I had never read Updike before. He isn't force-fed to us in public school like Salinger or Fitzgerald. It was chic to snub the canon and all its modern masters in the multi-cultural daze of college. I've always thumbed past his lauded columns in the The New Yorker, and until this year, I remained skeptical of Updike for no other reason than he was still alive. How could a man regarded as one of the greatest American writers still pump out stories like artillery shells? After his death, the coast felt clear to make an honest assessment of Updike's last collection of short stories. After reading the first story in this collection, I remembered something Martin Amis wrote about Updike: "having read him once, you admit to yourself, almost with a sigh that you will have to read everything he writes."
Amis is absolutely right.
The title of this collection evokes the theme of the book: ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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