Rabbit Redux (First Trade Edition)

BY John Updike
Book Information1/1/0/US/AF/1971/?  •  210x148x40  •  702

“Rabbit Redux", published in 1971 by Alfred Knopf, finds Rabbit a decade older from when we left him in "Rabbit, Run". Now nearing forty, Rabbit is softened by and acquiescent to the curse of a middle class lifestyle - humdrum job, bland marriage, and a teenage son. Janice, still the wife, emerges a fuller character and turns the liaison table. Shedding her status as a victim of her husband's infidelity, Janice finds herself in love with a car salesman who works for her father and leaves the family, leaving Rabbit with their thirteen years old son, Nelson. Through a colleague, Rabbit meets Jill, a teenage runaway, takes her in and develops a sexual relationship with her over time despite his initial resistance. Jill then brings in Skeeter, a friend, black, and criminal who jumps bail on drug charges and needs a hideout. Rabbit, Jill, Nelson, and Skeeter make up a dysfunctional but eclectic sort of extended family where philosophical questions on existence, sex, kinship, war and race are explored. Jill, a lover-daughter character, and her death in a house fire evokes a poignant flashback of the death of Rebecca - Rabbit's daughter, from water in a drowning accident, in "Rabbit, Run" - and a sense that Rabbit is helpless against fate's recurring misfortune. Rabbit and Janice would get back again at the end. 

The design of the dust jacket continues with the disk-and-strip theme and optical art form, with the addition of an image of a moon, a symbol of death, perhaps of Jill's, as well as a reminder of a major event during the book's era: the moon landing.

"Rabbit Redux" was well received by critics and sold well, thus popularizing the term "redux", the definition of which is given on the front flap. The book did not receive any literary award, and is probably the least desirable title in the tetralogy. Beginning from this title, Alfred Knopf would publish a separate signed limited first edition.

This is the first edition first printing of the first trade edition with the original dust jacket that is unclipped, reflecting the correct price of $7.95. The book is bound in red clothed board with gilt lettering, and has blue topstain. The copyright page should state "First Edition".

This book is not very rare and a VG+ copy can be purchased from eBay or Abebooks from $50 onwards. This is a NF copy with a NF dust jacket and a NF book.


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