This post has moved to Renée’s Reads.
Okay, I have to admit that when I started listening to Villages by John Updike on CD immediately after listening to the audiobook of Rescue by Anita Shreve, the sophisticated language and complexity of thought in this novel struck me. It is, unquestionably, of higher literary quality than the last book I reviewed. That said, I think I liked Rescue better, in the end.
There are a handful of books that I’ve read whose most engaging action resides mostly in the introduction and conclusion. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez comes to mind, and if I recall correctly, I think Wuthering Heights had that structure as well. With Villages, Updike seems to be following in that tradition of well-respected authors with engaging stories that kind of stall out in the middle.