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Too Far to Go by John Updike

Too Far to Go (1979)

by John Updike

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346748,938 (3.77)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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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 |
Some of these stories are wonderful, vintage Updike (a male perspective, of course) Some are lesser stories but, I suspect this is because they were written for different reasons and periodicals of the years. ( )
  ghefferon | Dec 31, 2015 |
In the introduction to this collection of stories about the disintegration of the marriage of Richard and Joan Maple, Updike says their moral is that "nothing is perfect." That is of course true in a sense, but such a trivial one that we hardly need Updike to tell us so. The real message is that nothing is even good, as most of these stories are simply about how poorly his fictional couple treat one another without giving us more than a glimpse at any other side of their characters, making it almost impossible to sympathize with them---though there are a couple of exceptions that almost make the rest of them worth slogging through. And they are, for the most part, beautifully written, which is of value in and of itself. ( )
  AshRyan | Jan 17, 2012 |
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