Here are twelve magnificent stories in which John Cheever celebrates, with unequaled grace and tenderness, the deepest feelings we have.
"All Stars Deliver"
New York City is not only The New Yorker magazine's place of origin and its sensibility's life blood, it is the heart of American literary culture. Wonderful Town, an anthology of superb short fiction by many of the magazine's most accomplished contributors, celebrates the 75-year marriage between a preeminent publication and its preeminent context with this collection of 20 of its best stories from (so to speak) home.
"Great stories and readers, but technically sloppy"
Neddy Merrill decides to swim home from a friend's pool party, traveling from fashionable swimming pool to swimming pool on a perfect mid-summer's day. But as night falls and the season changes, Neddy sinks from optimistic bliss to utter despair. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
"Time to Take Another Lap with the Swimmer"
In this compilation, characters make choices that define their lives and suffer consequences often dire or disquieting. Abraham prepares to slay Isaac; siblings fall in love with the same man; a Thai man hides his secret guilt from his best friend on draft selection day. Delve into the secret lives of people and discover what drives them to betrayal.
A convict named Farragut struggles to remain a man while inside a nightmarish prison. Cheever crafted his most powerful work of fiction out of Farragut's suffering and astonishing salvation.
"Unsettling and beautiful"
Heading home to his wife, Blake discovers he is being followed by a woman he barely remembers, but who remembers him - and what he did to her. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
The funeral of Amos Cabot inspires a writer to a stream of consciousness remembrance of the eccentric Cabot family, his own history with them, and the divided New England town in which he grew up. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
Cash Bentley may not be as young as he used to be, but he can still hurdle over his neighbor's furniture at the end of every party, complete with starter pistol. But when he breaks his leg leaping over a chest on his 17th wedding anniversary, he falls into a depression from which he may not recover. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
Based in part on Cheever's adolescence in New England, the novel follows the destinies of the impecunious and wildly eccentric Wapshots of St. Botolphs, a quintessential Massachusetts fishing village. Here are the stories of Captain Leander Wapshot, venerable sea dog and would-be suicide; of his licentious older son, Moses; and of Moses' adoring and errant younger brother, Coverly.
"Beautiful 1950s Great Expectations-like Novel"
The Westcotts, music lovers, buy a new radio. But instead of music, it picks up conversations and sounds in neighboring apartments. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
"Great Story, Good Performance"
Little Amy watches her parents throw party after party, even as the cook tells her about the tragic consequences of gin. When Amy's attempt to rid their lives of the dangerous drink only brings more problems, she knows she has to run away. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
"The demoralization and destruction of alcoholism"
Charlie, the elevator operator at a swank New York residential building, has to spend his Christmas Day carrying tenants to and from their apartments. And when he lets his irritation be known, he experiences the power of charity in a way he had never felt before. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
Eliot Nailles loves his wife and son to distraction; his Bullet Park neighbour, Paul Hammer, is a bastard named after a common household tool. The pair become fatefully linked by the mysterious binding power of their names.
This is one of John Cheever's personal favorite stories. After old Justina arrives for a visit and dies on his couch, an advertising writer discovers that the city council has banned death itself from inside the borders of his planned community. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
In this Cold War-era story, an upper-middle-class man who is building a bomb shelter decides that he just might want the world to end. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
A husband is at first amused when his wife, Ethel, is openly and clumsily pursued by another man. But as the other man persists, Ethel starts to reconsider how happy she really is. The husband's amusement turns to annoyance, then to anger, and despair. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
Baxter's vacation turns into an obsessive pursuit of Mrs. Clarissa Ryan, a young bride alone for the summer. She rebuffs this man's attempts to woo her with gifts and flattery, until he discovers the perfect way to win a woman who is as beautiful as she is stupid. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
An aspiring playwright brings his family to New York to pursue their dreams, but greed, pride, and petty hucksterism stand in their way. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
The Enormous Radio and The Swimmer are two magnificent stories in which John Cheever celebrates with unequaled grace and tenderness the deepest feelings we have. As Cheever wrote, "These stories seem at times to be stories of a long lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat."
Here are 12 magnificent stories in which John Cheever celebrates - with unequaled grace and tenderness - the deepest feelings we have.