Cheever: A Life
I’m always taking a chance when I decide to read a biography of someone I admire. Once the person becomes human, sometime too human, it can color how you see their work. James K ...more
I have been a huge Cheever fan since I was a teenager and have always wished that he was the "venerable New England author" who lived on the street in Ipswich where I was born instead of Updike. (Updike can suck it, if you ask me. He wrote some decent short stories, but the Rabbit books are the most boring, misogynistic sack of poo that I have ever zzzzzzz....) I knew a bit about Cheever ...more
But without those feelings would there have been such a lifeblood of pathos in the work? I'm pretty sur ...more
GR description: "Blake Bailey's biography focuses on the gaping disparity between Cheever's proud Yankee social persona and his lifelong inner turmoil."
READ SAMPLE OF THIS BOOK HERE:
NOTE: Cheever won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Stories of John Cheever, a compilation of his short stories. Read a sample of these short stories here: http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader...
I am currently l ...more
Man, this guy really kills me. Blake Bailey writes a biography like Richard Yates writes a novel. Given, the material is sweet as hell, and that helps, but I swear, if I were a thirteen-year old I would put a poster of Blake Bailey on my wall. StuPE ...more
• He was raised in poverty, after his merchant-class father lost everything in the Depression.
• He was expelled from high school before graduating and never went to college.
• He published his first piece of writing as a teenager (!) in The New Republic (!). It was called “Expelled,” and it ripped apart the school that had kicked him out.
• He was short—5’5” as a full grown adult.
• After high school he lived in Boston with his o ...more
Most critics felt that Blake Bailey's book was an admirable work of scholarship and approved of his task of encouraging people to read Cheever again. But they disagreed about the extent to which Cheever succeeds as a literary biography. A few reviewers thought that Bailey had done an incomparable job of integrating the details of the man's life with his work. Others, however, opined that the book's exhaustive detail gives readers almost no insight into Cheever the author. Most assessments were m...more
The version of Cheever f ...more
As a general rule, it can be said that the newer an artistic movement, the more difficult it is to fully understand it, because of a lack of both historical distance and "how it really happened" stories regarding important turning points; given this, then, I suppose it's safe to call Postmodernism, history ...more
It is on the subject of Cheever's sexual life that Bailey stumbles; a voyeuristic, almost tabloidish attention is paid to Cheeve ...more
Well, Bailey gave me a gift with this bo ...more
I enjoyed reading about working with his editors at The New Yorker, the negotiating in payment per short story (was he paid enough compared to his peers?). John Updike gives this bio the thumbs up ...more