There’s much familiar to loyal Updike readers here — the perils of marriage, affairs, and university life — but there’s also a fascinating subplot that involves science and religion. The novel’s narrator, Roger Lambert, is a professor of divinity at an unnamed northeastern university. He comes into contact with a student in search of a grant from the divinity department. The student’s desire? To prove the existence of God through mathematical models and the use of a large computer. “They’ve been scraping away at physical reality all these centuries, and now the layer of the little left we don’t understand is so fine God’s face is staring right out at us,” says Lambert’s student. A fascinating side-trip on Updike’s part.
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