Hilfreichste positive Rezension
Many happy hours of reading
am 23. Januar 2000
One of the things I have always liked about Updike is that he is willing to undertake something like this--even though it will inevitably make him vulnerable to criticisms like the ones raised in other reviews here. I can see why some omissions rankle: but, but BUT! Look at what's here! Almost all of the stories are nothing short of brilliant. Yes, "The Lottery" was probably amongst the best of the century, but it is anthologized everywhere in the universe: many of these are not. Many are not-so-well-known works by the best writers the 20th century had. I could quibble about many of the selections. For instance, I wouldn't have chose "Greenleaf" to represent one my favorites, Flannery O'Connor, or "The Killers" to represent Ernest Hemingway. But they're still great stories, worth including and worth reading.
The best I think are those from the early part of the century, but that's probably my own bias talking. I'm not a fan of many of the representatives chosen for the latter half of the century, and the selection for 1999--yuck! But I'm willing to trust Updike's judgment over my own for a little while, and if he thinks Annie Proulx is worth reading...ok: It's worth a few pages of my time to find out.
The anthology also does a good job of tracing in fiction the transformations of American culture: the first are immigrant stories, the next are primarily rural-based farming stories (A Jury of Her Peers--great story), and then the last are urban, ex-urban, and suburban stories.
Read and enjoy.