Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories

Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories

John Updike / May 26, 2019

Too Far to Go The Maples Stories Stories that trace the decline and fall of a marriage a history made up of the happiness of growing children and shared life and the sadness of growing estrangement and the misunderstandings of love

  • Title: Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories
  • Author: John Updike
  • ISBN: 9780449200162
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Paperback
  • Stories that trace the decline and fall of a marriage, a history made up of the happiness of growing children and shared life, and the sadness of growing estrangement and the misunderstandings of love.

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      Posted by:John Updike
      Published :2018-011-19T19:10:01+00:00

    About "John Updike"

      • John Updike

        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, having published 22 novels and than a dozen short story collections as well as poetry, literary criticism and children s books Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker since the 1950s His works often explore sex, faith, and death, and their inter relationships.He died of lung cancer at age 76.


    893 Comments

    1. Some of my favourite books consist of linked short stories, from Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge and Alice Munro’s Who Do You Think You Are? to Susan Minot’s Monkeys.I find this format very satisfying, perhaps because it mimics real life. Most of our lives aren’t structured like grand novels, with well-written beginnings, middles and ends; they’re a collection of snapshots or moments. The best fiction makes you feel like characters’ lives keep going after you’ve read about them, [...]


    2. A pretty amazing collection of stories. Updike created the Maples in 1956 and periodically updated the reader about their lives over twenty-three years. There is a polished brashness to the writing which seems to counter the happy married life we come to expect from couples in the period. The Maples are no Rob and Laura Petrie but they trudge along and make the best or suffer through it trying to numb their way at times. Enjoyable, but in sometimes a sad or angry way. Read strictly for recreatio [...]



    3. This book was my first exposure to Updike and his penetrating glance into American married couples in the 50s to the 70s. It was actually a series of articles he published in the New Yorker and so each story stands on its own. This collection of 13 of the stories follows the trials and tribulations, the betrayals and compromises that the Maples make over their two plus decades together. No-one describes infidelity quite as precisely as Updike. This is a great collection but I think that Couples [...]


    4. It's been ages since I read any Updike. To use an analogy, because Updike would, reading this story cycle of the marriage of Joan and Richard Maple is like drinking an Old-Fashioned. It tastes a bit dated, a bit nostalgic, but it's still strong and somehow delicious. Whiskey cut by bitters and the sweet artificiality of a maraschino cherry. These stories are everything I associate with Updike's fictional world: that patrician New England setting, crackling dialogue, overly ornate sentences, but [...]


    5. This collection of short stories by John Updike was published in 1979. The stories were written between 1956 and 1979, and many of them appeared in The New Yorker. The stories are about Richard and Joan Maple and their lives together. We first meet them as a newly married couple living in Greenwich Village, and we follow them through the birth of 4 children, adultery, boredom, aging, and ultimately divorce. The stories weave an intimate picture of a marriage, its good parts and its bad. In the F [...]


    6. Updike seems to write best when he writes of sad, pensive things. The melancholy late stories are things of real majesty, and the overall conceit of the story-cycle is, itself, well-done; I especially appreciate the present-progressive (-ing) verbs as titles throughout, as this adds a touch of life to the stories. There is the problem with how genuinely unlikeable Dick and Joan Maple are, as self-absorbed, adulterous boors. But this is honest, I think. These are our upper-class fantasy selves af [...]


    7. Sometimes I hate Updike when I'm reading him, but I realize, when I distance myself from the characters and plot, that I hate how TRUE he is. This was one of the most perfect collections I have ever read. The stories were not always nice, not always easy to read, but together they were perfection. Love, love, love!


    8. The best kind of Updike. Perfect prose, perfect similes (the Colosseum shaped like a shattered wedding cake!) and luckily no ridiculous and cringeworthy sex scenes. There's even a poetic description of a cabbage. It's like a sharper and more cynical Scenes from a Marriage, except they're not in Sweden. In the morning, to my relief, you are ugly. Monday’s wan breakfast light bleaches you blotchily, drains the goodness from your thickness, makes the bathrobe a limp stained tube flapping disconso [...]


    9. More than anything I'll take away from this read a reminder that very few writers have ever written sentences like Updike. The stories in this collection, all about the slow death of a marriage, span his career. In the strongest stories -- perhaps half of them -- the couple is sympathetic and genuinely saddened at the impending demise of their marriage. In the weaker stories, the couple strikes me as too stereotypically late-1960s, early-1970s, i.e. a bit too swinging and at ease with the other' [...]


    10. The Maple Stories is a collection of John Updike's earlier stories. Though stories they are related, evolve chronologically and read like a novel.A "novel" of manners we follow the life of Joan and Richard Maple from marriage and four children through divorce and remarriage. I can't say the stories break new ground but they are very well written and definitely worth a detour.


    11. This is simply a collection of the 18 short stories, written by John Updike, throughout his long career chronicling the life and times of the marriage of Richard and Joan Maples, injecting all the emotional complexity, love and conflicts that every marriage, over the course of a lifetime experiences, the ups and the downs. Appearing in a single volume, for the first time, with the addition of a post-divorce insight provided by their grand-parenting, the collated collection allows Updike's skill [...]


    12. The writing was unbearably slow and unnecessary in a few parts of the book. The two stories that really stood out were Grandparenting, which I think is the absolute best short story in the book and Your Lover Just Called, which is just this bear animosity and almost hatred that both of them emit towards each other.The last story Grandparenting also had two of these lines that are so so quotable:Speaking of his firstborn, Judith:Judith had been born in England, She was the first baby he had ever [...]


    13. adultery in suburbia already seems like a bit of an anachronism, but updike is witty enough to compensate for this. the book is a series of short stories chronicling the demise of joan and richard maples' 20 year marriage. overwhelmingly, the narratives are not pretty, and some of the scenes are unabashedly ugly, and yet through it all, the maples, as they drift apart, reconcile, separate and finally divorce, exude more vitality, joie de vivre and love, than many "happily" married couples ever a [...]


    14. I am embarrassed to say, as a school librarian and former English teacher, that I have never read John Updike. However, I am happy to say I thought these stories were written by a literary genius. Updike's prose flows like poetry, so much so that we can picture vividly the action in each scene. Richard and Joan Maple's marriage is dissected through the years by Updike, much of it which is so realistic, that you feel you are experiencing a disaster. Anyone who has been married, happily or not, ca [...]


    15. I tend to think of reading as being as end unto itself. The act of being engrossed and getting out of self is usually enough. That's why I love John Updike. Simply put, he writes pretty.But there's another element of Mr Updike. He said that his goal as a writer was "to give the mundane its beautiful due". This he accomplishes in these stories. A great collection of stories about the dissolution of a marriage that has forever altered the way I think about relationships. Unlike some other works of [...]


    16. Ами Опитах се да чета един известен автор. Може би не започнах с най-известната му книга, но това е напълно в мой стил. Това, което не беше в мой стил, е неговият. Най-грубо казано, историята на един разпадащ се брак, предадена по изключително равнодушен начин. Уж любовна истори [...]


    17. Definendolo la tomba dell'amore, qualcuno voleva fare senz'altro lo spiritoso a buon mercato. Ma la facile ironia con cui si etichetta un matrimonio può magicamente trasformarsi in agghiacciante realtà. Diciotto frammenti raccontano una coppia americana, bianca, anglosassone e protestante nella seconda metà del secolo scorso. L'armonia non va scemando, semplicemente non c'è: il divorzio è servito.


    18. More hopeful than heartbreaking, Updike's characters do not teach or even warn us, but they do seem to breathe. I didn't like the Maples at first, especially the Mister, but as all the pieces fall (both into place and apart), their "human-ness" sort of conquered me.


    19. The Maples Stories collection is an intimate portrait of a marriage from its early days until well past its prime. Originally published as individual short stories over a couple of decades, they are now packaged as chapters in a book that chronicles the life of the Maples. Richard and Joan Maple begin as any young couple begins, and there is a great hope for them. Yet even early on, fractures start, as they often do in a marriage that isn't built to last. As the years go by, and the Maples' figh [...]


    20. The book was sad. I never read any of Updike's works before so I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was surprised by the content and his style of writing. I expected someone more sombre I guess and I'm not quite sure why. I enjoyed his writing. He does like long sentences and they take surprising turns at times. I was entertained and challenged. The content like I said is sad, it's about the demise of a marriage. I loved a few chapters - the one where he's in love with his wife shortly after [...]


    21. One of my favorite novels is "Happenstance" by Carol Shields. It details a marriage first from the husband's point of view then the wife's. This book is an interesting companion. Short stories about the Maples, written over the decades, really bring the tribulations of a marriage to the fore.


    22. Superb writing of the life of a couple from when they marry in the 50s, having their family, to their divorce, remarrying and becoming grandparents.


    23. I read this for my English 341 course on Madmen and Masculinity. My first time reading a literary work by Updike. Each of the stories deal with sex and ordinary American life during the Twentieth century. "Snowing in Greenwich Village" was interesting through the repetition involved with the degree of closeness to Rebecca is ambiguous. Rebecca puts on a show in her own world. She was submissive to Richard Maple, which is an example of social relations between sexes of the time. She is much close [...]


    24. Reads like pretty much all Updike, but the ratio of Updike-things-I-don't-like to Updike-things-I-do-like swings heavily in favor of the latter. He's generally at his best when focusing on a very specific feeling or moment in a way that makes it feel almost painfully real, and there are several of those here. But surprisingly, there also a few moments that are almost achingly poignant and sad without being overly sentimental (granted, that's a trait I'd never ascribe to Updike), particularly "Se [...]


    25. I enjoyed this book. I think it was well-crafted, and I do like the linked story collection, which I have been trying to do myself in the recent months. That said, I must admit that I was glad to see the book come to an end. It wasn't as if I was dragging myself through the book. It's just that I needed a break from Dick and Joan after a while. As you know, if you read that Maples stories, then you understand that they take place over the course of this couple's marriage. It is a quite ingenious [...]


    26. This seems to be one of Updike's most highly regarded and beloved works, which is a little surprising. Here is an author who published numerous novels, several large volumes of essays and criticism, and a number of collections of short stories and poems - and this comparatively small group of stories about a foolish yet fascinating couple and their troubled relationship, is considered one of the best things he did. And judging from the author's foreword, one gets the feeling they were a favored [...]


    27. I didn't discover Updike until his death in 2009. I really enjoyed "Rabbit, Run" but found "Villages" pretty stale, and pretty much the same subtext as "Rabbit," there's a lot of adultery going on in suburbia. This edition is the first time "The Maples Stories" are gathered together (nicely done by the ever-fabulous, Everyman's Pocket Library.) These stories appeared in various magazines between 1956 and the mid-1970's. Also included is the last and unpublished work about the same couple. Overal [...]


    28. The Maples Stories by John UpdikeAdded 5/5/11.Below is a link to info re a Google eBook copy which can be sampled on my computer:books.google/ebooks?id=6LlSAMPLE: books.google/ebooks/readerExcerpt from the blurb:=========================================================="Seventeen Maples stories were collected in 1979 in a paperback edition titled Too Far to Go [1980], prompted by a television adaptation. Now those stories appear in hardcover for the first time, with the addition of a later story [...]


    29. On a long plane ride back from the west coast today, I found this on my Kindle and started rereading it. I had forgotten how much I liked this collection of stories, which follows the marriage, from the beginning to its inevitable end, of Richard and Joan Maple. I read the first story tonight, in which the Maples entertain a female neighbor. Richard walks her home, and his brief moments in her apartment provide a foreshadowing of the infidelities that will follow and ultimately bring his marriag [...]


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