The Women Who Got Away Paperback
by John Updike
Part of the Penguin Great Loves series
In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency.
Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects.
United by the theme of love, the writings in the "Great Loves" series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds.
Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 112 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 02/08/2007
- Category: Romance
- ISBN: 9780141032931
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by elmyra
I walked into one of Bath's amazing independent bookshops the week after Updike died and they had an entire table full of his works. I picked this one up as the smallest - a small investment to help me decide if I wanted to read more Updike. Probably the first thing to say about it is that you have ignore the blurb on the back as it has nothing to do with the actual book. Which is not a massive problem. The second thing to say is that, having read it, I am still none the the wiser as to whether I want to read more of him.See, having grown up in communist Bulgaria and then in Europe, I lack a frame of reference for Updike's writing. Even though American culture seems to dominate Western media these days, it's not the American culture he writes about - it's not the small-town, middle-class, middle America with its ordinary people and ordinary affairs that we are exposed to over here. Okay, more recently we've seen American Beauty and Desperate Housewives, but still, that's not quite enough context, not quite enough if a frame of reference for me to really connect with Updike's subject. More than anything, for me this short story collection needed a good editor or a good introduction.I found some of the stories enjoyable, some incomprehensible. Probably rather unsurprisingly, the title story, The Women Who Got Away, is my favourite. I was intrigued by the one with the Cold War setting, and found it rather more difficult to connect with the other three, though I could see where he was heading with The Transaction. For me the experience of reading Updike was like looking at something through two sets of curtains. His viewpoint characters tend to be men, and being a woman I can only guess at whether he's portraying them well and accurately. But then these men look at women through their own prism, and I find myself unable to connect with those women, twice removed from me if you will. What I can't quite tell is whether this is the case because, as mentioned above, I just lack some of the context, or because men really see women that differently, or because Updike can't write women to save his life. So maybe I should give another one of his books a go...