Of the Farm
By John Updike
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780345468222, 144pp.)
Publication Date: March 30, 2004
List Price: $16.00*
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In this short novel, Joey Robinson, a thirty-five-year-old New Yorker, describes a visit he makes, with his second wife and eleven-year-old stepson, to the Pennsylvania farm where he grew up and where his aging mother now lives alone. For three days, a quartet of voices explores the air, making confessions, seeking alignments, quarreling, pleading, and pardoning. They are not entirely alone: ghosts (fathers, lovers, children) press upon them, as do phantoms from the near future (nurses, lawyers, land developers). Of the Farm concerns the places people choose to live their lives, and the strategies they use to stand their ground.
“A small masterpiece . . . With Of the Farm, John Updike has achieved a sureness of touch, a suppleness of style, and a subtlety of vision that is gained by few writers of fiction.”—The New York Times
“An excellent book . . . [Updike] has the painter’s eye for form, line, and color; the poet’s ear for metaphor; and the storyteller’s knack for ‘and then what happened?’ ”—Harper’s
“Updike is a master of sheer elegance of form that shows itself time and again.”—Los Angeles Times