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Trust Me

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  797 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The theme of trust, betrayed or fulfilled, runs through this collection of short stories: Parents lead children into peril, husbands abandon wives, wives manipulate husbands, and time undermines all. Love pangs, a favorite subject of the author, take on a new urgency as earthquakes, illnesses, lost wallets, and deaths of distant friends besiege his aging heroes and ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 27th 1996 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  797 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Depending on how you count (and the dust jacket specifies at least three different ways of counting), Trust Me is John Updike's eighth collection of short stories. I think Updike is best approached as a short story writer, though he's a capable novelist and an excellent critic (I haven't read his poetry), and this is not a bad place to start. With respect to short fiction, Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories laid the foundation of his reputation; the stories collected in Trust Me are the bricks ...more
Timothy Knutson
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I struggled to finish this. Maybe you have to be a middle aged divorcee to understand and appreciate this book, but I didn't get it. The whole thing just seemed like it was pounding "never get married, because someone will cheat and be awful and you will be miserable" into my head with every page. And then questioning why their daughters, already to the ancient age of mid-twenties, aren't getting married while reviewing all of their parents awful separations. I can't tell if that was supposed to ...more
Stephen Phillips
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Yes, I feel strange giving John Updike a two-star rating. No, I did not want to keep reading about "great, slanting splashes" of New England infidelity strung together with "rhomboids broken by feathery silhouettes of houseplants."

Maybe I did let "the master's" penchant for flowery language get to me just this once.:)

There's no doubt that Updike ranks among the 20th Century greats, (Right? I remember my English prof mentioning him in the same sentence as Nathaniel Hawthorne) it's just that I've
This set gets off to a good start with the title short story, "Trust Me." The third story in is even better and ends beautifully with the words, "I'll protect you." But the fourth story, "The City" is the best of the bunch: a man becomes ill while in a strange town and he's lost and entirely at the mercy of the unknowable. And that is the central problem with this collection as for me it was downhill from there. And at one point, in "Leaf Season", the third story from the last, Updike gives us ...more
Lisa Kay
The Sixties
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After renewing this three times from the library without reading it, I’ve been picking away at this all month, motivated by the need for a “U” author to fulfill an A-Z Authors Challenge. Easy to do so, as these 22 are all pretty short stories ranging from three to 21 pages. I’m not big on infidelity, of which Mr. Updike writes a ton; however, he is absolutely brilliant at capturing a character in a short amount of time or conveying a theme in the most mundane of settings
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These are some of Updike's best stories and at least two of my all-time favorites. He's gotten older now and his ability to capture the passage of time is remarkable, like Proust but with fewer pages. (He'd like that comparison and the alliteration, too, unfortunately.) He's as sex crazed as ever, though in these stories, the physical acts take on a geriatric flair. I find it interesting. The details of later life, of aged bodies. Thanks for going there, John. It almost helps forgive your ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
In this collection of short stories loosely centered around a common theme of trust, Updike once again does a wonderful job of portraying imperfect relationships and human emotions. While he doesn't stray too far from his familiar milieu of adulterous, upper-crust New Englanders, he tells their stories in a way that makes you feel like you too are among them, sipping drinks and coveting your friends' wife in between bouts of tennis and trips to the vacation home.

There wasn't a single story out
Some books are read just for the words. This is one of them. Updike's descriptions of people's bodies and of situations are amazingly evocative; his turn of phrase often very clever and funny.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With his full and vivid imagination, John Updike once again seduced me into his breathing suburban worlds. Each of the stories tackle such meaningful social constructs(particularly in the arena of adult relationships), in that special surreally penetrating way, that only Updike's words can lift the curtain on. As a collection the stories complemented each other so well and really gave the book a sense of solidity.


Trust Me: How trust in and of itself is selfish. You can't give someone
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave the book away/'paid it forward'... I did get as far as through 'The City' at least, which was a positive story: so a good place to end my reading. Back-story: I left the book alone in a public place for five minutes and when I came back to the room, a stranger had picked the book up and was avidly reading the Updyke, story after story... As we were both forced to wait a while longer there (the public place was a car dealership waiting room...), and the stranger continued her reading, I ...more
Casey Hampton
Not a review, but a reaction.

Other than "Still of Some Use" and "More Stately Mansions" this collection of short stories fell slightly flat for this reader. Solid writing, but hardly any room for the reader to turn inward, in fact, there was very little room for the reader at all. I'd almost go so far as to say I felt endured rather than welcome.

Very little intimacy or Sehnsucht, And when I consider the title of this work, I can't help but feel slighted.
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Would you like to drown in sadness and melancholia? Are you sad that you're growing old and your kids are all grown up and life is flashing by? Would you like to make yourself sadder? Then by all means.....enjoy John Updike's depressing and exceptionally well written stories. They're chock full of subtly expressed despair and loss. I give it 5 stars for the writing but two stars for the gloomy bummer aspect.
Wendy Lawson
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Mostly) Read in Cambridge. Borrowed from the shelves of the second AirBNB. It was a joy to come back to Updike: what writing!! No one else can write a series of simple words into such an evocative sentence. I’m not a big fan of short stories: but these were fab. Not quite finished.
Patrick Renie
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
My fave stories in this book:
- More Stately Mansions
- Leaf Season
- The City
- One More Interview
- The Other

This book is just what it says on the tin. If you like stories about philandering heterosexual couples and/or Updike's florid prose, check it out. Otherwise, move on.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
DULL DULL DULL. Boring people having boring crises. The stories never improve. Skip this book—there are many better options.
3.5 stars
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
John Updike is a master short story writer, and there are several gems in “Trust Me: Short Stories” a 1987 collection of stories from 1962 to 1987, most having appeared in The New Yorker.
I had read only one story before: “Unstuck” which originally ran in the Feb. 3, 1962, The New Yorker. It is a favorite of mine with its story of a man and woman living in Massachusetts trying to get their car out of the snow, the action an extended metaphor for their marriage and, as well, the actions in their
Andy Miller
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many things to like about this collection of short stories written between 1962 and 1987 but one intriguing thing was that while the themes of these older stories, marriage, divorce, infedelity, remain with us, the context has changed. One marriage unraveled after a husband finds a home made valentine from a man in his wife's dresser--today such discoveries are made by accessing emails, facebook etc.The claudestine rendezvous described in the stories would both be easier and harder ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I read the original mass market edition of this book published by Fawcett in 1988. Mass market is now the territory of thrillers, romance, science fiction and mysteries. You won't find Zadie Smith or Junot Diaz or Ian McEwan published in the compact paperbacks like literary authors were in the 1980s.

The first few pages are devoted to excerpts from reviews. That's standard practice now, but what I loved about these reviews is that they highlight what different reviewers around the country said
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Carrie by: found on my own
In honor of Updike's recent death and my great fondness for his short fiction in particular, as well as his Rabbit series, I recently read "Trust Me,"which I happened to pick up at the library this fall in a strange coincidence. This book confirms was all the obituaries have been highlighting, the Updike was a real chronicler of the middle class, and an expert observer of the smaller moments in life, such as feeling sick on a plane, eyeing someone at a party, noticing the way someone smokes a ...more
Christopher Hivner
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This is only the second Updike book I have read so I'm not overly familiar with his work. This collection of stories explores the relationships between men and women, husbands and wives and many times their lovers. This is not an uplifting collection as most of the characters have serious personality flaws and troubled partnerships. Out of 20 or so stories there were 4 I really liked: "Trust Me", "Killing", "Still of Some Use" and "Getting into the Set". The rest were mainly OK, a few were very ...more
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Updike's descriptions and use of imagery are staggeringly original and fresh. The narratives, too, often hinge on surprising twists. (Critics are often too harsh in their dismissal of Updike's abilities with narrative.) I especially enjoy Updike's themes, another feature of his writing that is too often described pejoratively. He was a man obsessed not only with middle-class adultery but with Protestant theology and church attendance. Never before in my life have I intentionally read fiction ...more
Kevin Beary
Feb 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: partial-reads
I want to read more of him , this was a library book that I had to return. I only read a half-dozen or so stories. I was kinda depressed during one particular reading and found myself reading some of the pained relationship stories which didn`t lift my mood.
I do believe I will enjoy Updike in the future at a time when I have a tougher shell. He does paint precise and realistic pictures of emotions and interactions between people unlike I have ever read before. This is because despite a few
"Affection between women is a touching, painful, exciting thing for a man,..." (70)

"How little, little to the point of nothingness, he was beneath those stars! ... And yet it was he who was witnessing the stars; they knew nothing of themselves, so in this dimension he was greater than they. As far as he could reason, religion begins with this strangeness, this standstill; faith tips the balance in favor of the pinpoint." (161)

"The wrecker's ball,... it should be
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
John Updike is a great writer. He writes beautifully about middle aged divorcees. Is it poor taste to judge an author by his subject matter rather than his delivery? I just wish he'd chosen a different title, something like, "Divorced in New Hampshire". I give it two stars because it's heavy-handed. Updike is divorced and wants to write about it. Fine. But after a few stories, I feel like I should just go to Applebee's happy hour in an affluent suburb and start talking with a dude in a business ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
A collection from the master, who just passed away last month. John Updike wrote his short stories about day-to-day life in the suburbs, and some people faulted him for using such a narrow canvas, but there are always moments in his stories that take your breath away. He was an absolute master at using the English language, and his sentences sing. Someone once described him as "the Fred Astaire of American letters", and it was a good way to sum him up. He made it look so easy, but of course ...more
David Gross
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I’ve read more John Updike than I can remember, mostly because the plot goes in one eye and out the other. I read Updike because the man uses words like Buddy Guy uses a guitar or Einstein uses a differential equation. He writes sentences that convey thoughts we mere mortals couldn’t get across in a chapter. This collection of short stories, mostly concerning the ordinary dramas of the modern New England upper-middle class, shows off his talent best, I think.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting if usually sad stories about the upper middle in the ???50's???

First time exposure to the author. I heard about him at a conference Renee was presenting at...having read this I feel a little bit like part of the intellectual upper crust. That's nice.

In any case, this was good enough to cause me to seek out one of his novels, but not good enough to rush. I'll probably get it on CD next time I am at the library or in paperback next time I am at Bookman's.
Jan 20, 2008 added it
I love John Updike and reading this I remember why. This is a collection of short stories and they way he can draw a character and a complete story in sometimes just a few pages is so amazing. What a talent. I haven't read any Updike for a long time until this and now I am eager to catch up on what I have missed.
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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, ...more
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“But cities aren’t like people; they live on and on, even though their reason for being where they are has gone downriver and out to sea.” 15 likes
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