Thanks to the movie, people tend to assume that they know about John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick: it’s the one where a hammy devil. John Updike is the great genial sorcerer of American letters [and] The Witches of Eastwick [is one of his] most ambitious works [A] comedy. Complete summary of John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Witches of Eastwick.
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Tue have also meant to read Updike again ever since I read Couples which was a choice at my old book club back in So I admit that I entered into the spirit of reading this one in high hopes.
I have to tell you whilst The Witches of Eastwick has some similarities to Couples it has very little similarity to the film other than the characters names, it was quite unexpected. Penguin Modern Classics, paperback, edition eastwici, fiction, pages, bought by me. There is something in the air in the town of Eastwick that turns women into witches, generally when they leave or are left by their husbands. Alexandra, Sukie and Jane are three such witches and as they have become friends, with their Updkie nights of cocktails and gossip, they have formed rather a powerful bond and indeed a rather powerful coven.
What eastwic, and I witxhes add pleasantly, surprised me about the novel was the fact that these three witches were just that, witches. Alexandra counted the seconds until the thunder: By rough rule this made the storm she had conjured up two miles in diameter, if these strokes were at the heart.
Blundering thunder rumbled and cursed. Tiny speckled sand crabs were emerging now from their holes by the dozen and exstwick sideways towards the frothing sea. The colour of their shells was so sandy they appeared transparent. Alexandra steeled herself and crunched one beneath the sole of her bare foot. There must always be sacrifice. Yet these are not the sort of witches I would want in my neighbourhood because, rather surprisingly to me because of the film, these women are not that nice, more often than not they are actually quite nasty witches and quite nasty bitches.
At the same time though I found this confusing. What was Updike trying to say about women? You see initially Alexandra in particularSukie and Jane seem like thriving independent women who are getting the most out of upfike.
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike [A Review] – We Need to Talk About Books
That I found a really positive and feminist stand. Then as Darryl turns up they turn on each other and become calculating and manipulative man eaters especially Jane who I despised who will trample on each other to get the man before realising they are going to have to share and so start having group sex jojn, to please their man — classy.
Oh and heaven help any woman who then tries to get in on the act. Where is the sisterhood then? The book soon becomes the eadtwick opposite of feministic as it twists and turns.
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike [A Review]
Like most good school teachers he was a tyrant, unctuous and insistent; in his dank way he wanted to sleep with everybody. Jane was sleeping with him these days. Alexandra had succumbed a few times in the past but the episode had moved her so little Sukie was perhaps unaware of its vibrations, its afterimage.
Being a divorcee in a small town is a little like playing monopoly; eventually you land on all the properties.
The two friends wanted to rescue Jane, who in a kind of indignant hurry was always selling herself short.
It was the hideous wife, with her strawy dull hair cut short as if with grass clippers and her carefully pronounced malapropisms and her goggle-eyed intent way of listening to every word, whom they disapproved of. When you sleep with a married man you in a sense sleep with the wife eastwickk well, so she should not be an utter embarrassment. The descriptions of Eastwock and its inhabitants are marvellously created and you feel you have walked the streets, chatted to the locals and headed out to the wetlands once you have finished.
He also really looks at the society of certain times and upcike the world was changing far faster than people wanted it to.
Again, magical goings on are fine, but building a tennis court the scene in the book is even better than the film or changing the name of a street is an utterly heinous idea. Updi,e is not good.
I am torn with The Witches of Eastwick as a novel. Unusually I much preferred the film. I guess on the level of a tale of three witches in a small town who are pulled apart and against each other over a new man on the scene it is a darkly entertaining read. I also loved all the magic in u;dike a suburban setting.
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
Who else has read The Witches of Eastwick and what did you make of it? Did you dislike the witches as much as I did?
Which films have you seen that are better than the books, or give the characters and situations of a book a better context, do many of them exist? I have mixed feelings about the movie.
Every witch way
Interesting question about a movie providing better context than a book. I found that essay so blatantly full of boastful male stereotypes that I just wanted to puke. Anywho, I have a feeling this one would get my hackles up. But I’ve always secretly wanted to give it a go. He does write beautiful prose, but Rabbit was just such a bore that I found the book a real slog. I thought the movie versions of Jean de Florette and Manon Des Sources were wonderful renderings of slightly dull books.
O yes, one of the very rare examples of film being better than the book IMHO. However I still count the Rabbit quartet as some of the best books ever written and his short stories are just incredible pieces of art.
jlhn I have to say that I much preferred the novel to the movie — though I think this is largely down to my own personal taste. However, I can also see the other side of the argument.
I found the continuous linkage between women, witches and nature especially interesting; these connections have been around for centuries and have been used by feminists throughout history to empower women Cixous, de Beauvoir, Irigaray. In the novel Ewstwick think women are empowered by these connections not forced into them by patriarchy. But all interpretations are subjective and overall I actually really enjoyed this novel — much to my surprise!
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