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    By: John Updike

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    Well-to-do, thirty-five-ish, the ten couples living in Tarbox, New England, form an exclusive, competitive group. They are sociable, articulate and unhappy; they enjoy sailing, basketball and skiing; they play word games in the evenings - and adultery all the year round. Discreetly, tentatively slipping in and out of affairs, they and their rituals are observed by the baleful eye of their self-appointed ringmaster, Freddy Thorne.In this brilliant treatment of the couples' involvements and aberrations John Updike gives us, in every sense, the anatomy of a generation.'Rich, intoxicating, incantatory - sexual experience is described with a rare and eloquent insight' - The Times'A marvellously sensitive writer - an outstanding novel - he can convey the quality of sexual experience in a way that practically no other living writer can' - Gavin Ewart in the Evening Standard'A cat's-cradle of vigorous adultery, as filtered through the sensibility of a modern Jam

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