The John Updike Collection

Version: Unabridged
Author: John Updike
Narrator: John Updike
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Literature
Publisher: Caedmon
Published In: October 2003
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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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 Ipswitch, 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."

Reviews (2)

The John Updike Collection

Written by Kristine from Raleigh, NC on February 9th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

John Updike is one of my favorite authors. Even his less famous books - S and Brazil - are amazing. He is primarily known as a short story writer, so I was expecting a lot from this collection. I was disappointed. I understand that short stories should not be overworked, but about 1/2 of these barely got there. I only remember 3 of them. One of those was excellent and the other 2 earned a solid 4 star rating. The remaining stories left me with nothing. It's a shame.


Written by Renee Locks on July 11th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

John Updike does give "the mundane its beautiful due" with unbending honesty.

Author Details

Author Details

Updike, John

John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of "The New Yorker, " and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells