Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Terrorist" by John Updike

John Updike's novels always seem to open up a window to life, especially to American life. With the life of Harry Angstrom (Rabbit) revealing many things about the American psyche through the years to even "The Witches of Eastwick" and exploring greed. This book is no different.

We all remember 9/11 and how it affected our lives and the questions we asked: "Why us?" "Who could have done this?" and "Why the innocents?" John Updike gives us something of an answer with this book, "Terrorist."

First he explores many aspects of American life through the many characters, an overweight housewife, the cheating husband (who is also a guidance counselor in a high school. The cheating husband is also a Jew that has lost his faith and has lost faith in the "youth of today." The fallen morals of America are explored through, not only the cheating husband but the woman he cheats with is the mother of Ahmad, an intelligent "Arab-American" that gets sucked into his religion so far that he is prepared to martyr himself.

I think the biggest aspect of this book is the fallen morals of American society. It is a very hard look at who we are (we being mainly Americans) and what the rest of the world may think. This book also explores a little into the Islamic faith and how religion in general can brainwash it's members.

As with all of John Updike's novels the dialogue is not only very realistic but also the dialogue between the characters suck you into he story and never lets go.

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