I can see it's brilliant and beautifully written. I can see that; it's obvious. I mean, look at this sentence:
His downstairs neighbor's door across the hall is shut like a hurt face.
Is that not an amazing sentence? The specificity of not just a downstairs neighbor, but across the hall, and what that conveys about Rabbit's living quarters. It says nothing about the neighbor, but in conveying information about the door, it says volumes about the neighbor. And the simile! "shut like a hurt face." So unexpected and again conveying so much about the situation. It blows me away how much this sentence communicates.
A page later, Rabbit hangs up his coat and Updike is careful to tell you it's a wire hanger. Again: volumes in a word. I can see that objectively.
The problem is: I don't care. I found myself skimming, ignoring reams of information. Then flipping ahead to see how long the chapter was.
I'm just not worthy of this type of capital-L Litra-chure, I'm afraid. For example, Rabbit spends four pages walking to his mother's house:
As he walks along Potter Avenue the wires at their silent height strike into and through the crowns of the breathing maples. At the next corner, where the water from the ice plant used to come down, sob into a drain, and reappear on the other side of the street, Rabbit crosses over and walks beside the gutter where the water used to run, coating the shallow side of its course with ribbons of green slime waving and waiting to slip under your feet and dunk you if you dared walk on them.
And I'm thinking, "Oh, for God's sake, man! Ask me if I care about where the slime used to be. Just get on with it!"
I fear I am a cretin.