John Updike’s “The Maples Stories.”

John Updike’s “The Maples Stories” are a collection of eighteen short stories, written over Mr. Updike’s career, that chronicle the marriage, separation, and divorce of Joan and Richard Maples and their four children. The writing is superb, at times frighteningly honest and other times frighteningly surreal. The author has captured the dissolution of a marriage brilliantly, so brilliantly that if anyone is thinking of getting married I would recommend not reading this wonderful collection.

It has been a long time since I have read any of Mr. Updike’s works. Actually, the last time was 1996 on an airplane ride, on Thanksgiving Day, from Los Angeles to New York. After reading this collection of stories, I definitely see more of Mr. Updike’s works in my future. He is one of a few writers whose use ‘of a stream of consciousness’ heightens the narrative and who James Joyce I think would happily approve.

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