"A SPLENDID ACHIEVEMENT": COMPLETE SET OF FIRST EDITIONS OF JOHN UPDIKE'S ACCLAIMED RABBIT TETRALOGY, EACH VOLUME INSCRIBED BY HIM
UPDIKE, John. Rabbit, Run. WITH: Rabbit Redux. WITH: Rabbit is Rich. WITH: Rabbit at Rest. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960-1990. Four volumes. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jackets. $4800.
First trade editions of all four novels in Updike's critically acclaimed series, each volume inscribed by Updike and one volume additionally signed by him.
John Updike's Rabbit tetraology of four novels chronicles the life of ex-basketball player Rabbit Angstrom—a choice that "was inspired, one of those happy, instinctive accidents that so often shape a literary career" (Books of the Century, 450). The Washington Post hailed this first in the series as "brilliant and poignant." Updike's hero "is compelled by sex, for him a transcendence of death as well as the only real satisfaction provided by a banal existence" (Vinson, 1399). Updike's much anticipated sequel Rabbit Redux was additionally hailed as "a superb performance, all grace and dazzle… a brilliant portrait of middle America" (Life), and "a great achievement, by far the most audacious and successful book Updike has written" (New York Times Book Review). Writer John Cheever affirmed subsequent praise of Updike's Rabbit is Rich, third in the series, calling it "superb—the most important American novel I've read in years." The fourth and final novel Rabbit at Rest won Updike the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was again seen as "a rich and rewarding novel… Updike is working at the full height of his powers" (New York Times). First edition of Rabbit, Run, with first trade editions of Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest—each preceded by a signed limited edition issued the same year. Rabbit, Run is inscribed, "for Pat Magarick, Best wishes, John Updike." Rabbit Redux is inscribed, "for Linda Davis, Best wishes, John Updike" and is additionally signed by Updike upside-down on the rear free endpaper. Rabbit Is Rich is inscribed on the title page, "for Steve Adorno, Best wishes, John Updike." Rabbit at Rest is inscribed, "for Millie & Julius, Best wishes, John Updike."
Interiors fine. Bindings generally fine, with just a bit of light wear to the extremities of Rabbit, Run. Dust jackets bright and fine with some wear to extremities and a half-inch closed tear to the rear panel of Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux dust jacket price clipped. A nearly fine set, scarce with all volumes inscribed.