Reuben, Reuben: A Novel

Paperback | November 19, 2014

byPeter De Vries

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Harking from the golden age of fiction set in American suburbia—the school of John Updike and Cheever—this work from the great American humorist Peter De Vries looks with laughter upon its lawns, its cocktails, and its slightly unreal feeling of comfort. A manic epic, Reuben, Reuben is really three books in one, tied together by a 1950s suburban Connecticut setting and hyper-literate cast of characters. A corruptible chicken farmer fearful for the fate of his beloved town, a womanizing poet from Wales (Dylan Thomas in disguise), and a hapless British poet-cum-actor-and-agent all take turns as narrator, revealing different, even conflicting views. But alcoholism, sexism, small-mindedness, and calamity challenge the high spirits of De Vries’s well-read suburbanites. Noted as much for his verbal fluidity and wordplay as for his ability to see humor through pain, De Vries will delight both new readers and old in this uproarious modern masterpiece.

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Harking from the golden age of fiction set in American suburbia—the school of John Updike and Cheever—this work from the great American humorist Peter De Vries looks with laughter upon its lawns, its cocktails, and its slightly unreal feeling of comfort. A manic epic, Reuben, Reuben is really three books in one, tied together by a 1950...

Peter De Vries (1910–93) was the man responsible for contributing to the cultural vernacular such witticisms as “Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be” and “Deep down, he’s shallow.” He was the author of many books, including the classics Slouching Towards Kalamazoo and The Blood of the Lamb, both also published by the University of Chica...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.2 inPublished:November 19, 2014Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022617056X

ISBN - 13:9780226170565

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Editorial Reviews

“Quick with quips so droll and witty, so penetrating and precise that you almost don’t feel them piercing your pretensions, Peter De Vries was perhaps America’s best comic novelist not named Mark Twain. . . . It’s something of a crime against literature that De Vries, whose novels of the 1950s and early ’60s made wonderful sport of postwar striving, the middle-class move to the suburbs, and generational clashes that would render major cultural shifts just a few years hence, has mostly been forgotten. His 1964 masterpiece, Reuben, Reuben is nothing less than a satiric time capsule of the so-called Mad Men generation, a look at what your square older siblings were up to when you hit the road like Jack Kerouac and wound up in the Haight. Literature—in the form of the University of Chicago Press—is making amends for its lapses by re-issuing the best of De Vries’ works, five comic tomes long out of print.”