The Stories of John Cheever

The Book: The Stories of John Cheever, by … John Cheever

The Blurb: Here are sixty-one stories that chronicle the lives of what has been called “the greatest generation.: From the early wonder and disillusionment of city life in “The Enormous Radio” to the surprising discoveries and common mysteries of suburbia in “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill” and “The Swimmer,” Cheever tells us everything we need to know about “the pain and sweetness of life.”

The Babble: First let me admit that I only read about 2/3rds of this book. Second, let me say that in spite of what you read for here out, I’m glad to have read these stories. I especially enjoyed “The Enormous Radio”, but not for the reasons I think Mr. Cheever intended. Okay, now for my review: a.) 60 short stories in one book!? Too many! They all started to run together. b.) Though an acute observer, Mr. Cheever is condescending and depressing. Where’s the humor and hope of our mid-century modern men and women? Why the fatalistic view of life and of our future? Why not balance the pomposity with joy and courage? These gloomy, uniformly defeated people are not my cup of tea. I kept slogging, but did not hesitate one second when it was time to remove the bookmark and move on.

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