By John Updike
The Jewish American novelist Henry Bech—procrastinating, libidinous, and tart-tongued, his acceptance growing to be whereas his powers decline—made his first visual appeal in 1965, in John Updike’s “The Bulgarian Poetess.” That tale received the O. Henry First Prize, and it and the six Bech adventures that make up this collection. “Bech is the author in me,” Updike as soon as acknowledged, “creaking yet lusty, battered yet undiscourageable, consumed the blood of ink and the bread of white paper.” As he trots the globe, promotes himself, and lurches from one woman’s mattress to another’s, Bech perspectives lifestyles with a mix of ask yourself and cynicism that would make fans of the lit-biz smile with satisfaction and wince in popularity.
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Additional resources for Bech: A Book
It was far easier to trust in steel which fitted into the hand than in hints, looks, feelings. " Her narrow eyes regarded him still with that shadow smile somewhere in their depths. "I am laying no geas, nor quest upon you, outland man. But this I know: our two strands of life stuff have been caught up together by the Hand of the Over Guardian. What we wish and what will come of it may be two very different things. " Simon forced an answering smile. "Believe me, lady, in this land I watch as if I had eyes set around my head in a circlet.
Beyond stretched another hall. But here the bare stone of the walls were covered with hangings bearing the patterns of the same symbols he had seen on the bed canopy, half familiar, half alien. A sentry stood to attention at the far end of that way, raising the hilt of his sword to his lips. Koris looped back a second curtain, but this time he waved Simon by him. The room seemed larger than it was because of the vault of the ceiling which pointed up far overhead. Here the light globes were stronger, and their beams, while not reaching into those lofty shadows, did show clearly the gathering below.
The woman stirred with a bitten-off exclamation, a gasp of breath. He did not need the urgent tug at his arm to make him look at her. In the dusky quarter light a shadow moved up the end of the ledge. And she snatched his gun, gaining it by surprise, to bring down its butt with a vicious deadliness upon that creeping thing. There was a thin squeal cut sharply in the middle. Simon grabbed it was back safely in his grasp, did he look at that broken backed, squirming creature. Needle teeth, white and curved in a fiat head, a narrow head mounted on a furred body, red eyes alive with something which startled him intelligence in an animal's skull!
Bech: A Book by John Updike