Rabbit Angstrom is Updike's vision of everyman, an ordinary man, living an ordinary life with an ordinary family in an ordinary neighbourhood, making the mistakes we all make and not really learning from them. This book is made up of three novels which follow Rabbit's life, concentrating in turn on the years 1959, 1969 and 1979.
Rabbit Run, the first book in the trilogy, is very well written but I found it boring and too focussed on the purely domestic. Rabbit Redux and Rabbit is Rich are both much more satisfying. In these novels, Updike mixes the very personal domestic scene very effectively with the politics and issues of the day. This puts Rabbit's life in context and gives a historical context to the series.
Rabbit is Rich is excellent on the burgeoning mainstream environmental awareness of the late 1970s:
'.......he helped that high-school teacher who was building his own home, with the solar panels and the cellar full of rocks that stored heat'
' why doesn't he go into something like that? That's where the future is, not selling cars. Cars have had it. The party's over. It's going to be all public transport twenty years from now. Ten years from now even.'
So what happened? Why has it has taken us until 2010 to start to get this back? And yes I know the availability of oil has a lot to do with it, but there must be more?