Originally published in 1957 and winner of the National Book Award in 1958, this first of John Cheever's four novels remains a classic whose deceptively shrewd prose has impacted the writerly sensibilities of every subsequent generation of writers.
This is the novel that established Cheever's reputation as an unparalleled observer of the dialectic between passion and decorum. St Botolphs, a quintessential Massachusetts suburb, is, in spirit, the place to which Cheever continually gravitated in his exploration of themes of abandonment, alienation, depression, carnal fantasies, alcoholism and love of God.
In St Botolphs Leander Wapshot, an aging and gentle ferryboat operator, is faced with feckless golden years at the whims and mercies of his cousin, Honora, who grips tightly to the family purse strings. He is harried by his repressed and rebellious wife, who has converted his beloved ferryboat, the SS "Topaze", into "the only floating gift shoppe in New England", and confronted by a surrogate daughter he abandoned years ago in the fury of youth.
Tragic and funny, ribald and splendidly picaresque, 'The Wapshot Chronicle' is a family narrative in the traditions of Trollope, Dickens, and Henry James.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 08 / 2003
- 111 x 178mm