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"Trapped in their cozy catacombs, the couples have made sex by turns their toy, their glue, their trauma, their therapy, their hope, their frustration, their revenge, their narcotic, their main line of communication and their sole and pitiable shield against the awareness of death."-- Time

One of the signature novels of the American 1960s, Couples is a book that, when it debuted, scandalized the public with prose pictures of the way people live, and that today provides an engrossing epitaph to the short, happy life of the "post-Pill paradise." It chronicles the interactions of ten young married couples in a seaside New England community who make a cult of sex and of themselves. The group of acquaintances form a magical circle, complete with ritualistic games, religious substitutions, a priest (Freddy Thorne), and a scapegoat (Piet Hanema). As with most American utopias, this one's existence is brief and unsustainable, but the "imaginative quest" that inspires its creation is eternal.

Praise for Couples

" Couples [is] John Updike's tour de force of extramarital wanderlust." --The New York Times Book Review

"Ingenious . . . If this is a dirty book, I don't see how sex can be written about at all." --Wilfrid Sheed, The New York Times Book Review
ISBN: 9780449911907
Branch Call Number: PBK Classics Updi


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Nov 01, 2017

Couldn't finish it. Just did not capture my interest. Found the book to be boring.

K_ROK Aug 19, 2017

Updike's prose is extremely descriptive in parts, you really feel the full picture that is Tarbox. His characters are both flawed and well developed and the story applies as much today as it did in the 1960's when it was published. A well known banned book for the ages - It was my first time reading Updike but won't be my last. A classic.

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