The text of the novel went through several rewrites. Knopf originally required Updike to cut some "sexually explicit passages," but he restored and rewrote the book for the 1963 Penguin edition and again for the 1995 Everyman's omnibus edition.
Though it had been done earlier, as in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Albert Camus' The Fall, Updike's novel is noted as being one of several well regarded, early usages of the present tense. Updike stated:
|“||In Rabbit, Run, I liked writing in the present tense. You can move between minds, between thoughts and objects and events with a curious ease not available to the past tense. I don't know if it is clear to the reader as it is to the person writing, but there are kinds of poetry, kinds of music you can strike off in the present tense.||”|
Time magazine included the novel in its Time 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.