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Bullet Park

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,009 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Bienvenidos a Bullet Park, un universo en donde hasta sus habitantes más intachables pueden sentirse aterrorizados por el simple acto de mirarse al espejo. En ese ambiente asfixiante, John Cheever narra la azarosa intersección de las vidas de dos hombres: Eliot Nailles, un buen hombre que ama con devoción a su mujer ya su h ijo, y Paul Hammer, el hijo bastardo que, tras añ ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Emece Editores (first published 1967)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,009 ratings  ·  177 reviews


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Adam Dalva
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinarily bizarre novel with some gorgeous, hilarious sections of writing. I prefer THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLE, which has all the weirdness of this book with more interesting characters. Try to avoid the back jacket copy, or any summary, because the lesson here is in the (insane) delay of plot - it's a 220 page preamble, then 20 brief pages of action, and if you know what's coming it will take away most of the fun. The first half of the preamble belongs to Nailes, and is told in a roving 3rd pe ...more
Luís C.
Welcome to Bullet Park, paradise of the American middle class. In this exemplary environment we will be witnesses of the fateful meeting between two men: one hand, Eliot Nailles, a citizen that is fully integrated into their community, which, despite its internal contradictions, wants his wife and his son to the happy disposition, and, on the other hand, a new neighbor, Paul Hammer, a nowhere man which, after half a lifetime of wandering, decides to buy a house in Bullet Park. Coinciding with th ...more
BlackOxford
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american
So Very Sixties

A bizarre book full of absurdities and unfathomable details of travel and personal description.

An upper middle class New York suburb is chosen by an apparent psychopath for the location of a senseless murder. The target is the son of a local resident, undistinguished except for his smug racism, boredom and moderate alcohol and drug dependency. The motive appears to derive from a suggestion by the murderer's estranged mother that "...nothing less than a crucifixion..." will wake t
...more
Hakan
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İsmini duyup da hiç okumadığım yazarlardandı John Cheever (1912-1982). Daha çok öyküleriyle öne çıkmış, hatta “Amerikan banliyölerin Çehov’u” olarak da biliniyormuş. (Böyle bir unvanı, öykülerini hayranlıkla okuduğum Raymond Carver da hak eder bence). Cheever’ı okumaya 1969’da yayınlanan bu romanıyla başlamış oldum. Bullet Park’ın kahramanları da banliyölerde yaşayan insanlar. Daha ziyade düzenin çarkına kapılmış, büyük şehirdeki (New York) işleri ile evleri arasında mekik dokuyan, mutluluk rolü ...more
Matt
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
Well, if you want to learn the rules of how novels work, it's good to read ones that won't (or can't) play by those rules. Watching Cheever's instincts chafe against the novel form, and watching him accept that and willfully embrace the resulting weirdness, is pleasurable. It would be maybe awful if he didn't write everything with such exquisite style. But every sentence is musical, though the totality is much stranger. I like it.

What he seems to be at odds with is the novelist's shameless repe
...more
Argos
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Cheever’in Yüzücü adlı öykü(ler) kitabından sonra romanını da okumak istedim. Yazar 2. Dünya Savaşı sonrası Amerika’nın orta sınıfını oluşturan çoğu beyaz yakalı, Amerikan Rüyası’nda tanımlanan insanları merceğine almış. New York’ta çalışıp banliyöde yaşamayı tercih eden, evli, çocuklu, kokteyl partiler ve kilise ziyaretlerini aksatmayan beyazlar romanın kahramanlarını oluşturuyor.
Bu roman üç bölümlü, ilk bölümde (ki en iyi bölüm burası) Nailles ailesi, ikinci bölümde Hammer’lar, romanı so
...more
Banushka
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
kapitalizme, amerikan orta sınıfına, new york'a işe trenle giden banliyö insanlarına mükemmel bir bakış.
çalış, güzel bir kadınla evlen, çoğal, havuzlu 5 odalı bir ev al, pazarları kiliseye gidip çimleri biç, 15'te bir parti ver... amerikan filmlerinden ve bence en önemlisi "mad men"den aşina olduğumuz bir hayat.
ilk bölümle ikinci bölüm sonunda bağlansa da ikinci bölümün, hammer'ın hikayesinin daha zayıf olduğunu düşünüyorum. cheever sanki sonlara doğru sıkılmış sanki. nailles ve ailesinin hikay
...more
Ben
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have to laugh at the lurid come-on printed on the first page of my 1988 Bantam paperback of this book: "HAVE YOU EVER COMMITTED A MURDER?" Anyone who buys this book hoping for a gruesome "there's a killer in all of us" potboiler is destined for disappointment.

However, if they're open to it, they might find something infinitely more interesting. "Bullet Park," like most great books, establishes itself in the first line: "Paint me a small railroad station then, ten minutes before dark." As soon
...more
R.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Carried the paperback around with me for the three or four days I read it, sneaking reads in chairs here or cars there and lines everywhere - luxuriating in Cheever's masterful, seemingly effortless and eternally enlightening (delightful) descriptions of lounge light, thanatonic thunder, scary suburbia, mad mothers, fucked-off fathers, and, as always, alcoholism.

It would've made a great Alfred Hitchcock movie with Jimmy Stewart as Nailles and either Robert Mitchum or Cary Grant as Hammer (in th
...more
Hande Çakır
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amerikan banliyö hayatının boşluğunu ve hastalıklı insanlarını hicivle anlatan bir kitaptı. Yazarın diğer kitaplarına da göz atacağım.
Emre
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

'Beni sevmenin tek nedeni, beni sevdiğini düşünmenin tek nedeni, bana bir şeyler verebilmen.' Sf:107

'Tony pazartesi okula geri döndü, Nailles ise -uyuşturucu etkisi altında- işe gitti; her şey eskisi gibi harika, harika, harika, harikaydı.' Sf:214
Sandra
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dunque, vorrei avere davanti a me un quadro con su dipinta una stazioncina dieci minuti prima che cali la notte” : intorno case bianche con pianoforti a coda che nessuno suona, camini fumanti, scaffali di libri (vuoti o sui quali giace un solo volume, l’elenco del telefono rilegato in broccato rosa), famiglie “normali” riunite nel salotto di casa come la famiglia Nailles, Eliot, Nellie e il loro figlio Tony. Così inizia Bullett Park.
“..e tutto di nuovo ridivenne bello, bello, bello ma bello com
...more
W.B.
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Most people I know really don't like this book. I read it at a time when I sort of identified with the central agonist...well one could argue whether the father or the son was central...but I was a teenager and similarly weird. The novel has a real redemptive (almost Biblical) beauty in the way the father breaks through societal, cultural, etc. conditioning....well there was a spoiler....soz!....to me, this is another book (like, say, Franny and Zooey, which I ADORE) in that category where if yo ...more
Kirstie
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
In a way, I hesitate to give this novel merely a 4 because I'm guessing that when Cheever originally wrote it in 1967, it was a great deal more astounding. Bullet Park is about a suburb of NYC where there's a very thin veneer that everything is going smoothly. The locals are suicidal, homicidal, adulterers, racist, impossibly sad, addicted to illegally prescribed medicines, TV, cigarettes and alcohol and at the end of the week they all go to Christ's Church like the good little Christians they a ...more
Núria
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Parece que John Cheever es más conocido como escritor de relatos y que sus novelas muchas veces son consideradas simples cuentos alargados, pero lo cierto es que el mismo John Cheever prefería ser considerado un escritor de novelas y consideraba sus cuentos casi como trabajos de encargo. ‘Bullet Park’ (Emecé), que es quizás la novela más conocida de Cheever, se divide claramente en dos partes: la primera está protagonizada por un hombre llamado Nailles y la segunda por otro hombre que se llama H ...more
Andrew Larrison
Sep 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Todd
The structure of this book reminded me of Franny & Zooey (Salinger), in that there were sections in different styles and from different perspectives. I wonder if the author thought through the entire book before writing, though, since the last 100 pages just barely necessitate the first 100. The writing is more modern than I expected, having never read Cheever before. I wish the author had spent more time with the story as opposed to 85% on character background / development, but it wasn't a ...more
Bruno
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grotesquely funny and full of bizzare symbolism. The part in which Nailles drinks rainwater scooped out of an urn at the cemetery to swallow the pill he's just bought from his pusher must be my favourite image. Come on, that's just genius! Why haven't I bloody read Cheever before?!
Carlos Azevedo
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O cafard, essa coisa peluda e negra.

Omnipresente, a menos que encontremos uma forma humana, ou local, ou país, ou cidade, ou casa onde o cafard não consiga entrar.

Andar a pular de hotel em hotel, de cidade em cidade, ou até percorrendo com ar apressado, mas sem destino, as ruas de Lisboa ou New York.

Para tudo voltar a ser maravilhoso, maravilhoso, maravilhoso.

Cheever, grande amigo de quem carrega uma bête-noir.

ALLEN
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Cheever's least successful novel is my least favorite one. Set in the late 1960's at the height of the "God, how I hate Suburbia" trend in American letters, it alternates between oddly shafted suburban satire (a French teacher has a sexy mouth because of working through "strenuous French vowels"), and implied violence, but despite its title, most of BULLET PARK's violence is psychic anguish. This alone is not un-Cheever, but the meandering plot is.

BULLET PARK works best for completionists
...more
Terry
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Great book. Part one introduces an average man, Nailles, living in an average and depressing suburb of New York. His son, Tony, becomes disillusioned with life and decides not to get out of bed. Doctors can't cure him, but an Indian spiritualist gets him excited with mantras. Part two describes a sick rich man, Hammer, who searches for happiness in a yellow room. When the room is painted, he decides to take up his mother's dream of enlightening the world by sacrificing an average WASP within a c ...more
Ugh
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Well. This is random. I struggled at times to get my head around Cheever's flitting between times and characters, but that was nothing compared with my struggle to understand what on earth point he was trying to make. Wholesomeness is boring but there's nothing much we can do about it? People hurt and love for all sorts of reasons, yet with neither rhyme nor reason? I mean, his tone is easy enough to decipher, but his point eludes me.

I did find much of the book very readable, and mostly enjoyed
...more
Sergio Donato
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca, 2014
E niente.
Quando si usa questa locuzione non è mai davvero niente. C'è sempre qualcosa che segue, e dopo il mio niente, cioè dopo questo libro che è uno di quelli che prendi il notebook, se sei scrittore, e lo lanci dalla finestra perché tu quando mai la scriverai una cosa così, decido di fare seguire un po' di mestizia assortita. Così, tanto per distrarmi mentre vedo il notebook roteare in aria prima che arrivi sui sampietrini. Ci posso aggiungere anche un po' di livore, dicendo che il finale no
...more
Fernanda
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
So much was said about Cheever influencing Mad Men that, once the series was over, I decided to read something of his. 'Bullet Park’ was chosen at random. In the first pages, I could see each scene being shot following Matthew Weiner's script. But where Mad Men is subtle, Cheever is out there — it would be like reading between the lines of Mad Men's cruelty, violence, sexuality and awkwardness. And where Mad Men is always perfect in form and style, Cheever is like a bull set loose: magnific, dra ...more
Sandy
Sep 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Maybe I'm just over so unhappy 1950's suburbs, but I do not like this book. I am also tired of so many writers with sexual hangups.
The main thing I didn't like though, was the writing itself. When Cheever moved from one character to the next, I felt like he was never going to get back to the main story. He would go on and on about tertiary characters and we'd never really hear of them again.
This is also one of those books that 'hurries up and ends'. On one page I'm still at the build up and the
...more
Alan
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1993 notebook: another great American book. The mild adultery, the man sucked under the morning express, the man who knows the different sounds trees make in the wind - larch, tulip, oak. But what good does it do, he thinks? Someone has to observe the world. That's the line, the line for me.
A
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
The last paragraph of this Rumpus review of Bullet Park pretty much nails it. Oprah's been off the air for a year now, but look at what books our culture prizes these days and it's clear we still live in an age where the greatest endorsement a book can get is from TV. There's no question that our highest literary praise is still reserved for all that is slick, polished, and cinematic.

I'm not saying that's necessarily bad: The Art of Fielding and The Rules of Civility are two refined and flawles
...more
Mary Overton
A serious, hilarious, quirky, disjointed allegory about 1960s upper-middle-class suburbs -- a spiritual story about people who have lost their connection to spirituality. Hermetic tropes include the 'magic Negro' faith-healer who lives over a funeral parlor in the slums, two alchemists with different sorts of laboratories, a fairy tale bastard raised by a rich fairy grandmother, a sacrificial first-born son, the summoning of erotic spirits, a variety of impossible-to-please 'White Goddess' women ...more
Paul
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
What an intensely odd novel. The old adage that each novel teaches you how to read as you go doesn't really ring true here; Bullet Park shifts modes at least twice, making for an . . . uncomfortable? reading experience. Overall, it's a book that bears re-reading, once you've figured out its game. The novel opens with an odd, lyrical, tense-shifting passage that fades into a typical past-tense third-person narrative. Early on it becomes clear this is highly satirical, though this becomes a bit of ...more
David
Jul 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: new-in-2017
Tellement bizarre. Hammer and Nailles. I mean, Jesus Christ. But not.
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John Cheever was an American novelist and short story writer, sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs" or "the Ovid of Ossining." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the suburbs of Westchester, New York, and old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born.

His main themes include the duality of human nature:
...more
“The secret of keeping young is to read children's books. You read the books they write for little children and you'll keep young. You read novels, philosophy, stuff like that and it makes you feel old.” 6 likes
“Grief was for the others; sorrow and pain were for the others; some terrible mistake had been made.” 6 likes
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