Has there been a film version?
Yes, in 1970 starring James Caan.
Who are the important characters?
Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom – a 26 year old former highschool basketball star, now married with a son, who feels his life is empty
Ruth – a sometimes prostitute, who finds Harry interesting and sees the good although misguided nature about him
Janice Springer Angstrom – Rabbit’s highschool sweetheart now wife, a terrible alcoholic, she is now pregnant with Rabbit’s daughter
Reverend Eccles – a local church leader who has taken it upon himself to befriend Rabbit and save the Angstrom marriage
Tother0 – Rabbit’s former basketball coach who at first tries to return Rabbit to his wife but then helps him find Ruth as a substitute
What’s it about?
Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom is 26 and married to his high school sweetheart. The glamour of being married has long faded, and he is now the father of a two year old son and about to become a father to his daughter. His wife is an alcoholic which Harry hates. After a minor disagreement with her, he takes the car on his way to pick up his son and instead of retrieving their boy, Harry drives out of town trying to escape his meaningless life. Meeting up with his former basketball coach, Tothero, he is introduced to Ruth. Ruth is a prostitute who sleeps with Harry for fifteen dollars, but eventually the two begin to fall in love. After a tragedy involving his family, Harry is brought to a point where he must choose between his wife and his lover.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Probably because it’s very hard when examining the realities of middle class life. And there is no clear cut right or wrong in the book despite it’s attempt to place Christian standards on it. It’s no Janette Oke book.
Do you recommend I read this book?
Hmmm. I kind of liked it, but it is kind of drawn out and examines tough issues from a secular standpoint. I’d say…read it but it probably won’t be a favorite.
Why did this book make your list?
It was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels.
Has it won any awards?
No, but other books in this series have won the Pulitzer.
I got nothin’.
I was a little dubious concerning this book. Everyone else who has read it and talked to me about it has told me of it’s sexually explicit content, and pointless plot. But it’s short, so I decided to give it a chance. I’m still debating whether that was worthwhile or not. It was a very well-written book, although a little too long-winded at times, but most existential books are if you think about it. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters other than Ruth, which is ironic. I will probably end up reading at least the second book in the Rabbit series, just to find out what happens, but it won’t be for a while.