Being a huge fan of books, I can't believe that these words are coming from me: this book should be removed from bookshelves everywhere! (Actually, I do say that in jest!) However, this may be the worst piece of literature I ever read (and I read it to completion). I only read this book as part of my Pulitzer project and I wish I had abandoned it. Much of the book showered the reader with extremely pornographic descriptions of sexual encounters between husband and wife and then the couples they were "swinging" with. Now, I have no problem with pornography, but there is a time and place and it simply is not what I expected from a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel. I am definitely not a prude, but there were descriptions that downright appalled me. They simply were not necessary for the story line of the novel. However, the story line lacked any appeal on its own. The underlying story itself was completely boring. There was absolutely nothing to hold my interest. It seemed as if Updike threw in the pornographic scenes (i.e., urinating on your partner for sexual pleasure with explicit description of the temperature of the urine as it hit the skin) for the shock value to get himself on the Pulitzer list. i really did not see any literary value in this book whatsoever. But who am I to criticize a Pulitzer-Prize winning author. I am just a little old avid reader of books. But if you're into this sort of thing, check it out. Otherwise, please ignore this book!