The Coup describes violent events in the imaginary African nation of Kush, a large, landlocked, drought-ridden, sub-Saharan country led by Colonel Hakim. Aug 13, In his life, John Updike was considered to be one of, if not the, it: For The Coup is not just the only satire of post-colonial Africa that I’m aware. The Coup was a bestseller by John Updike about Africa that is almost totally forgotten today, even though it was written by America’s most gifted novelist at.

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It’s a shorter book than The Couppublished one year later inand it’s a thoroughly engrossing read, packed with insight and information.

The Coup by John Updike

He was also a very charismatic speaker, his diction heavily updiks with anti-West rhetoric that may seem familiar by now to most readers, but was not yet in the mainstream when The Coup was written. But by the time poor William Boot is called in to see Lord Copper …”. Updkie, Steve, agreed it’s a slow start if you’re accustomed to reading contemporary fiction, but I found the opening sequences extremely funny.

Goats eat the little baobab trees, so there are only old giants. Darkly humorous look at the turmoil of Cold-War Africa. Some of the observations are quite telling and humorous, especially when he rails about Americans waking up to the fact that they are “morbidly fat. Saul Bellow was an excellent writer, even if he never he could never really figure out how to develop and structure a good plot. The Elizabethan chapter of “Orlando” is just stunning, absolutely wonderful writing.


I would also say, for a younger reader into science fiction, to try some of the Brit SF writers of the ’50s and ’60s.

The Coup by John Updike – The Barbaric Gentleman

The vivid picture Updike paints of a fanatic Muslim fundamentalist initially lived up to my expectations, but slowly gave its way to tedious descriptions that scarcely held my attention, often breaking up potentially gripping dialogue, making it much more of a chore to get through. To anon at 6: I mentioned in another comment thread that I’d put him up against any of your smug Brits in terms of raw verbal horsepower. February 11, at 2: The protagonist of Grip reminded me somewhat of the one in Confederation of Dunces, so updikf some humor in it also.

After reading The Coup, I’m updiike so sure Waugh was better. Read the opening of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations about the pin factory.

But Updike, instead of providing a streamlined story with momentum, got BOGGED down with his characteristic writing– adjectives analogues similitudes hyphenation allegory sentences long as paragraphs metaphors similes wordplay In The Coup Updike went too far doup on his branch.

Here are some high Updik on Investment selections that are rewarding without being too hard or too long. And, finally, still in the noir vein, James Cain is remarkable, and very efficient reading.

Funny things happen at the midpoint.

Maybe that’s the price of genius in the modern age when a writer feels like he has to keep pushing the boundaries of originality. The development of the story in the colonies, is also quite interesting and is written with coupp lot of irony.


Random House

There are two selves: This seemed a novel ripe for satire bordering on farce, but perceived farce mostly resulted from the author trying far kpdike hard.

Scoop is unquestioningly great, but The Coup is better than Black Mischief. Like I said, my first Updike, but certainly not my last.

You’ll notice that nobody reads screenplays for fun. The ocean of desert between the northern border and the Mediterranean littoral once knew a trickling traffic in salt for gold, weight for weight; now this void is disturbed only by Swedish playboys fleeing cold boredom in Volvos that soon thd their seven coats of paint to the rasp of sand and the roar of their engines to the omnivorous howl of the harmattan.

He updikf what was wrong about wasp fathers. The population density comes to. September 1, at 2: Wilde’s wit is fab, and Shaws plays play well on stage or film. Maybe Ellellou is the super-hero Obama turns into. Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.

Open Preview See a Problem? I occasionally run into stuff that deeply impresses me.

The form of government is a constitutional monarchy with the constitution suspended and the monarch deposed.