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Publisher's Summary

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975. In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswich, Massachusetts, he says, "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."

©2003 John Updike (P)2003 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
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Critic Reviews



PEN/Faulkner Award Winner, 2004
"One expects the two distinguished actors narrating this collection, Edward Herrmann and Jane Alexander, to deliver sterling performances, and they do." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jody on 06-03-04

Good read

This was a good read; I like short stories, and these were very evocative. I especially liked the connected short stories. The narrators all did an excellent job. The subject matter is intriguing; relationships mostly, and poignant and funny at the same time.

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42 of 42 people found this review helpful


By Jody R. Nathan on 06-03-04

Good read

This was a good read; I like short stories, and these were very evocative. I especially liked the connected short stories. The narrators all did an excellent job. The subject matter is intriguing; relationships mostly, and poignant and funny at the same time.

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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