The World of Apples
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When this was all arranged he stood with his back to them, aimed his gun at the sky, and fired. Don't ask me why I was reading Cheever at age This is, again, probably one of those books I read at too young an age to thoroughly appreciate it. I was interested in writing my own short stories and had some of my writing published and had a short story take an "honorable mention" in a national contest by this point and probably already knew that Cheever is considered a writer's writer.
I'm sure that's why I picked this up. I should go back and read more Cheever as an adult, I think. Jul 25, Zelis rated it liked it. Apr 30, Brian rated it liked it Shelves: Sort of like Raymond Carver crossed with James Thurber. Not at the level of either, but that sets an awfully high bar.
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I first read these stories over fifteen years ago as part of The Stories of John Cheever and I remember being struck by their muted strangeness and a melancholy and pervading sense of middle-class New England alienation and otherness. Rereading them now, I find myself struggling between giving them three or four stars. I agree with Goodreads reviewer Diane Dunning in that the best thing in these stories is Cheevers prose, which flows serenely on and seems to carry you along effortlessly.
S I first read these stories over fifteen years ago as part of The Stories of John Cheever and I remember being struck by their muted strangeness and a melancholy and pervading sense of middle-class New England alienation and otherness. Some of these stories now seem to me flimsy and the psychological insights or hintings quite shallow The World of Apples.
Looked at more closely, some of the stories show signs of having been cobbled together from disparate ideas or images Montraldo and his half-mocking but stinging studies of unhappy marriages a bit too smug and one-sided The Chimera , The Geometry of Love. I rather liked his tongue in cheek and quirky Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin with its absurd and almost surreal fantasy about an alienated american expatriate who finds graffiti in the U.
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I also find one of the editorial reviews to be spot on: Innocent, old-fashioned, self-aware, Cheever's people are summoned by strange and improbable events to ponder the values they have been taught to trust Apr 20, Tyler rated it liked it Shelves: , the-new-yorker.
Shoulda won an award for highest occurrences of the words "harried" and "demesne" in the space of pages. Also, "The Geometry of Love," while not necessarily one of Cheever's best stories, does possess one of his best opening lines, maybe one of THE best opening lines to a short story complete with one of those "one of those"s of which Cheever was so fond : "It was one of those rainy late afternoons when the toy department of Woolworth's on Fifth Avenue is full of women who appear to have be Shoulda won an award for highest occurrences of the words "harried" and "demesne" in the space of pages.
Also, "The Geometry of Love," while not necessarily one of Cheever's best stories, does possess one of his best opening lines, maybe one of THE best opening lines to a short story complete with one of those "one of those"s of which Cheever was so fond : "It was one of those rainy late afternoons when the toy department of Woolworth's on Fifth Avenue is full of women who appear to have been taken in adultery and who are now shopping for a present to carry home to their youngest child.
A friend gave me this book years ago, soon after the collection was published. For some reason I never got around to it until now. I wavered between rating it three stars or four. In the end, I'm giving it four stars, primarily for the quality of Cheever's prose. The stories themselves are uneven, I think. She said she saw no reason for a divorce. Adultery and cruelty have A friend gave me this book years ago, soon after the collection was published.
Adultery and cruelty have well-marked courses of action but what can a man do when his wife wants to appear naked on the stage? But just a typical dilemma for Cheever's characters. Having only read Cheever's The Swimmer and spurred only by the movie which starred Burt Lancaster , I couldn't resist another bite out of this here apple. One can't help noticing Cheever's consistent choice of adjectives: bellicose, puerile; then there's his constant reference to water and rain. And once again, these pathetic, disillusioned suburban husbands to harridans.
Mar 03, Nbarnhart rated it it was ok. I have to say, this wasn't what I expected at all. My favorite story was the first one in the collection, the Fourth Alarm, which gave suburban life a dream-like veneer, and that's what I expected for the rest of the book. Unfortunately, I found the rest of the stories to be haphazard, sophomoric even, and homogenous in their mediocrity. A great little book. I discovered Cheever through a friend who on a road trip was kind enough to share his work with me by graciously reading while I drove one of his short stories entitled The Swimmer.
Nov 29, MJ rated it it was amazing.
A witty and charming collection of short stories. I bought this from a used book store and found two four-leafed clovers in it. I have read this collection over and over and never tire of the stories. Aug 16, J rated it really liked it. A collection of good, short downers capped off by the fairly optimistic titular story.
Cheever's prose is effortless, even when the fiction veers off into experimental territory. Lots of mommy issues are on parade here. Vavilov visited Almaty and was astounded to find apple trees growing wild, densely entangled and unevenly spaced, a phenomenon found nowhere else in the world. Scientists believe the Tian Shan apple seeds were first transported out of Kazakhstan by birds and bears long before humans ever cultivated them.
The Romans discovered it there, and dispersed the fruit even further around the world.
A fountain in the center of town is apple-shaped, and vendors come out each week to sell their many varieties of domesticated apples at market. Up to 80 percent of the wild apple forests were destroyed. Pomologists report that the wild apples have a variety of flavors, depending on how the bees pollinate the blossoms. The apple forests only exist in patches along the Tian Shan mountain range now. There are various protected sections in the Ile-Alatau National Park, but hiring a guide to take you there is recommended as they are difficult to find.
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This Soviet-era athletic and recreation facility is the highest ice skating rink in the world. He deteriorates to the point of writing dirty limericks. God Bless Dylan Thomas. He went into the woods to find this. It was a natural fall, a shelf of rock and a curtain of green water, and it reminded him of the farm in Vermont where he had been raised.
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He had gone there one. Sunday afternoon when he was a boy and sat on a hill above the pool. While he was there he saw an old man, with hair as thick and white as his was now, come through the woods. He had watched the old man unlace his shoes and undress himself with the haste of a lover. He had dried himself with his underpants, dressed, and gone back into the woods and it that Bascomb had realized that the old man was his father.
Cheever is as much a master of the short form as Chekhov, and should be recognized as such. Archives The World of Apples.
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