Odd Jobs

Odd Jobs

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To complement his work as a fiction writer, John Updike accepted any number of odd jobsa€”book reviews and introductions, speeches and tributes, a a€œfew paragraphsa€ on baseball or beauty or Borgesa€”and saw each as a€œan opportunity to learn something, or to extract from within some unsuspected wisdom.a€ In this, his largest collection of assorted prose, he brings generosity and insight to the works and lives of William Dean Howells, George Bernard Shaw, Philip Roth, Muriel Spark, and dozens more. Novels from outposts of postmodernism like Turkey, Albania, Israel, and Nigeria are reviewed, as are biographies of Cleopatra and Dorothy Parker. The more than a hundred considerations of books are flanked, on one side, by short stories, a playlet, and personal essays, and, on the other, by essays on his own oeuvre. Updikea€™s odd jobs would be any other writera€™s chief work.... installments, and a€œreaders scrambled in front of the [newspaper] building to buy back issues in order to collect the entire series. ... was loaded with contraband American goodsa€”refrigerators, television sets, washing machinesa€”that spilled from the deck in heavy seas on a sunny day. ... In its exposition of suffering solitude it ranks with Admiral Byrda#39;s Alone and Mungo Parka#39;s Travels; along with the stoicanbsp;...

Title:Odd Jobs
Author:John Updike
Publisher:Random House - 2012-12-04


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