The Poorhouse Fair

The Poorhouse Fair

Book - 2004
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The Poorhouse Fair, John Updike's first novel, was written in 1957 and published in January of 1959. For this, its sixth printing, the author has appended an introduction discussing the book's inspiration, its aesthetic sources and models in classics of science fiction, and the way in which its future (projected to be about 1977) compares with the present. The Poorhouse Fair was hailed at the time of its publication as "a rare and beautiful achievement" and "a work of intellectual imagination and great charity." Though its future has degenerated into our present, and Updike's later work is better known, such critics as Henry Bech have hailed this little novel as, still, "surely his masterpiece."
Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2004, ©1977.
Edition: New ed. with a introd. by the author.
ISBN: 9780394410500
Branch Call Number: FIC UPDIKE, JOHN
Characteristics: xx, 185 pages ; 21 cm


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Feb 16, 2018

Descriptive prose with some interesting but not fully completed characterizations in a jumbled but fast paced narrative. The novel was originally written in the 1959 and was set in the future but that future is unrecognizable today and the novel does not "age" very well. A fairly short novel so you won't be spending too much time on it if you choose to read it.

Nov 08, 2013

I know Updike is supposed to be great and whatnot, but I've never really gotten into him, so I'm reading through some of his books. This is his first novel and it feels very much like one: slim, unfocused, uncertain. Some have described it as an allegory, but I couldn't figure it out. His next book would be "Rabbit Run," which would put him on the map.


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