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Collected Stories (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 18 Oct 1990
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"Cheever's accomplishment in his exacting art is proportionally large, as solid as it is brilliant, and likely to endure" (New York Review of Books)
"Currently I'm reading John Cheever's Collected Stories. My God, he was good" (David Mitchell)
"'The Swimmer' is a masterpiece of mystery, language and sorrow" (Michael Chabon)
"I reread Cheever's 'The Swimmer' late the other night. It had the effect that reading Cheever always has: it made me want to get up and start the futile task of trying to write something as measured yet mysteriously, heart-judderingly unexpected for myself" (Gordon Burns Sunday Times)
"Magnificently touching, moving and funny, and often set in an imaginary but archetypically well-heeled American suburb" (Jan Morris)
The complete collection of award-winning stories from one of the finest American writers of the last centurySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The stories mainly deal with ordinary men who live ordinary lives, but the solutions to their problems are often extraordinary and miraculous. My own favourite is "The Country Husband", in which Francis Weed survives a plane crash and falls in love with his babysitter on the same day. Anyone who is looking for Updike without the politics, Hemingway without the macho stuff and Fitzgerald without the glamour will love these stories. Since I first read them ten years ago in my mother's house, I have reread them countless times and they have never lost their power.
My personal favourites are those which describe Cheever's fictional 'Shady Hill' suburb, in particular, 'O Youth and Beauty' which tells the story of the once great sportsman Cash Bently who spends his weekends hurdling over the furniture in his neighbours houses, as a desperate attempt to win back some of his former glory.
This is a great collection, one which you will come back to time and again.
'It was elegaic and it was bigoted and narrow, it mistook circumspection for character, and I wanted to help him.'
gives superb voice to the revelation of the brother's smallness of imagination and spirit. The surprise of the attempt at compassion is thwarted by the cruel consistency of Tifty's derision. The 'savage' then is released from the carefully guarded civility of the reunion and the narrator takes up a sea soaked root and delivers a cathartic blow across his brother's head. All respect for respect has gone. This blow is fierce and 'savage' and marks the conclusion of the youngest brother's relationship to his family. The narrator finishes his narrative with a transcendent, compassionate glimpse of his mother and wife bathing naked in the sea.
'Oh, what can you do with a man like that? ...How can you dissuade his eye in a crowd from seeking out the cheek with acne, the infirm hand...
The sea that morning was irridescent and dark. My wife and my sister were swimming - Diana and Helen - and I saw their uncovered heads, black and gold in the dark water.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Cheever doesn't need my recommendation. You have only to read the first paragraph of any of these collected stories to be absorbed into his world, a world as narrow and as... Read morePublished 23 months ago by terence dooley
A wonderful collection of short stories by a true master of the form. Very enjoyable reading.Published on 27 July 2014 by MR AG FRY
It is hard for me to put my finger on why I like these stories so much - can't think of anything else I read like this? Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by Roberto
Years ago I saw "the swimmer" film with Burt Lancaster then I saw a review of John Cheever's work recently. Read morePublished on 17 May 2013 by Mark Colvin
I ordered this copy partly because it had a forward by Hanif Kareishi.
I was looking forward to reading this forward... Read more
Wanting to have good national writers is a powerful motivator. I think that this has happened with John Cheever, from the retrospective praise of his work to our fascination with... Read morePublished on 7 May 2011 by rob crawford
Reading this collection of John Cheever's short stories is like stumbling upon a 1950s black and white film or an early television series. Read morePublished on 2 May 2011 by John Fitzpatrick