The Centaur by John Updike

The Centaur is a 1963 novel by John Updike. It won the National Book Award in 1964. The story concerns George Caldwell, a school teacher, and his son Peter, outside of Alton (i.e., Reading), Pennsylvania. The novel explores the relationship between the depressive Caldwell and his anxious son. George has largely given up on life; what glory he knew, as a football player and soldier in World War II, has passed. He feels put upon by the school's principal, and he views his students as hapless and uninterested in anything he has to teach them. Peter, meanwhile, is a budding aesthete who idolizes Vermeer and dreams of becoming a painter in a big city, like New York. He has no friends his age, and regularly worries that his peers might detect his psoriasis, which stains his skin and flecks his clothes every season but summer. One thing George and Peter share is the desire to get out, to escape their hometown.

The 2182nd greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - National Book Award - Fiction (National Book Foundation)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Centaur Paperback 3754367 $9.97 $0.01
The Centaur Mass Market Paperback 155747 $9.92 $0.01 1983
The Centaur Hardcover 1049482 $45.24 $4.98 1963
The Centaur [First Edition] Hardcover 3482687 $54.00 1963
CENTAUR Mass Market Paperback 7494345 $0.01 1976
The Centaur Paperback 2714961 $0.01
The Centaur By John Updike Hardcover 1216754 $499.94 $2.26 1963
THE CENTAUR Paperback 6145650 $0.01
The Centaur Mass Market Paperback 8844857 $0.01
The Centaur Paperback 7308465 $32.19 $2.53 2010
The Centaur Mass Market Paperback 4519074 $106.58 $0.01 1981
The Centaur Paperback 7754896 $23.00 $0.99 1978
Centaur Paperback 2781715 $0.50
Centaur Mass Market Paperback 5441445 $0.01 1987
The Centaur: A Novel Kindle Edition 201770 $9.99 2012
The Centaur Paperback 936740 $12.73 $1.55 1996