My Father's Tears and Other Stories

My Father's Tears and Other Stories✅ [PDF / Epub] ☉ My Father's Tears and Other Stories By John Updike ⚣ – A beautiful moving collection of short stories in many of which Updike revisits the haunts of his childhood from the vantage point of old age In 'Fiftieth' old friends reconnect at a class reunion and Tears and PDF È A beautiful moving collection of short stories in many of which Updike revisits the haunts of his childhood from the vantage point of old age In 'Fiftieth' old friends reconnect at a class reunion and one of them is left wondering 'What does it mean the enormity of having been children and now being old living next to death' In the story 'The Full Glass' the protagonist My Father's Kindle - describes somewhat ruefully the rituals of old age Before going to bed he raises his nightly water glass 'drinking a toast to the visible world his impending disappearance from it be damned' In 'Varieties of Religious Experiences' a grandfather visiting his daughter in Brooklyn Heights watches the tower of the World Trade Centre fall and his view of a God is forever altered Again and again in these Father's Tears and MOBI ò memorable stories Updike strikes to the heart giving words to what is so often left unsaid He is at once witty devastatingly observant touching and of course a consummate storyteller This is a collection that will be admired and cherished. 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 mine was ugh the cycle of life is cruel well updike croaked this year and this is his last collection of stories it’s wonderful sad and elegaic and gentle one of his best and i’ll take the stodgy white male over most of these young whippersnappers running up the scene these days lemme explain in Personal Archaeology a guy wanders around the large yard surrounding his country house and takes stock of the place’s history by what he sees shards of teacups encrusted into hard soil conjures images of a young girl thirty years earlier hastily burying a broken teacup before mom gets back home; mason jars in the shed bring to life their original owners who lived in the house nearly a century ago through this simple device updike is able to make universal that which is so banal and ordinary that we hardly consider it but also so mysterious and ineffable that when it does come up we find ourselves eye to eye with the abyss the subjectivity of human existence and experience y’know what i mean the ‘born alone die alone’ thing; the seeking out people to share experience with but always having the nagging feeling that as much as you try as deep as you go you can never truly convey the ineffable uniueness of what it feels like to be ‘you’ or ever truly know another humanit’s almost unbearable to feel existence so powerfully to feel the wonderful and mad crush of confusion and happiness and melancholy to feel alive in a world of music and flesh and ideas and wonder if anyone truly understands it the way you do so we write and we read and we learn that other people do feel this shit and they’ve been feeling it way back before homer was writing and they’ll be feeling it up until the world goes pop and while we never can know if what i'm seeing when i say 'green' is the same as what you're seeing or what i'm feeling when i say 'love' is the same as what you're feeling the investigation isn't wholly arid it does lighten the burden of existenceso updike there are not many writers better at conveying the sense of what it means and feels to be here to be alive to be alive right now to exist on earth with a brain a heart eyes a cockcunt a soul and there certainly aren't many writers better at putting across the sense that despite all of this most human interaction is marked by botched attempt and missed opportunity now get off my damn lawn and turn down that music 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 subseuent stories seemed to be too much of the same settings and themes over and over Only boy children raised duringafter 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 you just don't care to 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 collectionExcept for the 911 piece “Varieties of Religious Experience” which is narrated from the points of view of the victim the perpetrator and the bystander left with the legacy none of the stories are powerful enough to engage A footnote on the 911 piece Updike did a thorough examination of this theme in his novel Terrorist which I enjoyed The stories set in Spain and India and outside the familiar US East Coast milieu fail to excite as they are focused on the internal uest of the narrator and are not integrated with the exotic locales The opening story set in Morocco and written back in 1969 makes such an effort at integration but ends up reading like a travelogue The normally fluid writing of Updike seems to have developed a different rhythm and I had to re read some of the longer sentences to fall back into the flowIt appeared to me on concluding this book that this collection of stories had been assembled to reflect the last days of the great author what he was pre occupied with at the time what he regretted not having accomplished and what he had witnessed during his career It’s a pity that the normally punchy prose had given way to a languid musing with a reluctance to excite the senses lest that be too much for the fragile health of the aging author It was as if the tired “Rabbit” Angstrom had finally returned home to his hutch to rest after bopping vigorously around the neighborhood for a very long time I have rarely read short stories that made me so reflective I would read one savor it for days and then move on Lamenting the prospect of no 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 be damned bringing a little mist but only a little to my over sentimental eyesStill like a schoolboy delivering a book report I must say to all Updike fans that everyone should read this book if only to reach the end of reminiscences of Updike's life in Alton and the after years that followed 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 List of John Updike short stories contained in this bookMOROCCOPERSONAL ARCHAEOLOGYFREETHE WALK WITH ELIZANNETHE GUARDIANSTHE LAUGHTER OF THE GODSVARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCESPANISH PRELUDE TO A SECOND MARRIAGEDELICATE WIVES THE ACCELERATING EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSEGERMAN LESSONSTHE ROAD HOMEMY FATHER’S TEARSKINDERSZENENTHE APPARITIONBLUE LIGHTOUTAGE THE FULL GLASS Proustian Reflections on American LifeUpdike John 2009 My Father’s Tears and Other Stories New York RandomBallantineEighteen 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 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 family vacation in Spain or join a tour group in India High drama ensues when one character holds a glance a moment too long or the electricity goes out at home during a storm or a character visits his dermatologist All the action all the drama is on the inside In most cases the main character reminisces about life and love time and death and longs for meanings that never appeared The main characters are nearly all adult males most older retired or elderly They remember fumbling through marriages affairsand divorces They are generally alone now isolated divorced; feeling dissatisfied and perplexed; facing irrelevance meaninglessness and death A couple of main characters are young boys who describe confusing impoverished childhoods in the Depression as they try to find meaning in experience and describe the often pathetic old people that populate their lives In most stories the settings are suffocating New England towns where emotions are locked up by traditional roles and relationships In a big city setting we see nothing of wild creative chaos but only the staid emotionally constricted lives of the characters So in a sense these stories are depressing since they are all about escaped happiness longing loss of meaning unrealized love and so forth But isn’t that how life turns out ultimately for any thoughtful person There is a sense of sharp self recognition in the reader The characters are so alive and the writing so lyrical that one becomes deeply immersed Marveling at the writing I sometimes got stuck re reading a single paragraph for a half hour For example“The worst seemed to be over when in mid afternoon his computer died under his eyes The financial figures he had been painstakingly assembling swooned as a group sucked into the dead blank screen like glittering water pulled down a drain Around him the house seemed to sigh as all its lights and little engines its computerized timers and indicators simultaneously shut down The sound of wind and rain lashing the trees outside infiltrated the silence”The omniscient narrator is strong even intrusive so much so that it is difficult to read than two or three of the stories at a stretch without that narrator becoming tedious Likewise the sets become claustrophobic the tone aridly cognitive intellectual and all the characters and locations start to blend into just a few archetypes The stories are therefore best read in short bursts separated by a day of restNearly all the stories are third person past tense omniscient; a form that facilitates a strong narrative voice One written from the point of view of a young boy is third person present tense which struck me as awkward and contrived but maybe that’s just because it is less common A story about the attacks of 9 11 switches among several points of view from a grandfather watching the towers fall to one of the hijackers on Flight 93 into Pennsylvania All the stories are masterpieces 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 reveal deep emotional secrets and a picture of authentic selves when they step out of normal life and enter an affair No doubt that Updike like most guys thought about sex all the time but what made him different was his masterful ability to write about it In his early books Updike seemed to treat sex as an erotic amusement park but in these last stories sex seems to be plain natural and an important part of being human In this collection is my favorite of all of Updike's stories which is A Walk with Elizanne the best high school reunion story ever written I picked this up to complete a book challenge but was also really looking forward to reading these short stories by Updike I enjoyed the first story but then each of the subseuent stories felt like a similar version of the first All the stories had a semi autobiographical feel to them but with different names and very slightly different characters