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Print Length sivut. This book has blown through the charts in certain genres. However, I am also embarrassed because this piece is not what portrays me as a writer. While I edited it 2 years ago, I was blind to small grammar mistakes, poor word usage, and poor organization. I am happy to say that I will republish with new edits along with the second book by the end of this year Thank you very much for your support and feedback.

If you have only seen the movie, the book is darker and has a completely different ending, so it might be worth the read, but overall I give it a meh. Aside from Updike's beautiful writing, there is not much to recommend the book when you have the option of watching the much better, George Miller-directed movie. Mind you the movie isn't perfect, but at least it lacks Updile's weird way of bringing body fluids and odors into focus one too many times. Feb 22, Kirsten rated it it was ok Shelves: read-pre , borrowed.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book, but as a whole it left me feeling kind of unsettled and ambiguous. I think what ultimately bothered me was the way that the witches, who had been hurt by men, seemed to spend all their time using magic against other women. That was probably the point, but it's sort of one of those things that's been pointed out so often that I've ceased to find it very compelling or clever. I'd be interested in other peoples' thoughts on this book, though.

As many people know from the movie, this is a book about three witches in a small town and what happens when a mysterious and inexplicably largely because he's clearly a bit of a jackass charming man comes to town. Each of them is a different woman, one mother goddess artist, one a dissatisfied but passionate musician, and the other a light-hearted fluffy soul who has a gossip column at the local paper. Mostly with this plot we're seeing what would happen if the divorced ladies of town found As many people know from the movie, this is a book about three witches in a small town and what happens when a mysterious and inexplicably largely because he's clearly a bit of a jackass charming man comes to town.

Mostly with this plot we're seeing what would happen if the divorced ladies of town found themselves wielding magic and then had it sapped from them by something they may or may not have called with that power. It's certainly not without merit and a worthy read, but probably not a fun one for anyone who would cringe at Updike's out of date it was set if not written in the 70s views on women, race, culture, homosexuality, witchcraft, and married life in small town New England. In fact, there a ton of ladies ranting about that here, let me clarify how that means you didn't get the satire he's using, folks.

One, he intentionally wrote characters who are bored, vague souls who are aimless and accidentally wind up empowered like the witches of old. That's right, he never meant for you to like any of them in a direct way. Two, this is so he can play with the idea of witches from Salem era mythology, grabbing a few semi-modern notes from that 70s era concept of paganism and grounding it in the classical stories. They're supposed to be doing bad things so the town hates them like in those old stories. Three, it's not pissing on feminism, witchcraft, or even bored housewives as much as that he's having fun with the idea of complacent modern women who feel stuck in life and don't know what to do with their own energy might do with an excess of power.

He even has them doing some of the classical things witches were suppose to have done in those old tales, healing the damaged with sex, connecting with the elements, having familiars, and making spells for the needy before Daryl comes to town and sets off a big shift in both power structure and the focus for that power. The women become greedier mostly because he can't really nourish them the way he's supposed- and initially tries- to do, the jealousy over him adds to this as do the frustrations created by the lives these women lead.

Four, despite the flights of fancy, this really is meant to be set in the real world, and nothing ever really seems to be perfect in real life does it? When we lose direction we can become listless and loss our focus, when we take out passion and invest it in taking others apart we suffer and grow bitter, when we don't invest in people and go along with the crowd we lose a great deal of our own spirit.

Others sap us, people can only stand so much venom and people use each other to replace what they do not already have. This was the sort of world the Vietnam era bedroom communities often gave off. The world, lost in war, taking death and the trivial feeling life can often have when we are not capable of investing becomes circuitous, cruel, and perhaps pointless.

What good would such power do people who do not really want to live life so much as cease their boredom? All that being said, I really do think I like the movie better, mostly because it found a way to be snarky and witty about the themes without descending into bleaker territory completely. It dragged with some of the final bits, which were replaced with a more direct ending in the film and also trimmed some of the extra characters that also pulled focus away from the central plot in the book.

I liked quite a bit of Witches of Eastwick, but by the end you sort of wonder how the sequel really came to be as everything seemed pretty final. Sep 14, Amanda L rated it it was ok Shelves: , fiction-to-escape , fiction-that-haunts , scanda-lit , halloweenies. Initially I was extremely impressed with how well Updike crafted at least two of the three female leads. He seemed to be very in touch with female concerns and sensibilities and the characters, even though at times annoying, were on the whole quite likable because they felt very real.

These characters could only carry the story so far, however. Aside from the fact that their sensibilities became increasingly reminiscent of those we might expect men to impose on them, the story itself was really s Initially I was extremely impressed with how well Updike crafted at least two of the three female leads. Aside from the fact that their sensibilities became increasingly reminiscent of those we might expect men to impose on them, the story itself was really slow going.

The poor pacing and the slow deterioration of the quality of the characters couldn't be reconciled beyond a two-star rating, even though Updike certainly conveys some very insightful ideas throughout the novel. I can't tell you how much of this story was expressed exclusively through phone chatter.

Telephone conversation is inherently absent any specific place or scene so relying on it so heavily to carry a fictional story is an unforgivable and fatal flaw. On the whole, the story indeed moved very slowly but somehow the end felt like it wasn't elaborated or explained well enough. Perhaps it was the author's intent to leave something to the imagination, which is even appreciated, but if that was his intent, it severely contrasts with the rest of the story in which the issues are beaten to death with excess prose and dialogue to inspire a yawn or two.

One other thing, the passage of time wasn't very well conveyed; the only sense I got was through the dropping of totally unsubtle statements that a year or so had passed. Until I read that, I would have believed it was taking place over mere weeks. One thing I really enjoyed was how this story could seamlessly wedge itself into any era and very little of it would feel anachronistic.

That gives it some universal appeal; however, the elected era, post Vietnam war, sadly felt like an unnecessary and irrelevant detail. I really wished that there were more to tie it to the specific era in which he chose to set it because it's always nice to get a bit of a history lesson from a book you're reading strictly for entertainment purposes. Obviously Updike's intent here is more to entertain than to educate, so I really can't fault him for that alone.

The Passionate Witch

But I can indeed fault him for the fact that I didn't find it particularly entertaining and for the fact that his deep-seated, well-established gender biases, while cleverly veiled in the beginning of the story, became glaringly obvious by the end of it. View all 5 comments. May 23, Almeta rated it really liked it Shelves: flick-lit , serial-eyes. Having seen the movie first, the cast of characters was already set in my mind.

I could not envision them in any other way. This didn't really get in the way, but some of the differences in premise and plot did disappoint. I like how Van Horne built their confidence in their passions. Those passions, in turn, fueling their sexual appetit Having seen the movie first, the cast of characters was already set in my mind. Those passions, in turn, fueling their sexual appetites. I was so young when I read this.

I thought it was very strange at the time. But much of it stuck with me, including the mental images of Cher and Jack Nicholson, despite never seeing the movie! All the amazing Updike prose in the world couldn't make up for this gross book full of wretched characters. Apr 09, Jill rated it it was ok. Hmmm- very conflicted about this one.

Witch Song

Having never read Updike before, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's beautifully written and very erudite, but I had the strangest feeling reading this: it is nominally about three women, but I felt like I was reading an anthropological study of an alien culture.

I've never met a woman who acted or felt like any of these did. It was one of those cases where the book is telling me things about the characters that are completely at odds with how the author expects me to feel about them. The book blames the women for the completely odious Darryl van Horn-- he exists because they do, a natural masculine counterpoint to their witchcraft. Everything he does is because of them, yet they can't resist him or escape him, and when they do lash out, it's at another woman instead for stealing him away!

They are, as the book makes very clear, only women after all. Their happiness, such as it is, comes about finally when their feminine bonds are weakened, their little coven divided, and they each go their own way They trade their powers for marriage, and that's supposed to count as a happy ending. The movie version strips all of the darkness out of the story, and makes the women the heroes at the end, as they team up to overcome the obvious threat the demon poses. It's oversimplified, cheesy, "Hollywoodized"-- and I'll watch it again.

I won't read the novel twice. Aug 10, Kaethe Douglas rated it liked it Shelves: feminism , strong-smart-female-protagonist. Oh, so clever, the three women discovering their powers.

I was rather taken with the idea of Updike being both a serious and a popular novelist. Now I'm kind of grossed out at the idea that it takes a man to bring each woman to her fruition, and I'm off Updike entirely. Jun 19, Lindz-o rated it did not like it Shelves: read-in Initially, I kept reading this book because I expected something interesting to happen. Finally, about pages into the book, something did, and then for some reason, I kept on reading, partly because I'm stubborn and partly because I was compelled the way people are compelled to gaze at the scene of car accidents as they drive by.

Overall, this book is a disappointment. The three witch characters are unlikeable and even deplorable. In once scene, one of the women kills a squirrel for no Ugh. In once scene, one of the women kills a squirrel for no real reason at all, and that was the point at which I wanted to throw down the book in disgust. I don't have much of a stomach for cruelty to animals and there are two more scenes in which non-human critters are killed by the women even in fiction.

Even more deplorable is the way in which they seek to destroy other women in the community of Eastwick, either out of jealousy, revenge, or for amusement. I've never read any Updike before and found I needed to get used to his writing style. He writes long descriptive passages, really setting the scene, but on more crucial points is almost matter-of-fact. A few times I had to do a double take, like "Did I read that right? Did the tennis ball just turn into a toad? Or was he only capable of depicting women as powerful when they have supernatural powers?

It's ironic that the women realize their powers as their husbands leave them, but that they use their witchcraft to negatively affect rival women. The source of the rivalry? Really they're a bunch of small town women who happen to fall "under the spell" of a strange man who, in my opinion, was an asshole. Something that annoyed me: Updike refers to the women--all in their thirties--as being "middle-aged".

Maybe it was just the time in which the book was written, but really? Something else that annoyed me: The three women's speech is constantly peppered with so many feminine endearments honey, baby, sweetie, my dear, etc. These complaints are trifles, but they added to the overall ineffectiveness of the book and Updike's perceived ability to write women. The blurbs on the book cover and inside jacket describe this as a "hilarious" novel. Far from it as far as I'm concerned. I've heard this book is a departure from the rest of Updike's writing.

Everybody makes mistakes.

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I'm not such a harsh and unforgiving reader to say that I'll never read another novel by Updike. Mar 05, Elaine rated it did not like it Shelves: urban-fantasy-period-setting , quit-early-dnf , midcentury , borrowed-library-ebook. But as I reflected on it this weekend, I realized I still couldn't say I was actually enjoying it at all on pretty much any level. Time to cut my losses. Turn-Offs, in order of irritation: - a male author writing female characters rhapsodizing about their newfound embrace of womanhood as they got older, got divorced, became witches.


Bold move, Cotton. The more a guy is a depressed, useless, schlubby, unattractive loser, the more they just want to open their bodies to him to provide him that sexual healing. Of course. That screams male wish-fulfillment waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than it does female sexual empowerment! Peak sexual revolution and social upheaval, and none of it more than barely mentioned in passing a couple times. What's the point? I don't think of myself as the kind of person typically bothered by superfluous details in books I like all the food descriptions in ASoIaF! So many semicolons. I'm willing to give some leeway on this, but this is an otherwise real-life historical "Vietnam era" setting with otherwise normal life crap going on, but their magic is definitely real, apparently.

It's just taken for granted that they found this outlet, which But this is not set up necessarily as "the world is magic, deal with it," so it's just this odd choice that's not even the point of anything, so why? Jun 26, Lina K rated it did not like it. I have just finished watching the last episode of short lived tv series "Eastwick" and it made me wonder about the ideas that the story explores.

I found some interesting reviews on this site and it brought back the memory of this book. I believe I read it a couple of years ago - I still remember how disappointing it was In some way I could compare it to The Vanity Fair which I really didn't like - I am not sure I was able to even finish it or maybe it was so disappointing that I don't even r I have just finished watching the last episode of short lived tv series "Eastwick" and it made me wonder about the ideas that the story explores.

In some way I could compare it to The Vanity Fair which I really didn't like - I am not sure I was able to even finish it or maybe it was so disappointing that I don't even remember the end. I've seen the film of at least twice - I thought it thrilling and fun, dark but in a good way. When I found the book I hoped for more of the good stuff, books are so much more than their adaptations in film or theatre - not in this case. I don't know how I managed to finish this book - it was so sad, so empty and repulsive.

What was it really about? That we are all disgusting and petty creatures with excessive body hair? Or was it armpit hair - there were a quite of "yuck" moments in this story. The film made sense out of it all, made the participants, especially the witches both more wicked and more human at the same time. Yes, they had their flaws but they also had their virtues are we still allowed to use this word nowadays when "being good" is an expression mainly used in connection to eating habits? I will anyway. As soon as they realized that it's the mysterious man who is causing all the trouble they did their best to stop him.

This is essentially why I like the sadly short lived tv series - especially in the first few episodes: the idea that you are both good and bad, that you can do bad things but you can also atone and learn; the idea that everything has it's cost. I don't agree with the philosophy of this book - I don't believe people are vain, stupid, remorseless and unfeeling.

The Best Books About Or Featuring Witches

The fact is, even if one takes the view that life is pointless, being human is the one thing that makes it worth something. Unfortunately, a truly disappointing book. I'm aware of other books and a sequel to this one that Mr. Updike wrote - I don't feel a slightest temptation to even Google it, let alone read any of them. Give me something human, L. Bujold and Terry Pratchett, here I come. I have no idea why I'm rating this 2 stars, to be honest. I did NOT think Witches was ok.

I thought it warped, fucked up story of three supposedly powerful women. Supposedly powerful, because they're witches. They're witches because they were left or they left their husbands. What they do with the power is spend the entire freaking book trying to catch another man. They aren't even discerning, anyone will do. And mostly they go with men who are already married, usually to women who're so bad the I have no idea why I'm rating this 2 stars, to be honest.

And mostly they go with men who are already married, usually to women who're so bad they shouldn't exist. Sometimes that even gets taken care of by these nice witches. They discard men like they do pants, yet get pissy when it's the men doing the discarding. Their object of fascination is an idiot by the name of Darryl Van Horne, a man of big money and big ideas, but really doesn't have anything interesting to say. My opinion, that, having read through every single one of his monologues, and being bored out of my mind.

Not that the witches would agree. The ground he walks on, they worship. This is so because his big money and big ideas are so revolutionary. Oh, how did I forget his massive cock? That's what they really worship. When he gets married to a simple, lovely girl, they curse her with some voodoo doll and she view spoiler [dies of cancer hide spoiler ]. Their justification out of their guilt is that she didn't mind, because Darryl was view spoiler [gay for her brother hide spoiler ].

I can't even. If this was a commentary on It's a crappy story, boring to boot, with flat female characters who can't seem to move a step forward without male validation. Not only are they vapid, supercilious bitches who have not a single thought beyond themselves, they're terrible mothers too.

The Winter Witch

And murderers. And they have happy endings. If the evidence against Bishop was, at best, circumstantial, the 'evidence' against other people was absurd! The afflicted girls claimed that they could see the accused persons specter attacking them even when the accused was not physically present. Naturally only they could see the specters. Even for the 17th century spectral evidence was very unusual.

Unfortunately, the judge William Stoughton insisted on admitting spectral evidence. They were hanged on 19 July. The trial of Rebecca Nurse was a travesty. She was an old lady of good character and the jury acquitted her. However the girls who accused her of being a witch had fits or fainted.

Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

Incredibly the judge, William Stoughton, 'invited' the jury to reconsider their verdict. This time they found her guilty. However many people were having increasing doubts about the guilt of the accused. John Proctor was a farmer aged about He was an outspoken man who was openly skeptical about the witch trials. Nevertheless it was his wife Elizabeth who was accused first. John Proctor bravely defended her and as a result he was accused of being a witch.

John Proctor wrote a letter to the Boston clergy denouncing the unfairness of the trials. His letter probably did have some effect but unfortunately it did not save his life. Elizabeth Proctor was spared because she was pregnant but the others were hanged on August Witches were not supposed to be able to do that and he sowed seeds of doubt in many peoples minds. Some people demanded that Burroughs should be set free but Cotton Mather managed to persuade the people to go ahead and hang him. Giles Corey was pressed to death on 19 September.

However public opinion was now turning against the witch trials. So many people were being accused of witchcraft it started to seem absurd. People could not believe that so many of their neighbors were witches. Furthermore, people were increasingly worried that innocent people were being executed.

Witches in Fiction - A Bit of History and 3 Major Tropes

There were also increasing doubts about the value of spectral evidence. Finally on 8 October , Sir William Phips eventually forbade the court to allow spectral evidence. Also on 29 October, he dissolved the special court he had set up to try supposed witches. However the trials continued in an ordinary court, which formed in November The last trials for witchcraft were held in January Three more people were convicted but were reprieved by the governor. Unfortunately, judge William Stoughton at first presided over the court.

He was a zealous believer in witchcraft was determined to root out any remaining 'witches'. Thankfully he left in early January Finally, in May Governor Phips pardoned all those in prison either convicted or awaiting trial. In some jurors admitted they had made a terrible mistake. In a day of fasting and praying for forgiveness was held. It was called the Day of Official Humiliation. One of the judges who presided over the witch trials, Samuel Sewall, publicly apologized.

So what caused this tragedy? Nobody is certain but a number of theories have been put forward. It has been suggested that the people of Salem felt insecure and this was a contributing factor to the hysteria. They were afraid of Indian attacks and afraid of smallpox. Although he gave another charter in this may have increased the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

The winter of was also harsh adding to people's anxiety. Perhaps that made the people more susceptible to outbreaks of hysteria than usual. Furthermore there were conflicts between the wealthy families in Salem village. There was also conflict between Salem village and Salem town.

It has been suggested that the witch hysteria was really an excuse for one group to attack another. Or perhaps there was some psychological explanation.