Plot summary set in new england like many of updikes novels toward the end of time portrays a world in which the chinese and the americans have attacked one another with nuclear weapons the aftermath is shown through retired investment advisor ben turnbulls journal. Toward the end of time a novel john updike on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers set in the near future of 2020 this disconcerting philosophical fantasy depicts an america devastated by a war with china that has left its populace decimated. The recipe for updikes toward the end of time could be appropriated as thus one tablespoon of philip roth im thinking of his portnoys complaint one tablespoon of norman mailer one teaspoon of mccarthys the road and a pinch of vonneguts slaughterhouse five and paul hardings tinkers. In the case of toward the end of time updike has produced a particularly sour ugly and haphazardly constructed novel which takes the form of a journal kept in the year 2020 by a 66 year old retired investment counselor named ben turnbull who lives in a splendid mansion in massachusetts. Toward the end of time is written as if it were the journal of the protagonist ben turnbull and it begins with an entry written in late november of 2019 describing the first snow of the season by the end of the first paragraph the reader knows that the protagonist is somewhat depressed unable to find even a trace of his childhood exhilaration and left only with an unfocused dread of
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