John Updike

Books

Updike, by Adam Begley

Updike's religious explorations are what make his writing so interesting, and Adam Begley explores them well. But he devotes too much space to trying to link fictional settings and characters with Updike's real life.

Books

A dark thread runs through it

More Matter: Essays and Criticism, by John Updike

Books

Gertrude and Claudius, by John Updike

John Updike's 19th novel, plotted as a "prequel" to Shakespeare's Hamlet, is a beautifully crafted, captivating story. Updike owes much of his thematic treatment to Shakespeare and to modern Shakespeare scholarship, but it is his own fertile imagination that generates the novel's compelling narrative. This is his best book since The Witches of Eastwick.

Books

Hugging the middle

John Updike and Religion: The Sense of the Sacred and the Motions of Grace, edited by James Yerkes

Books

Saying the unsayable

Exploring the extraordinary ordinary dimensions of our lives has always been John Updike’s métier, in which he is peerless among American mid-20th-century writers. His writings, perhaps his short stories most powerfully, relentlessly expose a predictable dialectic: “Discontent, conflict, waste, sorrow, fear—these are the worthy dynamic subjects.