The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick - John Updike DNF about 50 pages in. I just can't with all this BS. Less than 5 pages in, I knew I was probably not going to like it. It is very, very obviously written by a man. Some men do ok with writing women. This is not one of those cases. I have so many problems with this book from just these 50ish pages, I don't even know where to begin.

Let's see... Honestly, if I could just C&P the entire book so far, I would, but I'll try to narrow this down to a few examples.

There's the obsession each of the women seems to have with the other two and their bodies. They're constantly being compared in great detail. At one point, Alexandra's thoughts are something about her "...wish to stroke that long flat stretch from the other woman's breasts to below her waist, the way one longs to dart out a hand and stroke the belly a cat on its back..."

Then there's the trope (or at least I think it's a trope because I'm pretty sure I've seen it a lot, but mostly from men writing women) of how liberated/empowered/feminist women all want to fuck any man who'll sit still. These women are having sex with literally any man, including the husbands of the other two.

Then there's this gem:

"Of plants, tomatoes seemed the most human, eager and fragile and prone to rot. Picking the watery orange-red orbs, Alexandra felt she was cupping a giant lover’s testicles in her hand. She recognized as she labored in her kitchen the something sadly menstrual in all this, the bloodlike sauce to be ladled upon the white spaghetti. the fat white strings would become her own white fat. This female struggle of hers against her own weight: at the age of thirty-eight she found it increasingly unnatural. In order to attract love must she deny her own body, like a neurotic saint of old?"

A bit later, there's more menstrual musing, some racism thrown in for good measure, and so much misogyny I feel like the Orange Menace could have written it. Actually, yeah, the writing in this really reminds me of things he's said either in interviews or on twitter. Only Updike seemed to be trying to show how much he "loves" and "respects" women, but ended up showcasing just how true the opposite is.

There's more, but I don't feel like getting up to retrieve the book from where it landed when I threw it a few minutes ago.

I might have enjoyed this, had I read it when I was much younger. I'm so, so glad it was never in any of the libraries I visited, though. I hate that I wasted $3 on this, instead of spending it on something better, but I'm also glad I didn't read it when I was younger and less aware. I'm finding that the older I get, the less patience I have for BS, especially from men directed at/about women.