Wednesday, July 25, 2007


When I travel through airports, I have a difficult time resisting some over-priced fiction at the book shops. On the way out to Portland, I picked up Terrorist by John Updike.

Last summer I tried doing a reading group with a couple of ex-philosophy students, but it fell apart when we picked Updike's Rabbit, Run (for reasons I'll leave to your imagination). Updike is one of those highly regarded contemporary novelists, and I've read a couple of his stories.

Well, this was not his greatest fiction. The supporting characters were under-developed and almost caricatures, and the plot was fairly predictable. But it was very interesting because you got into the head of the main character who is a Muslim teenager growing up on the outskirts of NYC. You could almost feel that it made sense for him to accept a suicide mission. Updike had certainly researched the Koran.

I don't know that I'd go so far as to recommend this as reading, but if you're looking to eat up some time between Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, and South Bend, there are worse things you could do. Though I'll also admit that it makes you a little jumpy reading about terrorism as fly the friendly skies...

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