Cheever, John, 1912-1982.
American novelist, short story writer and teacher born in Quincy, Massachusetts who wrote about the
emptiness of life, particularly as experienced by middle class suburban Americans. Noted for his ironic
humor. Best known for the Wapshot books and The Stories of John Cheever (1978), a collection that
won the Pulitzer Prize. Father of novelists Susan and Benjamin Cheever.
The Wapshot Chronicle. 1957.
[Note: as originally published, the
Modern Library list
references The Wapshot Chronicles (plural), while the
Library Journal list references
The Wapshot Chronicle (singular). If the former is not a typographical error, it
is possible that the plural is intended to refer to the combined edition (1979) of The Wapshot Chronicle
with its sequel The Wapshot Scandal. More likely the plural is a simple error, as the combined edition
was issued not as The Wapshot Chronicles but as The Wapshot Chronicle/The Wapshot Scandal. Thus,
this is presumably not a sneaky attempt by the Modern Library to get both works into its list! Be
that as it may, to cover all bases both works are treated below. The Wapshot novels are about an eccentric
family living in a Massachusetts fishing village.]
The Wapshot Chronicle (1957) concerns the journey to adulthood of brothers Moses and Coverely Wapshot,
as aided and misabetted by their father and various other family members and characters. Cheever was
primarily a short story writer, and this shows in the choppy pacing and the time it takes him to get down
to the main story. Won the National Book Award in 1958.
The Wapshot Scandal (1964) continues the story of the characters from the first book, particularly
Cousin Honora, as well as introducing new characters. It also starts out slowly, but picks up steam as the
author increases the pressure on his creations and starts laying on the plot twists. Was awarded the
Howels Medal in 1965.
Jul. 25, 2005,
and last updated
Mar. 27, 2013.
Please report any errors to the compiler.
Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.