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4.0 out of 5 stars Susan is a better writer than John, 16 May 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Home Before Dark: A Personal Memoir of John Cheever by His Daughter (Paperback)
This is a very interesting look at the demons of the father, from alcoholism to a confused sexuality that wreaked havoc on his family. John Cheever forged a career writing about his own issues, tales of disillusion and disintegration in suburbia, all to alcoholic excess and in search of meaning. Susan, his daughter, is an absolutely excellent writer and explains what he was like as she grew up, so it is not a straight biography but mixed with memoire. Some of it is shocking, such as the way John periodically left to be with men, only to come back to a wife he clearly loved enduringly. But there is also a lot of redemption, of striving to be better though the pain is ever present. Oddly, I have never liked his writing much, finding his personal problems more of a spectacle and indeed more absorbing to learn about. Susan, I think, is the true writing talent in the family - her style is clear and unflinchingly honest, almost exhibitionistic. Few expose themselves so evenhandedly. Indeed, her moments are unforgettably vivid: such as her sitting in the lap of a drunken guest writer, in a tweed jacket reeking of cigarette smoke, saying to herself that she would marry that kind of man; or watching her father, after a few hours of writing and overcoming a hangover, pruning his lawn with ritual energy.

Truly a beautiful, often tormented, book. Warmly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 28 Jun 2013
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smooth sailing, I will use them again indeed if I require the purchase of anything such as this again for sure.
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