Curator Reviews

1969 Book Club

Although he was a prolific writer of short stories, Cheever only wrote five novels, including this dark and disturbing exploration of the way fate can hinge on chance. A mouthwash salesman meets a stranger, setting in motion a chain of events that leads to a kidnapping. Although John Gardner, in the New York Times, described Bullet Park was a “magnificent work of fiction,” many of Cheever’s fans were unsure what to make of it. “Those devotees of his New Yorker stories who mistakenly believed that, because Cheever wrote about them so accurately and compassionately, he must be one of them turned away from Bullet Park, as if Cheever had suddenly been discovered taking notes at a cocktail party,” wrote Jesse Kornbluth in a 1979 profile of Cheever.

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