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Problems and Other Stories af John Updike
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Problems and Other Stories (udgave 1979)

af John Updike (Forfatter)

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259577,559 (3.78)Ingen
Twenty-three of Updike's short stories, dealing with such problems as divorce and remarriage, extinct mammals, prostitution, and parents and children.
Medlem:alanreno
Titel:Problems and Other Stories
Forfattere:John Updike (Forfatter)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (1979), Edition: 1st, 260 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Læst, men ikke ejet
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Problems and Other Stories af John Updike

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In this collection of 23 short stories, John Updike presents domestic life in 1970s, the decade during which most were originally published. The stories deal with marriage, full- grown children, and middle- aged parents; marital infidelity and separation; divorce, and remarriage. All reflect the confines and concerns of middle-class white North Americans, portrayed from a male perspective. Most of the stories range from painful to wistful, commonly being suffused with longing, memory, guilt, and regret.

“How To Love America and Leave it at the Same Time” is an impressionistic portrayal of a family on vacation. “Separating” depicts a couple telling their children that their marriage is breaking up. “Domestic Life in America”portrays a divorcing couple, as does “Here Come the Maples.” “Nevada” describes a trip to Reno with wife and daughter for a divorce. “Atlantises” offers memories of previous marriages, while “Guilt Gems” presents such “gems” gathered during a lifetime. “The Egg Race” offers reminiscences of a childhood long past. In “Transaction,” one of the stand-out stories, a man hires a prostitute and takes her to his hotel room; the description so vividly captures the humanity and awkwardness of the interaction that it seems to have come from an actual experience. “Love Song for a Moog Synthesizer” depicts the relationship between a man and the Mistress who becomes his wife. The one attempt a humor, "Minutes of the Last Meeting," depicts a committee that perpetuates itself despite having outlived its usefulness, a portrayal that may resonate with anyone in business or academia that has experienced this very situation.

Overall, the stories are so deeply personal that one is led to conclude that Updike is writing from his own life experience.

Below are listed the 23 stories; most are rated with 1 to 5 stars. The four selections rated with 4 or 5 stars I consider to stand out in particular. (Unrated stories, for one reason or another, transcended such simple judgments.)

- Commercial
- Minutes of the last meeting 3.5*
- Believers 1*
- The gun shop
- How to love America and leave it at the same time 4*
- Nevada 4*
- Son 2*
- Daughter, last glimpses of 2*
- Ethiopia
- Transaction 5*
- Separating 4*
- Augustine's concubine 2*
- The man who loved extinct mammals
- Problems
- Domestic life in America 4*
- Love song, for a Moog synthesizer 3*
- From the journal of a leper
- Here come the Maples 2*
- The fairy godfathers
- The faint
- The egg race 1*
- Guilt-gems 1*
- Atlantises 1* ( )
1 stem danielx | Dec 26, 2018 |
Updike's gift is to amplify those incidents in life that signify the idea of one's personal mystery. We later recognize that those interactions we have had with spouse, lovers, children leave a marker with us. The memory of those formative incidents acts as a device to aid our uncovering of the mystery of who we are.
I didn't read all the stories. "Transactions" and "Nevada" are two that struck me as examples of what I was trying to say above.
None the less at a forty year remove, some of the stories operate in a world that itself, is only a living memory.
  ivanfranko | Mar 2, 2017 |
I picked this up because at a lecture by John Updike he said he liked his short stories better than his novels. Apparently we don't have the same taste. :( ( )
  KApplebaum | Jan 17, 2010 |
Contains as its lead item "Commercial," a story I read by chance in June 1972 that led me to pick up "Pigeon Feathers" later that summer, turning me into a devotee of John Updike's work. ( )
1 stem jensenmk82 | Oct 23, 2009 |
My favorite collection of short stories from Updike -- perhaps not counting the Bech books. The title story is very clever. Well worth reading. ( )
1 stem wirkman | Mar 24, 2007 |
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Personer/Figurer
Vigtige steder
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...the collection as a whole, with the curve of sad time it subtends, is dedicated lovingly to Elizabeth, David, Michael, and Miranda.
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It comes on every night, somewhere in the eleven o'clock news. ("Commercial")
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America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.
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Twenty-three of Updike's short stories, dealing with such problems as divorce and remarriage, extinct mammals, prostitution, and parents and children.

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