#EBOOK ⚡ The Early Stories ⚡ eBook or E-pub free

Wonderful Updike is a wordsmith and truly captures the moments that make a life and give us pause, make us remember, regret, long for, and love Only sometimes self indulgent but I give him a pass for all his other great qualities. I ve kept this book on my nightstand for the past several years, picking it up from time to time Updike writes gorgeous prose, and his protagonists almost exclusively men, admittedly are deeply flawed and complex They live on the page, even if his female characters tend not to It s a difficult problem to suss out, though to what extent the author is aware of this trend At times, this sort of objectification seems to be a deliberate product of the protagonist s perspective stories of narcissistic men who view others only as satellites in their orbit His stories, little snapshots of life, have a unique way of capturing elements of the human experience on a granular level One strange thing of note about this anthology is that the stories are organized thematically I would ve preferred to read them in chronological order, so I could better appreciate the author s progression in style and subjects of interest Also of note are the stories featuring the Maples, a hilarious, bickering petit bourgeois couple living in a well to do suburb of Boston If this tome seems intimidating, I would recommend picking up a volume of just those stories. #EBOOK ⚣ The Early Stories Õ Gathering Together Almost All The Short Fiction That John Updike Published Between And , 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 I would like to thank John Updike for the Maples I feel naughty as I get to look so unabashedly into two people s private lives.He lays a marriage out and he lays it out thick His keen observations on love, marriage, and religion are just enough to get anyone thinking about their own life and belief systems Pigeon Feathers is a personal favorite. Adulterous longing, death obsessions, driving on the highway in 60s cars and picking up hitchhiking sailors if these are your subjects, then Updike is your man and, I mean, man I read many of these stories in high school for some reason and clearly did not understand them at all Re reading them some cough cough years later, I find that I perhaps understand them too well I am impressed by their artfulness and the bravery of some of the rawer pieces esp from Pigeon Feathers the exhaustion with consumerism feels as relevant today as it could have earlier But, so many of the attitudes about marriage, women, white racial anxiety, and so on are so dated that the characterization suffers It s harder to see Updike as the chronicler of the relatively liberal, cosmopolitan suburban middle class any no matter how many outposts still look and sound like this These have become period pieces, kind of Jamesian in a way They work stylistically and show his signature closing ironies off to particularly good effect, but I am not sure that these stories really speak to the present any They were contemporary, but now they are not. Writing so good it makes you say Why bother trying to write anything else After I read one of these stories, my wife sometimes asks, So, what was it about Well, I respond, This guy came home from work, or a couple had a friend over for dinner While the plots in these stories are insubstantial, it is the detail that makes the difference Kind of like in our own lives As one of the stories states, Just a piece of turf torn from a meadow becomes a gloria when drawn by Durer Details Details are the giant s fingers Updike s stories are full of these details They transform the simplest of events into something grand and beautiful I find myself paying attention to the details in my own life This was his goal In this collection s introduction, Updike talks about sitting in his one room office above a restaurant He smoked nickel cigarillos while crafting stories on his typewriter, stacking the empty boxes on his desk He makes this comparison I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me to give the mundane its beautiful due. This is a huge collection of stories by a very talented writer They are all dense and difficult reads On a sentence to sentence basis, Updike is so precise and detailed with whatever he s talking about that I found myself having trouble processing what I was reading I felt overloaded, but still interested I think I liked them because I like figuring things out B I ve been working my way through this for years now It s never on top of my current reading stack, but whenever I turn to it I read something beautiful and keenly observed. Updike s early works were woefully undervalued by critics I found the prose difficult in places, but never derivative In a style that is now popular with contemporary memoirists, Updike catalogs events with an intense passion for details that is the bane of modern novelists I found the stories thoughtful and inspiring However, his style is bereft of what we would consider an arc , but the characters are served up as a garnish on a thoughtful entree.