The Early Stories: 1953-1975 and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $4.17 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: NEW! In shrinkwrap!FULFILLED BY AMAZON. ELIGIBLE FOR FREE AMAZON PRIME SHIPPING OR FREE SHIPPNG ON AMAZON FULFILLED ORDERS OVER $35.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Early Stories: 1953-1975 Paperback – September 28, 2004


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.83
$10.00 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

The Early Stories: 1953-1975 + The Stories of John Cheever
Price for both: $28.76

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345463366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345463364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

All Updike needs is the Nobel Prize to complete his list of major awards. In the very early years of his career, he seemed to spring full fledged as a short story writer, so he can hardly be said to have a body of apprentice work, to which this compilation of his early stories attests. They are mature pieces, and the collection contains several stories still considered masterpieces and which continue to appear in anthologies; these would include, of course, "A & P" and "Pigeon Feathers." What is particularly exciting to see is the publication again of his wonderful Olinger stories, particular favorites of Updike fans and, up to this point, out of print. The collection contains a grand total of 102 stories, and most were originally published in the New Yorker, Updike's basic professional residence during these years. But his New Yorker ties should not be considered a drawback to the enjoyment of his work, for his ingenuity, scope, and heart extend far beyond the island of Manhattan. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Classic gems . . . These stories, like Mr. Updike’s finest novels . . . preserve a time and a place through the sorcery of words.”—The New York Times
 
“[Updike is] akin to Coleridge and Shelley, only with an American twist. One story at a time, he [reminds] Americans that in spite of life’s largesse, things fail; one sentence at a time, he reveals that through the small details, it can be sublime.”—The Denver Post
 
“Updike’s artistry—normally glimpsed in sections, like a person through window slats—is wholly and deeply seen. . . . One reads through the plenitude with delight, expectation, and at all times gratitude.”—The Atlantic Monthly

More About the Author

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 lived in Massachusetts. He was the father of four children and the author of more than fifty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels won the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. A previous collection of essays, Hugging the Shore, received the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. John Updike died on January 27, 2009, at the age of 76.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
5
3 star
2
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 25 customer reviews
That alone makes this worth owning.
Billy Pilgrim
I found his characters to be extrememly human and his stories thought-provoking.
KH1
I love Updike's writing, and his early short stories are phenomenal.
William B. Marlow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I never much liked Updike's short stories until I started writing short stories myself. Many of the complaints people have with Updike are legitimate. He is usually light on plot. There is virtually no physical action--no fistfights, no murders, no sobbing confessions. But that, to me, is part of Updike's genius.
He always takes the difficult road. He doesn't simply have a husband cheat on his wife; instead, he has the husband worry that he will cheat on his wife, and then he considers the implications. I disagree with critics who accuse Updike of being unemotional. His stories are tangles of pure emotion.
My favorite story in the collection is "Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, A Dying Cat, A Traded Car." It's set up as a series of essays that eventually carry the reader into a story about the author's dying father. It feels like a compilation of random events until you get ot the last line, and then you realize that everything is connected, everything has a purpose. It may be the most beautiful ending I've ever read. (The second most beautiful ending is in "The Happiest I've Been.")
Updike is not for everyone. If you like simple, straightforward stories, read Tobias Wolff (he is amazing in a totally different way). But if you're interested in a world vivid with details--a world with no easy questions, let alone answers--try Updike.
One caveat: read slowly--the magic is more in the words than the paragraphs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Oldthinker on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a long-standing fan of Updike's short stories (though less so of his novels), and my three-star rating of this book is not a reflection of my general opinion of him as a writer. Nevertheless, I do have some issues with this particular volume.

I think that it was a mistake to collect over 100 short stories under one cover with virtually no sieving. Updike made his living from writing and, and as far as I understand, he never held a regular job after he resigned from the New Yorker at the age of 25 - so I would be the last person to blame him for having published some short stories that were not quite to his general standard. When a small collection contains a couple of such works, this is usually not a problem. The situation inevitably becomes different on a scale of 100+ samples: the gap in quality between the best 10 and the weakest 10 of them is massive, and it is impossible not to notice this. I do not think that exposing his lesser works against the background of so many great stories found in this volume has done Updike's standing any good. I own virtually all collections of short stories ever published by him, and in my opinion he emerges a better author from each of his individual early collections than from this volume that combines their content.

I did not like the fact that while putting together this book Updike decided to change a few things here and there. In particular, the last sentence of the wonderful 'Dentistry and Doubt' is way too subtle in its revised version, and I suspect that some readers may now miss the whole point of the ending: I probably would, had I not read the story the way it was originally published.

Giving the hardback a deckle edge was a bad idea.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Lyman on December 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think that in many important ways, John Updike is America's best living writer, with a long history of unmatched insights and integrity, complex and believable characters, and a range that stretches (with great success) from criticism to essays and from poetry to prose.
The Early Stories is a testament to and a forum examining the fiction side of Mr. Updike's talents, including every short story (every one!) he ever published up until 1975, when he was 43 years old. This book is more than 800 pages long, and so I assume that the post-1975 stories were held out both in order to make sure the book could be lifted without strain or (more likely) as the stuff for a second mammoth volume of this great writer's work.
Most of us already know at least a few of the 102 stories in this thick book (I read one, "A & P," when I was in high school, long before I became a fan of Mr. Updike's work, and I didn't even realize he had been the author of it until I saw it again here), and many of the ones we don't know will reveal themselves as gems. But also -- fortunately or unfortunately -- many of the stories here simply don't work: the plots are either dated, or the characters or their motivations are too thin.
Curiously, I am unsure about whether this is positive or negative. I dismiss the possibility that the uneven quality here is natural when examining the work of a young writer not yet fully in control of his powers. After all, Mr. Updike had already created his two most memorable characters -- Rabbit Angstrom and Henry Bech (who appears in this book) -- before most of these stories came to life.
Instead, I see this as welcome proof that Mr. Updike is human, that he doesn't produce something awe inspiring every time his pen touches paper.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Johnson on November 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Why is there not more hoopla about this extraordinary volume? Although every story has been published before, the effect of reading them all through at once (at about a story a day since its publication, I am about a fifth of the way through) is stunning. In 1972, Vladimir Nabokov said that the greatest short stories of the past fifty years were written in America and he cited Updike as among its most inspired practitioners. He said, "I like so many of Updike's stories that it was difficult to choose one for demonstration and even more difficult to settle on its most inspired bit". Nabokov and Updike share the distinction of being the greatest American writers of the last half-century not to win a Nobel prize and the list of winners is made poor by their absence. American fiction writing does not get any better than this.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?