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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Father on the Verge of Discrace by John Updike

This is a great story. The narrator is the son or daughter of a prominent man who is active in his community and who is a high school teacher. He is put in charge of the money for the football games. Each night after the game he takes the money home with him. Unfortunately, he steals this money in order to sustain his family. The era is during and after the great depression and so he feels justified in what he is doing. He has other secrets that are revealed to those in his town. (Crying out on the steps of a building at the University of Pennsylvania "Heil Hitler!"; (This before the US was involved in the war); Passing notes from a boy to a girl in one of his classes...) As I read this story last night I thought of the houses burning in California. One sentence struck out at me "Burning," went another of his chemical slogans, "destroys nothing. It just shuffles the molecules." John Updike delivers again in this story of disgrace (or what is perceived as disgrace)


Lechelle said...

you sure do read a lot of books.

Aaron said...

These are not books. They are short stories. Each volume of Best American Short Stories has about 20 to 25 short stories. I enjoy them because they have just enough plot and agenda but not so much that I get bored to tears as I would with novels...