Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

Since I really enjoyed the movie version of Witches of Eastwick, I decided to read Widows of Eastwick. But I couldn't read Widows of Eastwick without having read Witches of Eastwick first.

The book and movie are vastly dissimilar. That I found this surprising is surprising. I mean, I've read enough books after seeing the movie adaptations to be well acquainted with the fact that the book and the movie are often vastly dissimilar. But I was surprised.

What I also found surprising is how intriguing I found Updike's prose. I read novels for plot. I skim the extraneous details, the superfluous descriptions. If it doesn't move the plot forward, it doesn't hold my attention.

And yet, Updike's prose grabbed me in spite of myself. Yes, even the ridiculously lengthy recitation of Jane's middle of the night cello concert kept me, if not engrossed, at least paying attention.

I enjoyed the story told by the movie better, especially the end but on a more superficial level. I found the book's story deeper, more conflicted, more unapologetic about its main characters' amorality.

Now, on to the Widows . . .

1 comment:

Susan said...

I've never read any Updike. Maybe a short story, but I'm not sure that I have. I've seen him interviewed and know that he's supposed to be this great writer, but he's one I haven't had time for yet.