The Early Stories : 1953-1975, Paperback Book

The Early Stories : 1953-1975 Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Gathering together almost all the short fiction that John Updike published between 1953 and 1975, this collection opens with Updike's autobiographical stories about a young boy growing up during the Depression in a small Pennsylvania town. There follows tales of life away from home, student days, early marriage and young families, and finally Updike's experimental stories on 'The Single Life'. Here, then, is a rich and satisfying feast of Updike - his wit, his easy mastery of language, his genius for recalling the subtleties of ordinary life and the excitements, and perils, of the pursuit of happiness.


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A few of these stories are five star--and this coming from a person who doesn't usually care for the short story medium. Read all together in such volume they tend to run together tiresomely, treading and retreading the same themes of marital dischord and disenchanted suburbia. Despite the unpleasant aspect of reading far too many of one author's short stories in nearly one sitting, this book raised my (previously abysmal) opinion of Updike. Some of the stories are on par with the best I've read, leaving me with the belief that Updike's talent lay in the shorter form.

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