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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 read parts of multiple stories but found none that I wanted to read in its entirety. The writing is good but the stories and characters are boring, like a soap opera without the... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Charles Christian
An interesting read. Loved the short stories- great selection of Cheever's work.Published 21 days ago by C.V.B. Ogden
Cheever is probably the best short-story writer I've read. Well, he's up there with Twain. This book is a comprehensive collection of his works.Published 22 days ago by Philip Michaels
One of America's best writers--a combination of sharp insight and humor directed at well-to-do Americans and their foibles. Read morePublished 25 days ago by L. Falk
I was really impressed with John Cheever’s “Goodbye My Brother.” Truth is the motive and enemy. It is not the goal to be obtained but the goal to be avoided at all costs, even if... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joseph Legaspi
This book is required for my English class and when I first saw this book I thought oh great another boring English book I have to "skim through". Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Addict