Cheever by Blake Bailey

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 13 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources—including Cheever’s massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published—Bailey’s Cheever is a stunning example of the biographer’s art and a brilliant tribute to an essential author.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Blake Bailey

See more books from this Author
Blake Bailey is the author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Cheever: A Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer and James Tait Black Memorial Prizes. He edited a two-volume edition of Cheever's work for the Library of America, and in 2010 received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.






Author Residence: Norfolk, VA
 
Published March 10, 2009 by Vintage. 784 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cheever

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Bailey pauses continually to examine a tale or a novel, never in an obtrusive or esoteric way, and notes how his works today sell little—though two Library of America volumes are forthcoming (both edited by Bailey).

| Read Full Review of Cheever

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Blake Bailey’s biography of John Cheever is a definitive, Dickensian rendering of a complete and complicated life, addictively readable and long overdue.

Mar 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

This stunningly detailed biography explores John Cheever’s crooked path step by stumbling step, disclosing the addictive urges and bawling self-pity to which he subjected himself and those in his household.

Mar 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Blake Bailey seems to specialise in writing the lives of self-destructive American writers – first Richard Yates, now John Cheever.

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

"I have no biography," John Cheever once wrote.

Nov 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

Book Reporter

In CHEEVER, Blake Bailey has produced a biography every bit as absorbing as the life of its complex and tortured subject.

Dec 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Cheever

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

In the waning days of his life, battling terminal cancer, John Cheever wrote in his diary, “For the first time in forty years I have failed to keep this journal with any care.

Mar 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

Entertainment Weekly

He may have been one of the great American 20th-century writers, but John Cheever wanted nothing more than to be one of the WASPy country squires of his stories and novels.

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Yet Cheever's journal suggests there was at least some physical component to their closeness, and writer Allan Gurganus says Cheever clearly implied "gay involvement" when describing the relationship to him years later.

Mar 12 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

London Review of Books

‘More and more,’ Bailey writes, ‘Federico had become the father and John the wayward boy: the latter had to be told not to swim naked in other people’s pools, not to use the chainsaw when drunk – on and on – while the former patiently absorbed the insults Cheever inflicted on whosoever presumed t...

Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

The New York Review of Books

But every time he begins to write something new it comes out as an obscene scrawl, a banal but offensive piece of pornography: “Filth was his destiny, his best self, and he began with relish a long ballad called The Fart That Saved Athens.” Later he’s onto “The Favorite of Tiberio” and “The Confe...

Apr 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Cheever

The New York Review of Books

I still wonder if Joni Mitchell didn’t write this great line about John Cheever.

Nov 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Cheever

Sun Sentinel

Blake Bailey does not make it easy for the casual reader of his gargantuan John Cheever biography.

Apr 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Cheever

Reader Rating for Cheever
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 42 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×