Since we're such big fans of Time book critic Lev Grossman, this week's review of John Updike's latest book troubles us that much more. Updike apparently has images of Grossman tearing through The Da Vinci Code somewhere, because we can't think of any other reason to toss Philip Roth aside so quickly and embrace John Updike so completely as he does in his review of their latest efforts. The adulation becomes unbearable starting now.Lev Grossman fellates Updike with a knowing look as Updike cradles his bald head in a three part essay that also addresses Philip Roth and Toni Morrison. Grossman's highest praise is for the man from his alma mater:
It's a cruel irony: in an age when straight talk and authenticity are all anybody wants from writers, Updike is cursed with the unfashionable gift of eloquence. His prose is so effortlessly fluid, it gets him tagged as a lightweight, a silver-tongued devil: all art, no matter. But who has written more intelligently or more ruthlessly about sex and the suburbs than Updike?
Richard Yates. Leonard Michaels. Robert Coover. Thomas Pynchon. Evan S. Connell. Richard Ford. Hell, even Tom Wolfe. Then again, what is a Harvard guy going to say about another Harvard guy? Seriously:
One wonders whether anybody has ever described the small physical indignities of the aging process with as much tenderness and good humor as Updike.
We have to hope that by asking this many inane rhetorical questions about John Updike's greatness, he is taking a bullet for us all so that no one will wonder sincerely, "Have anyone described a blowjob better than that old SOB?" Even non-Ivy leaguer and New York Times Books Review editor Sam Tanenhaus can't keep Updike's balls out of his mouth this Sunday. Sam Tanenhaus and John Updike Do 69 [NYTBR]