The afterlife and other stories

by John Updike

Hardcover, 1994





New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1994.


Twenty-two stories on life in the sunset lane, illustrating the saying that every age has its charm, including old age. By the author of Brazil.

Media reviews

A WRITER as prolific and variously gifted as John Updike is bound, eventually, to frustrate readers. How does one absorb a body of work that includes 16 novels, 6 volumes of poetry, 5 fat compilations of essays and reviews, a memoir, a play, 4 books for children and now -- after a pause of 7 years -- his 11th collection of short stories? Were all this writing mediocre, one might still wonder at its mere volume. What is perhaps more striking is that so much of it is good, even dazzling.
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Not among the best of Updike's collections, but even the duller stories yield extraordinary pleasures of language and perception.

User reviews

LibraryThing member viviennestrauss
Another great collection from Updike. There were two stories I just couldn't get into so I skipped them. Several stories dealing with an elderly or recently deceased mother were especially touching, I couldn't help but wonder if these were actually Updike and his own mother. Several phrases from the book that really stuck with me-

'He had come to see that the heart, likea rubber ball, loses bounce, and eventually goes dead.'

'Time takes all.'

'Nobody belongs to us, except in memory.'
… (more)
LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
Updike's stories are beautifully written, and the details of life presented here are touchingly real. That said, the characters in many of the stories are similar enough, and the themes similar enough, that it wasn't as compelling as his other work which I've read, and there wasn't enough variety as I'd like in a short story collection, even one from a single author. I did enjoy many of the stories, but I think each might have been more powerful if stumbled across in the midst of other authors or as narratives within a larger framework/novel. Real as they were, I was often left wishing for more.… (more)



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