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I struggled with a busy schedule to find the time to read... however, half-way through I took time out to read Cheever?s short story The Swimmer which, actually, is head and shoulders above this novel. The literary acclaim which surrounds The Wapshot Chronicle seems disproportionate to the actual achievement contained in this novel - for a start I don?t think by any means it is within the top 60 books of the Twentieth Century. Equally, the fear - which it is claimed has been completely countered, that the novel is simply a collection of short-stories strung together by a connecting theme of family and the individual members thereof - doesn?t seem in my view to stand up to scrutiny either. This is a long, rambling tome which at times is really quite entertaining and at other times drifts into mediocrity of a sort that is not a feature of Cheever?s concentrated short story form. Worth reading to get the whole picture on John Cheever, but I?m pretty certain that his reputation lies in his short-story achievement and will continue to do so.
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