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.
- Hardcover: 1040 pages
- Publisher: Library of America (5 March 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781598530346
- ISBN-13: 978-1598530346
- ASIN: 1598530348
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.4 x 20.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 676 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)