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Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
John Updike’s sixth collection of essays and literary criticism opens with a skeptical overview of literary biographies, proceeds to five essays on topics ranging from China and small change to faith and late works, and takes up, under the heading “General Considerations,” books, poker, cars, and the American libido. The last, informal section of Due Considerations assembl ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 736 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published 2007)
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Crossings
Sep 21, 2008 Crossings rated it liked it
John Updike is one of my very favorite writers and I am specially indebted to Hugging The Shore for introducing me to some of the best books I've read. With Updike's guidance on traversing a crowded (and to me, mostly unfamiliar) literary landscape, I no longer felt limited by the narrow confines of my small town existence. Each time, I read a book or an author recommended by Updike, the more I came to depend on his judgment.

So, it was with a great deal of anticipation that I picked up Due Consi
...more
Judith Shadford
Feb 15, 2013 Judith Shadford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is Updike. It is wonderful. The early sections of reviews and essays wring the mind and heart. And his account of his time at The New Yorker was exceptional. Those crabby old guys, also gracious, like the city they inhabited, come to life through Updike's eyes, which is a gift. Eventually, particularly when reading it straight through like an epic, the smaller, slighter bits seem like futzing around in the back of a drawer and pulling out all the scraps of cocktail napkins and old envelopes. ...more
Grindy Stone
Apr 09, 2013 Grindy Stone rated it really liked it
It strains credulity that so many people claim to have read this and other volumes of Updike's criticism and post with a straight face reviews of each edition. You're all poseurs who are doing this. If anyone was as well-versed as Updike was in writing these pieces that they would be able to follow him along on his discourses, he would be writing his own.

The Updike non-fiction collections are like textbooks or cookbooks, not cover-to-cover projects. That said, A couple of these recipes stick out
...more
Beth
Jan 21, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
Whatever he writes, this legend was such an affable, accessible person in prose...I feel like I'm chatting with him when I read the various essays...and it makes me want to read more, brush up on my grammar and vocabulary, and try to love liturature just as much as he did. It's really a joy...and I'm only 4 pages in.
Howard Cincotta
Jan 05, 2008 Howard Cincotta rated it really liked it
Like a banquet, too rich to consume everything, but the essays on literary biography alone are worth it: Byron, Kierkegaard, Proust, Frost, Sinclair Lewis, John O'Hara, Iris Murdock. Also dipped into pieces on Edward Gorey and Nathaiel Hawthornee, Czeslaw Milosz and Orhan Pamuk. Whew! Think I overate.
Dan Dubois
Jan 12, 2011 Dan Dubois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Updike is a joy to read always, but what comes through in this collection of his thoughts and particularly his criticism of other writers, some of them at early stages of their craft, is his essential decency and fairness of mind.
Isla McKetta
Oct 15, 2015 Isla McKetta rated it liked it
I like Updike, but there are very, very few writers of whom I'd want to read every single word they'd ever written. Better to skim this book than to commit to it deeply as I did. Although it did help me sleep some nights.
Bob
Nov 03, 2007 Bob rated it liked it
Recommends it for: old fuddy duddies like me
it's 700 pages of recycled pulp press book reviews by my favorite old white guy with a basketball-jones.

i can't wait to start reading it the next time i wake up in the middle of the night and need a good snooz
Denis Materna
Jun 29, 2013 Denis Materna rated it really liked it
It's a great read. All of it was interesting with the exception perhaps of a couple of pieces on artists towards the end of the book. Updike has given me some good ideas and indicators of what to read next.
Lloyd
Jan 23, 2011 Lloyd rated it it was amazing
I don't have much use for Updike's fiction (or fiction in general), but his non-fiction is nonpareil. These essays are diverse, gemlike, irreplaceable. And cheaper than graduate school.
Marissa Morrison
Dec 12, 2007 Marissa Morrison rated it liked it
Pretty, pretty good... I found the book reviews and the writings on the history of The New Yorker particularly useful.

Paul
Nov 06, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How many times have I looked at JU and thought 'I won't like him!'. How wrong can you be
Pamela
Dec 17, 2008 Pamela rated it it was ok
Updike manages to look both silly and avuncular on this jacket.
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John Hoyer Updike was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for his careful craftsmanship and prolific writing, havin ...more
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“We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelations, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry with him. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart!” 0 likes
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