the path to publishing success.

3 Comments

  1. The Dissatisfactions of Marriage (4.3*s) Set in fictional Tarbox, MA in the early 1960’s, this book of 1968 was certainly a risqu’ and revealing look at marriage in a small suburban community at a time of increasing sexual awareness and openness. Looking back, the sexual content is actually rather mild, but, more importantly, it seems that the type of communities and lifestyles that Updike describe have been swallowed up by vast, numbing suburbs, where traffic is terrible, wives work, and neighbors are strangers. 

  2. Love thy neighbor Updike’s portrait of the upper middle class in a sleepy Boston suburb in 1963 when people actually had more time than they knew what to do with seems almost as distant and foreign to our overworked present as Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age. Set on the eve of the sexual revolution, the novel explores a circle of couples who nearly devour each other out of jealousy, lust and boredom. Yet, the book is not without its tender sides, as Updike manages some hard-won sympathy for his protagonist Piet Hanema,…

  3. Take their wives, please I don’t think anyone reads John Updike books to feel good about themselves, unless they want to feel glad that they are not the people in his novels. His characters are constantly flawed, strewn with cracks, by turns petty or manipulative or simply ignorant, doing things out of self-interest or boredom and seeming to not understand the consequences of their actions, or knowing them full well and doing it anyway because they just don’t care. Which, in all honesty, is what makes his books worth…

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