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Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  17 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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Sep 21, 2008 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
Judith Shadford
Feb 15, 2013 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
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picked up from library to read "Introduction to The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James", which I saw referenced in the library catalog while looking for "The Portrait of a Lady". Also read the essays (first 67 pages) and then several shorter pieces that looked interesting. Of those, really liked "Against Angelolatry" and "September 11, 2001". Elegant prose and thought-provoking content. Not meant to be read as a whole but savored.
Mugren Ohaly
This collection is made up mostly of book reviews. The book’s intended audience is fans of Updike’s work. I like his writing style but skipped most of the pieces. With that said, I enjoyed the essays “On Literary Biography”, “A Case for Books”, and “Against Angelolatry”.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful collection of essays. Updike writes beautiful prose side by side with excellent analysis and insight on a wide-range of topics. This is a book to skip around with and come back to periodically.
Grindy Stone
Apr 04, 2013 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
Jan 29, 2009 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
Dec 31, 2007 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.
Isla McKetta
Jul 04, 2015 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.
Denis Materna
May 10, 2013 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.
Dan Dubois
Jan 12, 2011 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.
Oct 31, 2007 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
Bryan Tuk
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The breadth of material that Updike can consume and then eloquently critique is astounding. Baseball, painting, international novelists...the list goes in and on.
Marissa Morrison
Dec 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Pretty, pretty good... I found the book reviews and the writings on the history of The New Yorker particularly useful.

Jan 23, 2011 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.
Dec 03, 2008 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
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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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