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by John Updike
Barth continued to express admiration and respect toward Updike. Updike returned the praise, though more often with soft mentions that he hadn’t quite finished Barth’s most recent books.
Authors are too timid, it seems to me sometimes, in the face of the demand for conventionally sympathetic characters. “I didn’t like any of the characters” is a common Amazon reviewer’s refrain—or, I don’t know, maybe that’s just what they say about the books that I write. They say it like it’s a bad thing.