Closing Thoughts on Witches

New book will be announced in tomorrow, but today I’m offering some quick and final thoughts on the third book of the Big Read, The Witches of Eastwick. What the book does well is the small things. The way Updike describes magic and how his characters speak in sulky, middle class, bored tones, all of … Continue reading

Reviewing a Scene 2: The Gabriels at Home

The other day, I wrote about a scene in The Witches of Eastwick where our three wicked ladies are seduced by a devilish new man in town. Read that here. Today, is a follow-up with what is the best scene in the novel so far. And it doesn’t include the leads. The scene that closes … Continue reading

What Does Margaret Atwood Think of Eastwick?

I was lucky enough to meet a book critic named Richard Eder, who was getting rid of some of his large catalog of books as the local New York Times bureau in my city moves to a new, more homey location. I told him we were reading Witches of Eastwick and he said, “I was … Continue reading

Is Updike Just a “Penis With a Thesaurus?”

The novelist David Foster Wallace was a big fan of John Updike’s work. No wonder. As I wrote before, Updike is an English major’s sort of writer. He makes you want to write better yourself. But big fans are also the biggest critics and David Foster Wallace is merciless in a critical review of one of … Continue reading

Reviewing a Scene: Three Witches in a Tub

I wrote previously that John Updike’s novels are organic creations that bulge and stretch in certain scenes. The end of the first of Witches of Eastwick‘s three lengthy chapters has one of those. I’ll be looking at another such scene in a post next week, so come back! The first chapter of the novel is … Continue reading