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Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  12 reviews
“A drop of truth, of lived experienced, glistens in each.” This is how John Updike modestly described his nonfiction pieces, of which Due Considerations is perhaps his most varied, stylish, and personal collection. Here Updike reflects on such writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, Don DeLillo, A. S. Byatt, Colson Whitehead, and Margaret Atwood. He visits China, goes ...more
ebook, 736 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Random House (first published 2007)
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Crossings
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Bob
Nov 03, 2007 Bob rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Pretty, pretty good... I found the book reviews and the writings on the history of The New Yorker particularly useful.

Paul
How many times have I looked at JU and thought 'I won't like him!'. How wrong can you be
Pamela
Updike manages to look both silly and avuncular on this jacket.
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John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania) 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 hi ...more
More about John Updike...
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1) Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom, #3) Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2) The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick, #1)

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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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