Full disclosure: I didn't go to Updike's reading last night at the Unitarian Church. I wish I'd been able to, if only to see if observing the old man live would've changed my mind about him and his work. Because Sharon digs him bigtime and I'm one to respect her tastes and, I'll admit, when I heard her full-force endorsement the question glimmered across my mind: have I been missing something?
John Updike is totes one of the smiliest old dudes I’ve ever seen. He has this really nice countenance that doesn’t even betray the fact that he’s been an amazing taste-maker for my beloved New Yorker and kickass critic and short-story phenom and literary mega-star. And I’m pissed that critics have been shitting all over him.
Despite some terrible reviews, John Updike’s The Terrorist is selling better than any of his novels have in quite awhile. The Wall Street Journal reports that six reprints take The Terrorist to 118,000 copies, which puts Updike on at least seven bestseller lists. This, after an LA Times reviewer likened the book to "paint-by-numbers angst."