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Trust Me: Short Stories Paperback – August 27, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reissue edition (August 27, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449912175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449912171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the chronicler of a certain kind of upper middle-class, sophisticated culture, Updike has few peers. The 22 stories in his new collection cover familiar ground, but always with a resonance and relevance that deliver fresh shocks of recognition. In Updike's world, fractured marriages are a condition of modern life. Ex-mates, new mates or lovers multiply in complex arrangements, "victims of middle aged recklessness." Adultery is not defended or explained; it is inevitable and routine. The children of these many-bedded partners pay the price for their parents' un- and re-coupling. A tone of nostalgia, loss and pain is pervasive; retribution is sure to be exacted. As Updike ages, so do some of his characters, men who in their 50s or 60s, who, like the protagonists of The Wallet and Death of Distant Friends contemplate "the premonition of extinction." In all of the narratives, Updike's inspired gift for imagery is employed to stunning effect. One responds to these stories with a visceral feeling of empathy, of having been exposed to the essence of life seen through a master's eye. 50.000 first printing; Literary Guild dual main selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

A few stories here come from magazines not found in most public libraries. Most treat familiar Updike themes (marriage, adultery, and divorce; the onset of middle age or old age; sickness and death) with familiar Updike techniques (role reversal, mirror scenes and characters, extended similes, traditional symbolism). Also familiar is the mostly high quality, even of newer material, such as an unobtrusive experiment in first-person plural narration in "Leaf Season," the relation between sex and sleep (explored more thoroughly in "Pygmalion" than in "Killing" or "Slippage"), and the use of the "f"-word in a New Yorker (!) story, "Unstuck." The two failures, "Still Some Use" and "Poker Night," are done in by bathetic imagery. More disturbing is a tendency to draw the moral, as if Updike shared with the artist of "Learn a Trade" a lack of trust in his own work. Let's hope not. Literary Guild dual main selection. Hugh M. Crane, Cambridge P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Adair on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
What, really, can one say against John Updike? Where, in these stories, can he be faulted? Well, the question need not be so rhetorical. One might, for example, consider the charge that his material is relatively unvarying. Time and again in his short stories Updike returns to the same territory: the white, middle-class couple caught up in the flux of an extra-marital affair. This is the central theme of no less than six of these twenty-two tales, but it touches the edges of many of the others too. And of these others all are confined to the same domestic and social milieu - from 'Killing', in which a daughter must cope with her father's death from Alzheimer's Disease, to 'The City', in which a salesman unexpectedly contracts appendicitis while on a business trip. Where is the broader vision - the black characters, the homosexuals, the political radicals? They are absent from Updike's vision. And yet, if this artist paints on a restricted canvas, it is the detail and style of the brushstrokes that redeems his art. 'Trust Me' is as reliable - as trustworthy - a demonstration as any work in the Updike corpus that the man's linguistic style is extraordinary. Central to it is an astonishing facility for metaphor; no less characteristic is his ear for the musical, his faculty for critical analysis, and a taste for symbolism that is at once unobtrusive and yet deeply satisfying. With such an abundance of stylistic gifts all working simultaneously, the unchanging world of Updike's characters remains fresh and, in 'Trust Me', fresher than ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zwiggles on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Amazon, please print the reviewer's name, so I can hunt him down and pummel him but good. Obviously there are lots of opinions in this world, but this guy clearly can't feel his heart when he reads, which I guess is why he's a critic--read 'critical.'

I'm a professional writer, and this book was one of my inspirations and still is. "Unstuck" got me started by quietly blowing my mind. But every story is rife with brilliance, including one that the reviewer called a 'failure,' the subtle "Poker Night." Just to prove my point, I'll add a spoiler, so don't read on if you don't want to know, but "Poker Night" is about a man who has just been diagnosed with cancer earlier that day, and that night goes to play poker with his buddies. But he doesn't want to tell them about his cancer, to keep his life normal. So he in essence participates in the game itself with a symbolically powerful poker face. The story has haunted me, in a great way, for years.

Sorry to usurp the title, but trust me...this Library Journal guy has no business critiquing literature. "Trust Me" is flat-out literary brilliance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Younder on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Men, women, what works and what does not - this seems to be the central theme of Trust Me. This was my first Updike book and as a collection of short stories, Trust Me represents a wise choice in this regard. The reader gets a taste of the Updike style in several short works which, despite being rich in detail and innuendo, are easily consumable - especially if read from start to finish without any long breaks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P C Leggat on June 9, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
The audio casset version of this book is outstanding and is read by the author, which is always a great asset. The short stories are artful character studies that vividly describe the souls of your neighbors, your friends, or yourself in a modern setting. The details are so charming you'll want to listen to it over and over to pick up all the nuances.
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