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Though these stories deal with bright, prosperous, ostensibly happy people, a cold wind blows through them. Age, illness, financial embarrassment, sex, alcohol, death--all of these threaten his suburban Eden. (Is it himself Cheever is mocking in his ironic "The Worm in the Apple"? "Everyone in the community with wandering hands had given them both a try but they had been put off. What was the source of this constancy? Were they frightened? Were they prudish? Were they monogamous? What was at the bottom of this appearance of happiness?") Inanimate objects carry the residue of their past owners' unhappiness and cruelty ("Seaside Houses," "The Lowboy"); expatriates long for but cannot quite find their way home ("The Woman Without A Country," "Boy in Rome"); children vanish or turn out badly (too many stories to count).
All of this is conveyed in prose both graceful and tender. No one is better than Cheever at describing a character's appearance: "He was a cheerful, heavy man with a round face that looked exactly like a pudding. Everyone was glad to see him, as one is glad to see, at the end of a meal, the appearance of a bland, fragrant, and nourishing dish made of fresh eggs, nutmeg, and country cream." Given his uncanny eye (and ear) for realistic description, it's easy to forget how experimental Cheever could be. His later stories pioneered authorial intrusions in the best postmodern style, and from the beginning, he wrote what would much later be called magical realism. (Think of the sinister broadcasts in "The Enormous Radio," or the phantom love interest in "The Chimera.") A literary event at its publication and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, The Stories of John Cheever remains a stunning and enormously influential book. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have read many classic authors but none has made such an indelible impression on me as John Cheever. Read morePublished 15 days ago by JJB
I initially got the free sample of this book to see if I would like it and the first story was simply wonderful so I had to have the whole book. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Chasin T Turnier
Simply the best short story writer dead or alive. Elegance, wit, and genius -- obsessively entertaining prose. I read every single story. No skimming or skipping. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sue Z. Smith
Interesting and enlightening to read. So far I've only read the sample but am planning to read the whole thing. you might also likeMILFS GILFS and Trailer Park WomenPublished 1 month ago by Joe Crunk
Great quality edition of one of the twentieth century's greatest short story writers.Published 1 month ago by R. J. Karger