Books

Drinking

John Cheever

What’s the worst another drink could do? John Cheever pours out our most sociable of vices, and hands it to us in a highball. From the calculating teenager who raids her parents’ liquor cabinet, only to drown her sorrows in it, to the suburban swimmer withering away with every plunge he takes, these are stories suffused with beauty, sadness, and the gathering storm of a bender well-done. Seen through the gin-lacquered looking glass of Cheever’s writing, your next drink may have you reaching for a lime and soda instead.

Selected from the book Collected Stories by John Cheever

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

For the full list of books visit vintageminis.co.uk

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Calm by Tim Peaks
Love by Jeanette Winterson

Falconer

John Cheever

Ezekiel Farragut is a college professor, a drug-addict and a murderer. Locked in Falconer State Penitentiary, he struggles through tormenting visits from his wife, the burden of memory and guilt, and the brutal monotony of his surroundings to retain his humanity, eventually finding the possibiltiy of redemption through an affair with a fellow prisoner. Considered by many to be Cheever's masterpiece, Falconer is a tour de force from one of America's greatest storytellers.

The Journals

John Cheever (and others)

John Cheever's journals reveal the inner life of this remarkable writer and the contradictions that drove him. He loved his wife and their children, but was acutely lonely; he loved women, but he also loved men; he hated himself for his drinking, but for much of his life was dependent upon it; he was a great writer, but one whose acute levels of perception often crippled him as a person. His journals are candid, beautiful and often startling.

The Wapshot Scandal

John Cheever (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVE EGGERS

Once upon a time the Wapshots of St. Botolphs were distinguished for their unshakeable good opinion of themselves. But the family members have drifted far from their New England village - and into the demented caprices of the mighty, the bad graces of the IRS and the humiliating abyss of adulterous passion. A novel of large and tender vision, The Wapshot Scandal is filled with pungent characters and outrageous twists of fate, and, above all, with Cheever's luminous compassion for all his hapless fellow prisoners of human nature.

The Letters Of John Cheever

John Cheever

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JAY MCINERNEY

John Cheever's letters offer a tantalising glimpse into the life of a writer. They include correspondence with his contemporaries, such as Philip Roth, John Updike and Saul Bellow, his days as a young, aspiring writer and his battles with bisexuality and alcoholism. In this collection, edited by his son Benjamin Cheever, we see how his private correspondence was as extraordinary as his published works.

The Wapshot Chronicle

John Cheever

Meet the Wapshots of St Botolphs. There is Captain Leander Wapshot, venerable sea-dog and would-be suicide; his licentious older son, Moses; and Moses's adoring and errant younger brother, Coverly. Tragic and funny, ribald and splendidly picaresque, and partly based on Cheever's adolescence in New England, The Wapshot Chronicle is a family narrative in the finest traditions of Trollope, Dickens, and Henry James

Oh What A Paradise It Seems

John Cheever

In an idyllic American village, elderly romantic Lemuel Sears still has it in him to fall wildly in love with strangers of both sexes. But Sears's paradise is under threat; the pond he loves is being fouled by unscrupulous polluters involved in organised crime. Can Sears thwart the monstrous aspects of late-twentieth-century civilisation and save his beloved village?

Cheever's wry fable of modern American is interlaced with musings on everything from the etiquette of supermarket queues to the evolution of the ice-skate.

Bullet Park

John Cheever

Eliot Nailles loves his wife and son to distraction; Paul Hammer is a bastard named after a common household tool. Neighbours in Bullet Park, the two become fatefully linked by the mysterious binding power of their names in Cheever's sharp and funny hymn to the dubious normality of the American suburbs.

Collected Stories

John Cheever (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HANIF KUREISHI

This outstanding collection by Pulitzer prize-winning novelist John Cheever show the power and range of one of the finest short story writers of the last century. Stories of love and of squalor, they include masterpieces such as 'The Swimmer' and 'Goodbye, My Brother' and date from the time of his honourable discharge from the Army at the end of the Second World War.

Biography

John Cheever was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1912, and he went to school at Thayer Academy in South Braintree. He is the author of seven collections of stories and five novels. His first novel, The Wapshot Chronicle, won the 1958 National Book Award. In 1965 he received the Howells Medal for Fiction from the National Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1978 he won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer prize. Shortly before his death in 1982 he was awarded the National Medal for Literature.