I went to hear him speak, oh it must have been 1996 or so. He came to Northwestern State University where I attended school. I was taking a Lit course that semester and my prof required that we go.
Later I said to a history prof that I had gone, and she was like:
"I can't believe you went to hear him, he is such a chauvinistic pig."
She couldn't stand his writing.
I was indifferent to it. Some of it was okay, other things didn't appeal to me, but I didn't take it personally like she seemed to do.
It is strange, when someone you don't really know, but you feel you know because of their work, dies it actually is sad. As though you lost something.
If you aren't familiar with Updike you can read more about him here.