Ugh I did not enjoy this book Read it for a class otherwise I probably wouldn t have finished it As it was the boyfriend had to endure some outraged ranting The characters were flat in the extreme when they weren t being petty bitches And the message Maybe I was reading it wrong but the message I ot was that women are only powerful when they don t have men Doesn t matter if they leave the men or the men leave them All that matters is the absence Then when they have that power they will use it to do petty and awful things They will also sleep around because even though being without men is what ave them the power in the first place they certainly can t actually be happy without men in their lives They will spend thei I m enerally a fan of Updike s writing despite its tendency to flirt with misogyny but this novel of his is barely readable Conceptually it was a fascinating idea and I can only assume it was the concept rather than the actual novel that triggered the idea for the movie man this dude Updike sure can drive a truck less endowed Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood guys often like to drive around in the biggest trucks they can find making up for that lack yet unaware of the implications of their too large vehicles thisuy Updike drives his truck called The Witches of Eastwick kitted out with the biggest paragraphs and the longest sentences musing on whatever the fuck he feels like musing on his rippling brain proudly on display with no trimming or manscaping his unshorn philosophical sack hanging full and heavy his thoughts motile and vigorous salty manifold and he drives like there are no rules let alone a speed limit so what does all that say about him is this Imagine That! guy overcompensating like all those otheruys with their too large too kitted out vehicles nah his cocky nakedness shows me he s not he s proud to strip down and show his all putting what is usually hidden out there to be admired the perhaps less well endowed turn away annoyed and repulsed his big paragraphs and long sentences and jutting prose an affront his man musk is strong and not for everyonebut isn t this book supposed to be about womenthe writing does astound and that includes his characters female and male alike the central protagonist Alexandra is impressively layered a ruthless earth mother who casually fucks around and just as casually kills chipmunks and puppies and all of the crazy digressions are a marvel so easy to Elena's Conquest get lost riding these dreamy trains of thought so hard to disembark Witches of Eastwick is unuestionably a high uality product it has a scary intelligence to match its killer prose this slim book is intimidatingly dense thick with ideas thisuy Updike can write but can he write about women yes and no yes he can write about women of course he can write about women he can write about so many things including women he is an amazing writer and his thoughts on ender are never less than interesting just as the women in Witches of Eastwick are never less than primal forces never less than powerful except they are not truly powerful being prey to their pettiest emotions except that as primal forces they are purely reductive archetypes these women crave men they Succor Men Enchant Them Fuck men enchant them fuck become their muses these witches are the way men prove their manhood and the reason for them to et up in the morning and steal away from their wives these witches only find happiness when they find the right man these witches are a man s best form of support like a dog is man s best friend these witches only harm and kill animals and other womenit s a joke that this book was ever considered to be even remotely feminist it s laughable that cockproud Updike thought he was writing about female power a power that patriarchal societies have denied it s hilarious that critics considered this an intelligent engagement with feminism when it defines its women almost solely by their relationships with men I uess 1984 was a tough year for female empowerment if this book was considered pro feminism testosterone writes about estrogen and the result is women seen through a very male eye4 stars for the fully engorged writing 2 stars for the limp ideasand so 3 stars overallThank you Davytron for recommending this book My issues aside this was a rich and thoroughly enjoyable
Experience At Least While Reading At least while reading My problems came up after the book was put down The act itself was exciting and memorable it wasn t
until later that the malaise and the feeling of hollowness set in Typical for me I suppose later that the malaise and the feeling of hollowness set in Typical for me I suppose m a uy after all I must confess that I was hoping that this book would be a lightfluffyfun read I really loved the movie and was looking forward to some light hearted revenge to ease the aching in my brain Unfortunately for me and my brain the only things from this book that made it into the movie were the three witches the horrible rich man wasn t Jack Nicholson just perfect in this roletotally disg High Hopes will almost always set a reader up for a fall The excitement of chosing a book THIS book to begin my month Witches and spells to celebrate the Halloween spirit of OctobersighHaving never seen the film or read any Updike novels before I really did not know what to expect I only knew that I expected Rescuing Gus great things And sadly this novel did not deliver manyreat things at allsighA little over two weeks spent trying to et into a novel that is only 306 pages long That s an average of about 150 pages week That s an average of 21 pages a day That s an awful average Wanna know what s even worse than that average The fact that whole days went by without me even WANTING to pick this book up again when I first started it The characters were not really likable I could not find anyone that I felt connected to or at least even slightly cared about Updike has this uncanny way of making them all ugly even if they are supposedly attractive Pointing out every flaw though he went much easier on the woman The poor men characters in this book never stood a chance All are balding bad breathed hairy knuckled sweating things GrossHis idea of what women want what women talk about and how women act around each other was completely off base And coarse And he likened things about a womans body and attitude to. The air of Eastwick breeds witches women whose powerful longings can stir up thunderstorms and fracture ,
Skimming Van Horn s last lengthy pointless diatribe before he left the book forever I read this book the way it ought to be read or at least in the circumstances which are best suited for itI was away at a beach house for a weekend in the middle of summer and had pretty much nothing to do but lollygag around smoke cigarettes and read this bookIt s perfect for sunny clear skies and long hours drinking lemonade by the ocean The writing is crisp uick and clear Updike s pretty much encyclopedic when it comes to writing skills and he s doing everything pretty smoothly here aphorisms characters vibrancy plot vividness The stuff is alive You can see it all happening in your mind s eye I was in Connecticut and the book is set in Rhode Island though one Yankee beach town is about the same as another I reckon I ve been to enoughBut there s something very charming no pun intended about reading the lives of some pretty sexy MILFs who have some magical powers spunky libidos and a whole bunch of whistful ruminations about the passage of time and the sagging bounty of youthFun uick a real pleasure to read and kinda hot to bootOnly reason I really ave it two stars rather than three or four the above criteria is than enough to put it up there is because ultimately that s pretty much all I can say about it Not much to take away from this one I say sincewellI haven t actually taken much away from it than merely this My introduction to the fiction of John Updike is The Witches of Eastwick and based on 111 pages it s Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story going to take Elizabeth Montgomery wiggling her nose for me to pick up one of the author s books again Published in 1984 this literature is set in a uaint Rhode Island town described down to the flowers or carpeting where three bewitching women described down to their facial features and dialects become involved with a brutish bachelor named Darryl Van Horne Some might even say he s the devil Of the 1000 approaches to that story Updike s is so pontifical and pumped up with its own magnificence that it ceases to be ridiculous and just becomes unreadableSet in the late 1960s where there is no love lost between the author and those kidsrowing their hair long protesting the war and listening to those damn Beatles records the title characters are Alexandra Spofford Jane Smart and Sukie Rougemont divorcees or widows who ve all shacked up with seemingly every able bodied man in Eastwick Artisan musician and writer the witches of Eastwick are less committed to their craft creative craft or witch craft of which Lexa seems the most talented as much as they re casting for their next male conuest They re each repulsed by Van Horne the swarthy super rich New Yorker but all attracted to him as wellLet me start with what this novel is not This novel is not progressive in its portrayal of liberated women with Van Horne breaking up the Thursday coven meetings the three women hold weekly Their development hinges on their relationship to various men They re not independent enough to see through Van Horne s wealth or have the self respect to reject his mansplaining Don Draper would approve Of Van Horne S Opinions Van Horne s opinions ender studies This novel is not horror or fantasy fiction in any reliable way and not particularly paranormal though Lexa can alter the weather and will her enemies into acts of bad luck And finally this novel is not readable She returned to putting up Mason jars of spaghetti sauce sauce for spaghetti than she and her children could consume even if bewitched for a hundred years in an Italian fairy tale jar upon jar lifted steaming from the white speckled blue boiler on the trembling singing round wire rack It
was she dimly perceived some kind of ridiculous tribute to hershe dimly perceived some kind of ridiculous tribute to her lover a plumber of Italian ancestry Her recipe called for no onions two cloves of arlic minced and sauteed for three minutes no no less that was the magic in heated oil plenty of sugar to counteract acidity a single rated carrot pepper than salt but the teaspoon of crumbled basil is what catered to virility and the dash of belladonna provided the release without which virility is merely a murderous congestion All this must be added to her own tomatoes picked and stored on every window sill these weeks past and now sliced and fed to teh blender ever since two summers ago Joe Marino had begun to come into her bed a preposterous fecundity had overtaken the staked plants out in the side arden where the southwestern sun slanted in through the line of willows each long afternoon The crooked little tomato branches pulpy and pale as if made of cheap reen paper broke under the weight of so much fruit there was something frantic is such fertility a crying out like that of children frantic to please Of plants tomatoes seemed the most human eager and
Fragile And Prone To Rotand prone to rot the watery orange red orbs Alexandra felt she was cupping a iant lover s testicles in her hand She recognized as she labored in her kitchen the something sadly menstrual in all this the bloodlike sauce to be ladled upon the white spaghetti The fat white strings would become her own white fat This female struggle of hers against her own weight at the age of thirty eight she found it increasingly unnatural In order to attract love must she deny her own body like a neurotic saint of old Nature is the index and context of all health and if we have an appetite it is there to be satisfied satisfying thereby the cosmic order Yet she sometimes despised herself as lazy in taking a lover of a race so notoriously tolerant of corpulenceThere are longer paragraphs in The Witches of Eastwick and shorter paragraphs but this is representative of Updike s focus which isn t on character or storytelling but on his own brilliance at turning a word It s writing that is uite pleased with itself and satisfied with how well it has women figured out Despite the publishing date this feels like a relic of the Swinging Sixties A film adaptation released in 1987 took place in the present day and starred Jack Nicholson Cher Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer Nicholson s charms and special effects are the focus while the relegation of the female characters to fashion accessories are a holdover from the obtuse boo. Ck breezes Darryl Van Horne a charismatic magus of a man who entrances the trio luring them to his mansio.