The Wapshot Chronicle
Based in part on Cheever’s adolescence in New England, the novel follows the destinies of the impecunious and wildly eccentric Wapshots of St. Botolp...more
The “Wapshot Chronicle” not only put John Cheever on the map as a novelist – it was also a first American book with a F$#K word in narrative to make it to the Book of the Month Club. And it all happened 1958! Talk about achievement!!!
But joking aside (although the little tidbit of trivia is completely true) – Cheever and his book deserved both the award as well as finally being recognized as one of the best American wr...more
The beginning is strong, the characters are interconnected in time and place. And though we get the disjointed point of view shifts - that characterize the entire book, the reader can say that it is all about the Wapshots; the Wapshot family is the protagonist. Many lovely descriptions and sentences here.
Then people leave. They are off doing things that have nothing to do with their home an...more
The Wapshots face birth and death, financial crises and recoveries, sexual abstinence and experimentation and deal with the matters of life in their individual manners.
The eldest son of Leander, Moses is most like his father and travels to Wa...more
The Wapshot family has lived for generations in a New England village which began as a sailing port. By the time of the novel, it is a dying town and the fading family lives mostly for tradition. Leander Wapshot, the current...more
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 JamesReview
"Cheever's debut novel is skittish, mercurial and ringing with life" Guardian
The Wapshot Chronicle concerns the Wapshot Family, residents of a fake but familiar Massachusetts town. They're well-off and traditional but also buffeted by financial worries, shipwrecks, and unconvential adventures/desires. I think it's what we'd call ribald, meaning that many of the scenes are kind of funny-sexy and don't usually verge into in...more
Each moment is aptly pre...more
This is one of those books that you have a hard time explaining to your friends. It's about a traditional New England family, you'll say. What happens to them? Well, the kids move out and get married and have troubles, and the older ones stay and have troubles, then it ends, and it is amazing.
Hard to swallow...more
the wapshots are a fabulous bunch, a truly interesting family whose lives are highly entertaining to read about whether it be a walk in the woods or a long standing family argument. it is cheever who manages to create this magic and for that i am looking f...more
Cheever is not a novelist, and it is quite apparent. He is a short story writer who wanted to jump ship for novels, but this book is nothing more than a short story that is about 200 pages too long. I got bored more times than I can count.
Aside from that, he is a good writer. The book flows well, and he...more
It took me a long time to get into The Wapshot Chronicle, the supposedly hilarious story of the old family of the Wapshots in their New England small town. Most of it I found not interesting enough to be funny..
There are occasional amusing paragraphs, but it is not until near the end when I realised that the section about Moses Wapshot's married life was a parody of Henry James that I began to enjoy it more.
September 27, 2009
Amid the stark confusion of moving into a new house, and the hiatus of reading several off list “fluff” novels and even fluffier horror stories (not to mention a few works of non-fiction), we return to the list. I got most of the reading done on the shitter, in airports, and in airplanes. Secured this nifty first edition at Good Books in the Woods. Another one from the Comstock collection, it is a combination of both The Wapshot Chr...more
The Wapshot Chronicle is a twin Bildungsroman of sons Moses and Coverly, framed by the letters, journaling, and loneliness of their father Leander. It is a crazy beautiful 20th Century Great Expectations-like novel of a family's depth and breadth, its secrets and its flaws. The two brothers are saddled with the albatross and obligation to insure ensure that Old Honora’s keeps paying the bills (future) for the boys and (current) for th...more
I would then move on to The Guardian Top 100, where I still have about 30-40, out of which I still don't think I will find writers like Juan Rulfo, Elsa Morante.
Coming back to The Wapshot Chronicle, I must say that this is book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
"The Wapshot Chronicle follows the tortuous circuit tw...more
His main themes include the duality of human nature:...more