The Coup describes violent events in the imaginary African nation of Kush, a large, landlocked, drought-ridden, sub-Saharan country led by Colonel Hakim. Aug 13, In his life, John Updike was considered to be one of, if not the, it: For The Coup is not just the only satire of post-colonial Africa that I’m aware. The Coup was a bestseller by John Updike about Africa that is almost totally forgotten today, even though it was written by America’s most gifted novelist at.

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You know, the ones who were supposed to be great but don’t hold up when you go back to them. Grisly acts are carried out without a word spoken, from life to death as easily as a blink of an eye. Both were absolute masters of the English language and both have works that jihn readable and, uhh, less readable.

Unlike the rather optimistic american SF of the period, these books are all rather pessimistic about the long-term fate of mankind, uupdike a common theme that civilization is fragile and can end suddenly, on any pretext “Blade of Grass” is about what happens when there’s a global grain blight. Paul Johnson can be a spectacular historian. Mar 17, Ed Tge rated it liked it. February 11, at 2: Apr 04, Marius Gabriel rated it it was amazing.

Seldom does writing give one so physical a pleasure as the lyrical passages in this book.

August 29, at The quotations, when engraved upon the memory, give you good thoughts. Writing about an African dictator and his relationship with his wives and fall from power seems to both engage in paternalism and fantasy.

I can imagine that Rabbit has updikd real life similarity to Updike, so even though the character is unlikable, it feels genuine. He died of lung cancer at age Do jon think Marxism makes much of a difference in Africa?? He’s a technical virtuoso and a true genius but his work is often too difficult to engage.


The Coup by John Updike – The Barbaric Gentleman

The imaginary country of Kush, a desert landscape unblessed with oil, producing only a meagre crop of peanuts, is the great prize which falls into the lap of the hero, Ellellou, at the stroke of a sword. Similarly, I think anyone can enjoy DFW’s magazine pieces while his novels gets a bit updlke. August 31, at 5: An expert takes nothing personally. When are times not desperate? It is told in both the third upsike and the first person.

The paragraph above elucidates the two core themes of the book beyond the post-colonialism: Up to a point, Lord Copper! Far more precious in its minutiae than any grand, sweeping political entanglements.

These books are all relatively short and written in sharp, precise prose and are darkly witty at times. Re your recommendations, Scoop is great. The fear and anger are palpable, and several passages nearly stand up and pop out of the page.

Died in his 40s, I think, from a rogue wave that caught him while he was fishing from his oceanfront property in Ireland.

The Coup (Updike novel) – Wikipedia

Fawcett owns the paperback rights to his novels, but hasn’t deigned to issue an edition since I haven’t read any Updike before and doubt I will again so I have no idea whether this is representative of his work. In the vast north it is virtually immeasurable. I bet if the Soviet Union when it existed controlled Africa it would be better off than modern day capitalsm.

The capitalist antagonists seem cool and poised in contrast but they also look empty and ultimately pointless. Nov 01, John rated it did not like it Shelves: I’d put Joyce and Faulkner on the list. August 31, at 9: My sense of Updike is that he wasn’t really that conservative, something along the lines of a religious Northeastern Kennedy liberal, but that he tended to emphasize his conservatism in his stories a bit to differentiate from Philip Roth and the sexual revolution.


A number of comma splices were found, despite the juggling of his word mastery. I’ve been reading one Updike novel a year for quite awhile now. I think almost anyone can enjoy Joyce’s short stories and they are brilliant. My teacher was a big fan of his and she gave me a good grade for my report. The Great Wall, for instance, is extremely stupid. A big idea is even more apt to be wrong than a small one, because the scale is inorganic. Reviewers called Updike published The Coup after traveling to Africa as a Fulbright Lecturer in and it remains a timely look at the politics, social unrest and desperate economy of the struggling young countries as they crawl up from from the stone age into the 21st century by way of a crushing colonialism.

Read the critic William Hazlitt on a Shakespeare play you are familiar with. Mar 29, Alexander Kosoris rated it liked it Shelves: John Hoyer Updike was an American writer. It’s a mesmerising, brilliant, totally absorbing piece.

Among Tom Stoppard’s plays, Arcadia is likely his masterpiece, but Travesties is a good initial goal. This seemed a novel ripe for satire bordering on farce, but perceived farce mostly resulted from the author trying far too hard.

His writing is magnificent and his descriptions are wildly detailed, but his characters don’t rise much above the level of satire. The development of the story in the colonies, is also quite interesting and is written with a lot of irony.