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Publisher's Summary

Here is the preface to twelve magnificent stories, originally part of The John Cheever Audio Collection, in which John Cheever celebrates - with unequaled grace and tenderness - the deepest feelings we have.

As Cheever writes in his preface, "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." 

Listen to more classic short stories in The John Cheever Audio Collection.
©1978 John Cheever (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Sorrows of Gin

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The demoralization and destruction of alcoholism

This short story is outstanding. Meryl Streep as narrator makes it even better.

First, it should be noted that John Cheever could write this from the heart. He was a lifelong alcoholic whose relationships were decimated by alcohol abuse. His story is told from the point of view of Amy, the daughter of 2 society-type alcoholics.

Never have I read anything, or watched anything, that could so distill the negative effects of alcoholism on a family. I did Not say alcohol, which most people can drink in moderation and from time to time. An alcoholic, for whatever reason, cannot.

In Sorrow, the parents steal time and love and care from Amy. Their alcoholism diminishes Amy's respect for them and for herself and, in one way so excellently illustrated in the story, leads to the unexpected demoralization of the family as a unit.

This should probably be required reading for Al-Anon or children of alcoholics suffering psychological problems (though I'm no psych... person).

For a short story of decent length by such a good writer as well as pitch-perfect narration, it's certainly worth a few bucks. I highly recommend it.

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A child's view of the world of adults.

These days children seem to segue into adulthood quite seemlessly. The transition was far more remarkable in the mid 20th Century, as this story illustrates.