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Author:  John Updike
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Toward the End of Time Updike, John 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about Toward the End of Time:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0449000419
ISBN-13: 9780449000410
Sku: 30372238
Publish Date: 9/1/1998
Pages:  352
See more in Literary
 
Ben Turnbull, the hero of John Updike's eighteenth novel, is a sixty-six-year-old retired investment counselor living north of Boston in the year 2020. A recent war between the United States and China has thinned the population and brought social chaos. The dollar has been locally replaced by Massachusetts scrip; instead of taxes, one pays protection money to competing racketeers. Nevertheless, Ben's life, traced by his journal entries over the course of a year, retains many of its accustomed comforts, as supervised by his vibrant wife, Gloria. He plays golf; he pays visits to his five children and ten grandchildren. Something of a science buff, he finds his personal history caught up in the disjunctions and vagaries of the "many-worlds" hypothesis derived from the indeterminacy of quantum theory. His identity branches into variants extending back through history and ahead in the evolution of the universe, as both it and his own mortal, nature-enshrouded existence move toward the end of time.
From the Publisher:
JOHN UPDIKE IS "A STYLIST OF THE HIGHEST ORDER, capable of illuminating the sublime in the mundane, thereby elevating all of human experience."   --Chicago TribuneToward the End of Time "is the journal of a 66-year-old man, Ben Turnbull . . . [which] reveals not only the world but the wanderings of his wits. . . . So what if he jumps from a United States in the next century, disintegrating after a war with China, to ancient Egypt, or to virtual reality? So what if characters appear and disappear like phantoms in a dream? . . . Turnbulls journal is like Walden gone haywire. . . . If Bens ruthlessness is evenhanded, so is his alarming intelligence; it falls on every scene, person, object, and thought in the book, giving it an eerie ambiance."--The New York Times Book Review "A BOOK AIMED NOT TO RESOLVE BUT TO AROUSE A READER'S WONDER . . . Vintage Updike: marital angst worked out against the chilly backdrop of privilege, rendered with a lyricism and insight and eye for detail reminiscent of the work of Jane Austen."--The Miami Herald "WONDERFUL RUSHES OF NEAR-MELVILLEAN PROSE . . . Toward the End of Time has a force that gets under your skin."--New York Review of Books A Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month ClubBen Turnbull, the hero of John Updike's eighteenth novel, is a sixty-six-year-old retired investment counselor living north of Boston in the year 2020. A recent war between the United States and China has thinned the population and brought social chaos. The dollar has been locally replaced by Massachusetts scrip; instead of taxes, one pays protection money to competing racketeers. Nevertheless, Ben's life, traced by his journal entries over the course of a year, retains many of its accustomed comforts, as supervised by his vibrant wife, Gloria. He plays golf; he pays visits to his five children and ten grandchildren. Something of a science buff, he finds his personal history caught up in the disjunctions and vagaries of the "many-worlds" hypothesis derived from the indeterminacy of quantum theory. His identity branches into variants extending back through history and ahead in the evolution of the universe, as both it and his own mortal, nature-enshrouded existence move toward the end of time.The author's eighteenth critically acclaimed novel presents the wildly imaginative, restlessly intelligent journal of sixty-six-year-old Ben Turnbull, who sports across time and the globe on a series of eerie adventures. Reprint.
Annotation:
Updike's 18th novel is an apocalyptic view of the future that takes place in the year 2020, after a nuclear war with China that has reduced American politics and government to rival bands of itinerant warlords. Ben Turnbull lives in a well-to-do suburb of Boston with his wife Gloria and their five children. They pay protection money in lieu of taxes, and manage to live a normal enough life, one that has room for the Updikean themes of infidelity, despair, ennui, and nostalgia.
Author Bio
John Updike
John Updike, the son of a schoolteacher father and a mother who wanted to be a writer, was raised in Reading, Pennsylvania--a town not unlike Brewer, where, many years later, he situated his famous character, Rabbit Angstrom. Updike graduated from Harvard, where he nourished "an un-Harvardian desire to be a cartoonist," as he put it in an interview, and where he was turned down "repeatedly" for Archibald MacLeish's writing class. He was also editor of Harvard's famous humor magazine, the Lampoon. After college, Updike worked for a few years on the staff of The New Yorker before he began publishing fiction. He is the author of over 50 books, including not only novels but collections of short stories, poems, and criticism--even children's books. His novels have been almost invariably critical and popular successes, and his tetralogy about Rabbit Angstrom (RABBIT, RUN; RABBIT REDUX; RABBIT IS RICH; RABBIT AT REST) has assured him a prominent place in American literary history. Updike is a disciplined writer who has said that he can't enjoy the rest of the day until he's written at least a thousand words. Considered one of the masters of contemporary fiction, he has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Updike is the father of four children and has been married twice. He died in 2009 from lung cancer.

Praise

Kirkus Reviews
"Never less than readable, but not nearly the book it might have been. Minor Updike." 08/01/1997

Wall Street Journal
"In the midst of life we are in death: 'Toward the End if Time,' surely Mr.Updike's most death-haunted work of fiction, is by same token fully in the midst of life, especially the life of language, so strongly evident on each of its pages." - William H. Pritchard 10/08/1997

San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"A grim but brilliantly imaginative tale."

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0352
Product attributePublisher:   Random House Trade
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