The Women Who Got Away (Penguin Great Loves)

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9780141032931: The Women Who Got Away (Penguin Great Loves)

In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn’t yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife’s lover, stirs him in ways he never expects.

United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love…

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In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects.

Review:

If John Updike had never published anything but short stories--if the novels, essays, verse and reams of occasional prose vanished into thin air--he would still be a presence to reckon with in American letters. Having said that, it's only fair to point out that his 13th collection, Licks of Love, is one of the master's patchier efforts. He has lost none of his notorious fluency, and even the duds here are enlivened by lovely stabs of perception; but in several tales ("The Women Who Got Away", "New York Girl," "Natural Color"), Updike seems perversely bent on proving his detractors right, serving up familiar narratives of adultery and 1960s-era swinging. There is no reason why lust and rage shouldn't dance attendance on this randy genius's old age. But he's already written about the art of extracurricular canoodling at such length that these entries are bound to seem like retreads.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the rest of the collection is a sheer delight. "My Father on the Verge of Disgrace" explores some fascinating Oedipal outskirts, even as the narrator's first cigarette takes on a theological accent: "It was my way of becoming a human being, and part of being human is being on the verge of disgrace". In "How Was It, Really?" Updike unveils the real dirty secret of old age, which is not the persistence of erotic appetite but the inevitable, appalling failure of memory. Best of all, he returns to two of his longest running franchises, with admirable results in both cases. "His Oeuvre" revives that Semitic doppelganger Henry Bech for one more lap around the track, and finds the author making intermittent fun of his own fancy prose style. Harry Angstrom is, needless to say, beyond hope of resurrection. But in a 182-page novella, "Rabbit Remembered", Updike brings back his survivors for a superb, surprising curtain call. The author's present-tense notation of American life (whose paradoxical epicentre is, as always, Brewer, Pennsylvania) remains as mesmerising as ever. And despite his death, the putative hero is everywhere, as his illegitimate daughter returns to the unwilling bosom of the Angstrom clan: "A whiff of Harry, a pale glow, an unsettling drift comes off this girl, this thirty-nine-year-old piece of evidence". Wallowing in this unexpected bonus, Updike fans should steel themselves for a single pang of regret: this is likely to be the last Rabbit he will pull from his hat. --James Marcus

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Women Who Got Away, John Updike, In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. United by the theme of love, the writings in the "Great Loves" series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141032931

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 176 x 106 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn t yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife s lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141032931

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 176 x 106 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn t yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife s lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141032931

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. United by the theme of love, t. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141032931_rkm

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Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 2007. Paperback. In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. Series: Penguin Great Loves. Num Pages: 112 pages. BIC Classification: FR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 185 x 114 x 7. Weight in Grams: 74. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141032931

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