Cheever says "I am fifty-four, but I still think myself too young...to suffer nightmares about throughways and bridges." Daily peril is ever close at hand in the self-abusive pain and duty of the observed life of a 20th century master of English prose. The only peril in reading this book is a broken heart. I would stand anywhere and say there are paragraphs in these journals that rival in beauty and perfection any other in English literature you may produce. Cheever can't help it; this kind of genius is inevitable. What does it matter that misery formed a life? The pages written in Italy in the late '50s particularly, nurse a kind of transparent abiding of deep misery - seeking, arranging, soldiering it, all the while writing, fortunately. However alcohol and interior splits may have crippled aspects of Cheever's career, nothing but glory shadows his paragraphs of light! The book is more like an autobiographical duel in the form of a novel, Cheever's self-reaching so raw, and so moving his conclusions. Barely able to escape the intense life of the mind, Cheever's art threatens confessional literature by refusing to confess. He keeps his writer's mind, and makes the rest serve. As a result, the book full of a beauty that will never disappear. It's a worthwhile idea to get a copy just to read the paragraph written in 1981, after taking the dogs walking deep into the rainy woods, returning & listening to Bach's Concerto for Two Violins on headphones, while the wet and muddy dogs dry on the porch. It's an amazing book by a peerless writer.