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The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion
Melvin Lerner

In the Beauty of the Lilies

In the Beauty of the Lilies - John Updike Well, I like parts of this and dislike parts of it. Though I liked some of the first section, I found most of the book to be a little less than what I would have liked; Updike seems a little less perceptive, or a little less willing to go into what I'm interested in, than someone like Philip Roth. However, the last section is a significant improvement, even though I have a hard time understanding Clark's motivations. But I have to say I'm a little disappointed with it, as Updike is supposed to be one of the great American authors of the late 20th century and I just don't see that here. I can't quite articulate what is missing beyond some vague sense that he isn't as perceptive as some other late 20th century American authors, such as Roth. That doesn't mean I will give up on the guy, as this is a pretty decent novel, but I am certainly a little more skeptical about his reputation than I used to be.