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The Journals of John Cheever (Vintage International) Paperback – December 9, 2008
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John Updike wrote a review of the book complaining that there wasn't enough context, no footnotes to make sense of the entries. Respectable as he is, Updike got it wrong. No context is needed, because from beginning to end, Cheever maintains a singular perspective, a transparent love of the world in all its complexity that illuminates even the murkist turn of events. He called it the "CAFARDE," that downward-spiraling sense we sometimes get of the trap, the uselessness of it all. The home we can ill-afford and the relationship that requires more giving than receiving. And as much as he dodges it, the big let-down is STILL a thing of beauty, an invitation to be awed by life.
It's the small, gritty, real things that he loves the most and notes with an obsessive joy.
Cheever was a husband, father, a veteran, thinker, artist, bisexual, homeowner, traveler, charmer and comedian. All of this comes through in prose as light and essential as thought itself. If you are at all interested in the cartography of another person's soul, this will become an essential text for you, as it has for me.
I never met John Cheever in person, but it hardly matters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A marvelous read. Cheever is as brilliant in his journals as he is in his fiction.Published 16 months ago by Helen
Great writing. The Kindle version has an incredible number of typos. I can't believe this is viewed as ready to sell.Published 19 months ago by G. Gomez
John Cheever left personal journals documenting thirty-five years of his life, and approaching - in the estimate of longtime friend and editor, Robert Gottlieb - something like... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Il'ja Rákoš
If you approach this book looking for yet another sad example of a self-destructive, sexually repressed, narcissistic alcoholic writer whose limitations negatively affect those who... Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by PBH
I have not read any of John Cheever’s books, but read in one of those New York Time profiles by an author that this book changed his life. Read morePublished on March 6, 2014 by Dr. Wilson Trivino
There is considerable material on Cheever's almost spiritual love of nature: sunsets, meadows, soft breezes; and not very much on daily activities.Published on October 21, 2013 by Richard Lottridge
I'm a sort of Peeping Tom, I suppose, to be so enchanted with reading diaries and journals of people from all ages. Read morePublished on June 28, 2012 by Robert C Ross