John Updike died from cancer this week. He’s someone I always meant to read more of. I remember him being the castaway on Desert Island Discs where he mentioned wondering where his love beads (remember them?) had gone to. I identified with that remark. If you look him up in Google images you’ll see lots of photos of him smiling
I’ve read several of his short stories and I have a copy of Couples which I’ve read four times. I also know someone else who has read Couples several times. I was interested to observe how my attitude to the main character Piet Hanema changed over the years. When I was young, he was exciting and could do no wrong. The last time I read the book a year ago, he’d become a cheat and an egoist, his wife, Angela was much better off without him - the rat! The background to all of this is the assassination of JFK. The book captures that moment when the world held its breath.
He was at the Hay-on-Wye festival in 2004
More from others.