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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Books by John Updike. And of course Shakespeare. The only chapter s which are a little disheartening are the ones in which Ellellou flashes back from Kush, back to Wisconsin, where he went to University.

I’d liken him to Joyce in some respects. Because that would be interesting. The last elephant north of the Grionde gave up its life and its ivory inwith a bellow that still reverberates. And yet, as I considered putting it down in favor of another -lighter – novel, I kept turning the pages only to quickly find myself a quarter of the way through. It’s all one big long but verbally compact spiritual journey.

In area Kush measures , hectares. The Couphowever, has vanished from all memory. No it is not. It’s not laziness, it’s routinization. But did Updike paint the truer picture of 3rd world tinpot dictatorships? At the end of Black Mischief, the country is a League of Nations protectorate. The two biggest phenomena in the world right now are Maoism and American television, and both are extremely stupid.


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He still has his expertise. Still less did they expect him to acquire four wives He was a legend here and I remember in Middle School, being assigned to write a report about him in the 70’s. Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed? The Coup is a coul read if you like Updike’s sometimes-frantic style which I do.

The Coup (Updike novel) – Wikipedia

Plays are usually a tough read. Quotes from The Coup. Of course satire is what Updike’s shooting for, but somehow it seems a bit too easy for someone with his gifts of observation and psychology.

If you are a 21 year old guy, you need to read Jane Austen. Writing about an African dictator and his relationship with his wives and fall from power seems to While Rabbit, Run was a bit of a pleasant surprise, this book was not. If you haven’t read it, then read it — it’s a definitive analysis of pseudo-intellectual anti-colonialism and therefore, as Steve notes, useful for understanding the mentality that shaped Barack Obama.

Auden wrote of her:. This seemed a novel ripe for satire bordering on farce, but perceived farce mostly resulted from the author trying far too hard. America is going to win the Cold War.

Copy and paste the below script into your own website or blog to embed this book. Sailer has much more important things to deal with than talking to meI picked up his best seller The Coupand was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it: A magnificent achievement, perhaps Updike’s greatest novel.


And, finally, still in the noir vein, James Cain is remarkable, and very efficient reading. This novel, while atypical as for as subject matter goes, is very typical Updike in that it is well written, clever and cheekily funny. Once again, although the updkke of colonies is over, the results of these experiences in Africa is still When I started to read this novel, I thought “hum The engine fires but it never quite catches. Maybe that’s the price of genius in the modern age when a writer feels like he has to keep pushing the boundaries of originality.

I think almost anyone can enjoy Joyce’s short stories and they are brilliant. Many of the readers of this blog would enjoy his “Mr. I don’t really care about them. The scene in The Coup where Ellellou endlessly ponders his white girlfriend in a dorm-room is a comic contrast to Obama and “Julia. August 31, at 5: It is comic perfection, from thhe to end. All public domain by now.