He loathed himself for what he believed to be perverse homosexual impulses and attempted to compensate for them by being a man’s man, tossing footballs and bedding as many women as he could.This, of course, never quite sated Cheever’s craving for love and recognition, desires made clear in the author’s 4,000 pages of journal entries.He was a renowned wit, but Bailey deftly contrasts this “social” Cheever with the man’s aloofness as a husband, father and friend.
He has won .2 million in IRL races, second only to Lazier, and was the rookie of the year at the Indy 500 in 1990.
Cheever also holds the record for most Formula One races by an American (132).
Early on in Blake Bailey’s wonderful and exhaustively researched biography of John Cheever, the famed author is quoted as saying, “I am quite naked to loneliness.” Indeed it seems that loneliness was the hallmark of the great writer’s life and probably the most significant inspiration for his art.
His childhood in Quincy, Massachusetts, was alienating and punctuated by blas cruelty: His father once invited an abortionist to dinner in the hopes of persuading his wife to end her pregnancy.
This 100 year-old novel holds a category all its own.
But the premise is so timely with the rise of the cell phone--I never would have guessed at the many parallels of a texting relationship and one carried on "over the wire."Unfortunately, the author wields a beautifully skilled vocabulary that might weary younger readers.
By the time he succumbed to cancer in 1982 at the age of 70, the author had earned the title “American Chekhov” for his portrayals of intense suburban disaffection in books like and stories like “The Swimmer.” Cheever’s middle years, the most productive of his writing life, were spent, when he was away from the typewriter, drunk and belligerent.
The mess he made of his life—his fall from a window at a party and his vitriolic observations about his wife or children—often became fodder for scenes in his fiction.
Think of it as a Jane Austen novelette tackling the strangeness of getting to know people without having met them -- or, as the case may be, of forming a very complete picture of a stranger in your mind, then being faced with the reality.
Long before the rise of the internet, this book deals with the joys and perils of falling in love sight unseen.
One of the early manifestations of life and romance in virtual reality, Wired Love anticipates everything we live with in today's online world.