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Basic Bech

Bech a Book, Bech is Back

by John Updike


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Basic Bech combines two classic titles — Bech: A Book and Bech is Back — from one of John Updike's most beloved characters.

Henry Bech, the celebrated author of Travel Light, has been scrutinized, canonized and vilified by reviewers, academics, critics and readers across the world. Suffering from temporary impotence and not-so-temporary writer's block, Bech finds renewed fame when he returns to his native America and Think Big, his all-time blockbuster, hits the shops . . .

In these classic novels by John Updike, we return to a character as compelling and timeless as Rabbit Angstrom: the inimitable Henry Bech. Famous for his writer's block, Bech is a Jew adrift in a world of Gentiles. As he roams from one adventure to the next, he views life with a blend of wonder and cynicism that will make you laugh with delight and wince in recognition.

Praise for John Updike:

'Our time's greatest man of letters - as brilliant a literary critic and essayist as he was a novelist and short-story writer. His death constitutes a loss to our literature that is immeasurable' Philip Roth

'Alert, funny, sensuous. Here is a writer who can do more or less as he likes' Martin Amis

'One of the most protean of American writers . . . For a writer whose prose can be so lush and hyper-charged, he has always been in contact with the material detritus of everyday life' The Times

'He was the ideal son of a platonic union between John Cheever and J.D. Salinger, with Nabokov attending the christening as fairy godfather' James Wood

John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.

Publication Details

Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date:


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John Updike (Author)

John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He is the author of over fifty books, including The Poorhouse Fair; the Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest); Marry Me; The Witches of Eastwick, which ...

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