Patrick's Reviews > Cheever

Cheever by Blake Bailey
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May 17, 10

Read from April 10 to May 16, 2010 — I own a copy

By today's standards, it seems as though John Cheever would not be a very popular writer. He was (for the most part) a brutally honest man without a college education who drank constantly, maintained a persona of an effeminate blue blood, was ashamed of his (then) 'uncommon' and insatiable sexual appetite, and had great difficulty producing actual novels, opting frequently for his now signature short works, which gave the world a quick glance into the strange emotional inner-workings of suburban American life.

Today we have our Dave Eggers', and our Jeffrey Eugenides'- richly educated and healthy looking 'men of the world' who make loads of money and write sprawling works of compassion. These men are NOT John Cheever, as we discover in Blake Bailey's exhaustively-researched biographical masterpiece. Taking insight from the subject's friends, family, works, and formidable journal archives, Bailey provides a year-by-year account of one of contemporary America's most vital and tortured literary personalities.
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04/10/2010 page 63
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