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Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories (1979)

by John Updike

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371950,052 (3.86)15
Collected together for the first time on audio, these eighteen classic stories from across John Updike's career form a luminous chronicle of the life and times of one marriage in all its rich emotional complexity.
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Stunning. One of the early chapters - "Wife Wooing" provided the feeling I got when reading Ulysses or Faulkner. That feeling of needing to sit up straighter and to pay more attention. Especially in Wife Wooing, the alliteration, the word selection, the sentence construction were extraordinary. I found my self shaking may head in admiration. Later, I was really put off by "Marching Through Boston" - it was just downright racist. I could have accepted - maybe - an inflection, an allusion but this went on and on and was just not funny, or enlightening. That was about the time I began to think, "wow, this guy is really a dick" and was unable to determine whether I was felling that entirely about Richard the main character or about Updike. It came back around over the next few chapters and I suppose some of that - for me- was the familiarity with divorce and separation and the way in which it was captured. Astute, in a word. This was a rewarding experience and I believe it'll be a while before anything else measures up. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
A pretty amazing collection of stories. Updike created the Maples in 1956 and periodically updated the reader about their lives over twenty-three years. There is a polished brashness to the writing which seems to counter the happy married life we come to expect from couples in the period. The Maples are no Rob and Laura Petrie but they trudge along and make the best or suffer through it trying to numb their way at times. Enjoyable, but in sometimes a sad or angry way.

Read strictly for recreation ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
The Maple Stories is a collection of John Updike's earlier stories. Though stories they are related, evolve chronologically and read like a novel.A "novel" of manners we follow the life of Joan and Richard Maple from marriage and four children through divorce and remarriage. I can't say the stories break new ground but they are very well written and definitely worth a detour. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Nov 4, 2017 |
The book was sad. I never read any of Updike's works before so I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was surprised by the content and his style of writing. I expected someone more sombre I guess and I'm not quite sure why. I enjoyed his writing. He does like long sentences and they take surprising turns at times. I was entertained and challenged. The content like I said is sad, it's about the demise of a marriage. I loved a few chapters - the one where he's in love with his wife shortly after they're married with kids, the one where they are selling their house and he is reminiscing in the empty house and the one where they break the news to their kids. I didn't like the one on Grandparents, it felt uncomfortable, un-real or perhaps I just could not accept it. The couple belonged together or you fall in love with their flawed selves enough that you want them to be together and that is perhaps what makes Updike such a good writer. ( )
  ArchanaV | Jul 16, 2017 |
Richard and Joan Maple are a fictional couple who author John Updike revisited, in short-story form, many times over the span of Updike's long and productive literary career. All of the Maples stories are gathered together here in this Everyman's Pocket Classics edition, in basic chronological order. Therefore, we first see Richard and Joan early in their marriage, then in the next story when their four children are very young, then we see their marriage disintegrating over several stories. Finally, in the last story, they are divorced and married to others and awaiting the birth of their first grand child.

I've read a few of the Maple stories here and there in other Updike short story collection. They definitely pack more of a punch being collected together in this format. In this way, it reads much more like a novel than a series of short stories.

While reading The Maples Stories, I had the sense that the characters were real, the dialogue real, the feelings real. Updike was known to carry over much from his real-life experiences into his writings, and this is especially evident in these stories. As a result, Richard and Joan Maple become real people and quite unforgettable. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Feb 28, 2016 |
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Collected together for the first time on audio, these eighteen classic stories from across John Updike's career form a luminous chronicle of the life and times of one marriage in all its rich emotional complexity.

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