Andrew Larrison's Reviews > Bullet Park

Bullet Park by John Cheever
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's review
Sep 22, 2007

really liked it
Read in August, 2007

I've been meaning to read Cheever all my adult life, but didn't expect to like him -- suburban malaise is not a subject I need to spend a lot more time exploring. Bullet Park just goes to show that subject matter has little bearing on your enjoyment when the author is capital-G Great. This book is exactly what I feared about Cheever: set in a wealthy Connecticut bedroom community, the protagonist is a salaryman addicted to amphetamines, the teenage son is bedridden with depression, the wife is a repressed sexpot -- this has been done to death in countless books and movies for at least 40 years. And I loved it! Cheever makes it fresh, and throws in the counterpoint to the protagonist Nailles -- the sociopathic Hammer who decides on a whim to murder Nailles' son. Don't worry, these aren't spoilers. You don't read this book for the plot, but for the prose. Cheever's carries you along on a broad, smooth river of words to the violent and surprising (and uplifting!) conclusion. What a great surprise Bullet Park turned out to be.
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message 1: by Barbara (new) - added it

Barbara Contrary to Andrew, I do find the subject of suburban malaise to be very interesting, BUT I didn't particularly enjoy Bullet Park . There wasn't enough of a plot to keep my interest.

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