The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick

Book - 1996
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"John Updike is the great genial sorcerer of American letters [and] The Witches of Eastwick [is one of his] most ambitious works. . . . [A] comedy of the blackest sort."-- The New York Times Book Review

Toward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, bewitching divorcées with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious. Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream. Their happy little coven takes on new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play. Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick--and through the even darker fantasies of the town's collective psyche.

"A great deal of fun to read . . . fresh, constantly entertaining . . . John Updike [is] a wizard of language and observation."-- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Vintage Updike, which is to say among the best fiction we have."-- Newsday

Publisher: New York : Fawcett Columbine, 1996
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780449912102
0449912108
Branch Call Number: UPDIKE J
UPDIKE J
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie ply their individual witcheries in contemporary Eastwick, Rhode Island, and are themselves bewitched by a dark, wealthy, decadent stranger.


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sheojuk
Aug 16, 2019

Re-reading 3 decades later, I was underwhelmed as it seemed more than ever a middle-aged male fantasy of how women might behave. As a veteran of the hippie era in New England, I found the sex unconvincing, not to say improbable in the extreme.

And a few errors really stood out. The Corvair was never a front-wheel drive car. Rear-engine, rear wheel drive, air cooled and prone to sudden spinning - as the driver (Sukie? Jane?) noted a hundred pages later. And then there was his reference to women's urinary tracts. Longer and more complicated than a man's? Not sure what anatomy text he was reading, but it wasn't for humans.

Once a mysogynist horndog, always a mysogynist horndog...

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 03, 2015

Not a big Updike fan, but this at least is free from the stifling suburban male angst of the "Rabbit" books. Lots of detailed passages about sex, which aren't particularly sexy. Made into a really crappy movie with Jack Nicholson as the devil and Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon as the witches. Followed by "The Widows of Eastwick."

a
AA789
Nov 10, 2011

The book is way better than movie which lacks all sophistication of the book.

b
blueskies100
Nov 10, 2011

The movie was much better. I found the plot and writing did not maintain my interest.

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