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John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America, No. 188) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First Edition Thus edition (March 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598530348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598530346
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blake Bailey, editor, is the author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates. His biography of John Cheever will be published by Knopf simultaneously with the Library of America Cheever Edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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If one does not own the earlier collection, then the LOA writings are the one to own.
C. Hutton
One of the best Christmas presents I ever received was the collected stories of John Cheever in 1981.
M. A Newman
Could not put it down; my book group agreed to read some of the stories, but I had to read them all.
dolgag

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My eyes are bleary. Since this year began I have read the excellent new biography of John Cheever by Blake Bailey and the two excellent Cheever books in the famed Library of America Series. Bailey was the editor for these two weighty tomes. All together I know more about Cheever after over 2,000 pages of small print prose than I did before. You as the reader are in for a festschrift of pure unalloyed reading pleasure as you hunker down with these great short stories. Short stories are difficult to produce and these masterpieces from the pages of the New Yorker and other magazines are worthy of study and appreciation.
John Cheever (1912-1982) was an alcoholic, grumpy man who wrote like a suburban angel. His mileu is in the cosy suburbs nestled in New England rural surroundings or in the environs of New York City. Most of the stories can be found in Cheever's Collected Stories of 1978. In addition to these gems there are stories from early in his careers, a reminiscence of his trip to Chekhov's home in Russia and literary appreciations of Saul Bellow and Malcolm Cowley and Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald are also included. Bailey provides a good introduction to the Cheever oeuvre and there is a detailed chronoloy given of Cheever's life and career. All of the stories are worth reading but these are my favorites:
1. The Swimmer-This was made into a movie starring Burt Lancaster. It deals with an alcoholic's Sunday goal of swimming his way home by dipping in the pools of all his neighhbors. A sad tale of middle class angst, loss and disorder.
2. The Enormous Radio-It reads like a Twilight Zone episode. A bored couple who love classical music by a new radio. The radio allows them to listen in to the mundane lives of their neighbors.
3. Metamorphoses.
Read more ›
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Hutton on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of the Library of America (LOA) editions for their quality and quality of an author's writings. However, if the reader already owns "The Stories of John Cheever" (1978), there is no need to buy this LOA unless the reader is looking for completeness. Mr. Cheever approved the 61 tales in "The Stories of John Cheever" four years before his death and omitted his pre-1945 output intentionally. The LOA edition adds fourteen more stories plus his observations about writing. If one does not own the earlier collection, then the LOA writings are the one to own. The editor, Mr. Bailey, has also published his biography of John Cheever to coincide with the release of the LOA edition.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. A Newman VINE VOICE on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I first discovered the stories of John Cheever while in high school in the pages of the "New Yorker" magazine and even in that wonderful publication they stood out. Each one was a marvelously crafted piece whose existence defined writing excellence. One of the best Christmas presents I ever received was the collected stories of John Cheever in 1981. I am happy to say that the same person who bought the now falling apart paperback also bought this version, just in time to replace that ragged often read volume is this new edition of Cheever's work.

It is very difficult to write a review of book of short stories. There is no over riding theme to these works. When I read them as an adolescent it was with an eye toward imagining what adulthood would be like (War and Peace was also the source for this preview of coming attractions). 30 years later I can now appreciate that there are certain themes not addressed by Cheever that do crop up from time to time and some things that do not(this happened with Tolstoy too, I have yet to have face invasion by Napoleon). The stories themselves hold up marvelously, however and I cannot say this about many of the authors I read as a teenager.

All I can do in a work of this nature is to mention a few of my favorite stories that are particular delights. These are: "The Enormous Radio," "The Sorrows of Gin," "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill," "The Swimmer," and "The Jewels of the Cabots." These are just my personal favorites and should in no way influence anyone's opinion about which are the best in the collection. Along with the stories are some non-fiction pieces that Cheever wrote for "The New Yorker." There is no better book to read out on the patio during the late days of summer than this one. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Derby VINE VOICE on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Cheever ranks as one of masterful short story writers of the twentieth century--as this collection clearly shows. Cheever offers wonderful glances at people from the 30s-70s learning to adjust to life in America during that time--the rise of the suburbs, the perils of prosperity, the conflicts between romantic ideals and normal life.

While Cheever went out of his way to ignore his earlier stories--those found in "The Way Some People Live"--most of his major stories are included here including "Goodbye, My Brother" and "The Swimmer" and some form his earlier works. The Library of America edition also has a number of essays. Most of these stories focus on Manhattan and its suburbs in Westchester County but there are occasionally looks at New England and, to a lesser extent, Italy. Cheever is an excellent craftsman of sentences and paragraphs. Even in the limited form of short stories, Cheever is a fine revealer of character.

This is an excellent collection of stories and readers will be enriched. Even the stories that do not measure up to the rest of the collection are still solid--Cheever is that skilled a writer. Highly recommended--with one group of readers as the exception. Anyone who has "The Stories of John Cheever" will not find much new here though some of the writer's essays--especially charming looks at Chekov and F. Scott Fitzgerald--are excellent.
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