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My Father's Tears and Other Stories

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,146 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
John Updike's first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Father's Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.

Morocco (Disc 1, Track 1)
Personal Archaeology (Disc 1, Track 31)
Free (Disc 1, Track 55)
The Walk with Elizanne (Disc 1, Track 80)
The Gu
...more
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2009)
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brian
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
goddammit i’m getting old. i still behave like a hyperactive mentally-disabled twenty-three year old, but at thirty-five i already have ‘old fuck syndrome’ -- by which i mean that i loathe my generation all out of proportion. if i read another one of these cutesy assholes writing about the pains it takes to make the perfect mixed CD, i’m gonna cut my legs off with a steak knife. shitty thing is that in thirty years i’m gonna be crapping all over the younger generation and explaining how superior ...more
Shane
May 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the weakest of the Updike books I have read. The themes are familiar: memories of youth, aging lust, infidelity, late second marriages, guilt over the collapse of the first long marriage that begat children, death and insignificance. Updike seemed to be eternally atoning for the breakup of his first marriage as he neared the end of his days, as evinced in this posthumously published collection.

Except for the 9/11 piece “Varieties of Religious Experience,” which is narrated from th
...more
Harold Griffin
Lamenting the prospect of no more Updike, I was excited when I inadvertently discovered this collection of short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed, but cannot say that I loved the volume, which was filled with characteristic insights into the human condition, but without any real knockout tales, just literate, intelligent vintage-Updike musings. The last story, "The Full Glass," ends -- in light of Updike's demise -- with a "toast to the visible world," the toaster's "impending disappearance from it ...more
Red Fields
I read this for a book group. It's not a book I would've chosen on my own. I thought it got off to a good start with the first story but subsequent stories seemed to be too much of the same settings and themes over and over. Only-boy children, raised during/after the Depression, by parents and grandparents, infidelity in the 1960s, sometimes divorce, distance from their children. It was kind of boring although the guy is great at descriptive writing. You can picture everything but after a while ...more
Catherine
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read Updike before but this collection seems a rather transparent recollection of his own (short) stories. Here is a reminiscence of travel, of how ambivalent families and places can make one feels, of loves come and go, of id and ego in battles, of how memories can be grand and insignificant all the same. Here and there, as it is unavoidable of a recollection, you sniff a what if. And how comforting for the soul that the mind can offer such an alternative.
Kathy
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have rarely read short stories that made me so reflective. I would read one, savor it for days, and then move on.
Oto Bakradze
მოთხრობების უმეტესობა აპდაიკის ახალგაზრდობის მოგონებებია. მოხუცი რომ ვიყო შეიძლება 5 ვარსკვლავიც დამეწერა. ჯერ ქონდეს 3 :D
Alan
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Updike, so it was sad reading his last book of short stories. These seem so personal that they must be at least half autobiographical. Many take places in Pennsylvania, where he was born, and featured characters in the last part of their lives. Updike stories always show off his great vocabulary, concise and vivid descriptions, and lusty characters. He was interested in sex and illicit relationships all of his life and these stories are no exception. I think his main point was that people ...more
Tony
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
MY FATHER’S TEARS, and other stories. (2009). John Updike. ****.
John Updike passed away in 2009 so I have to assume that this would have been his last collection of short stories. He was a masterful short story writer. He didn’t employ any tricks; he was not an O’Henry or an Ambrose Bierce. He was more like a man you might sit down next to on a train and strike up a conversation with. His characters soon begin telling you their life story as encapsulated in a short event, and you listen. This co
...more
Bill
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
Proustian Reflections on American Life

Updike, John (2009). My Father’s Tears and Other Stories. New York: Random/Ballantine.

Eighteen previously published stories of fifteen to twenty pages make up this posthumous collection. Each one is a gem – not a bad one among them, and that is all the more remarkable because they are superficially about the most mundane aspects of everyday life in America in the twentieth century. Characters go to the store or a dinner party, a class reunion, or have a fami
...more
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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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“It is easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you.” 2885 likes
“Her hair had been going gray as long as he could remember; she bundled it behind in a bun held with hairpins that he frequently found on the floor when he lived boyishly close to the carpet.” 3 likes
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