The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever Rick Moody Online

The Wapshot Chronicle
Title : The Wapshot Chronicle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060528874
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352

Meet the Wapshots of St Botolphs. There is Captain Leander Wapshot, venerable sea-dog and would-be suicide; his licentious older son, Moses; and Moses's adoring and errant younger brother, Coverly. Tragic and funny, ribald and splendidly picaresque, and partly based on Cheever's adolescence in New England, The Wapshot Chronicle is a family narrative in the finest traditionMeet the Wapshots of St Botolphs. There is Captain Leander Wapshot, venerable sea-dog and would-be suicide; his licentious older son, Moses; and Moses's adoring and errant younger brother, Coverly. Tragic and funny, ribald and splendidly picaresque, and partly based on Cheever's adolescence in New England, The Wapshot Chronicle is a family narrative in the finest traditions of Trollope, Dickens, and Henry James


The Wapshot Chronicle Reviews

  • Ted

    … we might climb the stairs and pry into things of more pertinence. There is Leander’s bureau drawer, where we find a withered rose – once yellow – and a wreath of yellow hair, the butt end of a Roman candle that was fired at the turn of the century, a boiled shirt on which an explicit picture of a naked woman is drawn in red ink, a necklace made of champagne corks and a loaded revolver.4 ½ starsJohn Cheever (1912-1982) sold a short story to The New Yorker in 1935, the first of many. Hi [...]

  • StevenGodin

    I have found at times that the all American novel struggles to be deeply rooted in the social world, that in a Society so fluid and so ever changing fiction hardly has time to digest the way things really happen, tending to tread a path of unrealistic characters journeying through some sort of fantasy life. John Cheever's debut, The Wapshot Chronicle both confirms my suspicions but also contradicts them. The family under the spotlight here get the full treatment, making for a striking read, and [...]

  • Mike Lindgren

    It's gonna happen sometime, people, no matter how you may dread it. Yes, I am referring to my long-planned, heavily-unanticipated, as-yet-unwritten, irritatingly irrelevant monograph on John Cheever, wherein I single-handedly return him to his proper place in the first rank of American novelists. Due in equal parts toSeinfeldand postmodernism, Cheever has become little more than a punch line: a sad symbol of dated postwar suburban cocktail-party angst… well, think again, bitches!The Wapshot Ch [...]

  • Vit Babenco

    Some family chronicles are long and boring like a slumber induced with the sleeping pills and some are turbulent like a rocket launching. I think you may effortlessly guess to what category The Wapshot Chronicle does belong. “The Wapshot boys had been up since four; they were sleepy and sitting in the hot sun they seemed to have outlived the holiday. Moses had burned his hand on a salute. Coverly had lost his eyebrows in another explosion. They lived on a farm two miles below the village and h [...]

  • Darwin8u

    "Man is not simple. Hobgoblin company of love always with us."― John Cheever, The Wapshot ChronicleThe Wapshot Chronicle is a twin Bildungsroman of sons Moses and Coverly, framed by the letters, journaling, and loneliness of their father Leander. It is a crazy beautiful 20th Century Great Expectations-like novel of a family's depth and breadth, its secrets and its flaws. The two brothers are saddled with the albatross and obligation to insure ensure that Old Honora’s keeps paying the bills ( [...]

  • Chrissie

    Do NOT be as stupid as me. Don’t pick a book by its cover. Particularly when the cover does not accurately portray what the book will give you. I wanted to re-test John Cheever and the cover drew my attention. Big mistake! The primary focus of this novel is sexuality. The author was bisexual, so I have full understanding that one’s sexual identity was a topic of particular interest to him. Halfway through the book, not yet understanding that ambivalent feelings about one's sexual identity is [...]

  • Judith Hannan

    Have you ever met someone who is particularly striking or beautiful but when you pick apart all their features they don't add up to your definition of attractiveness. Maybe their lips are thin and you associate that with being cruel. Maybe their nose is off-center or their eyes too close. Pointy chin, rough skin, thick shins--it shouldn't add up but it does. Tne Wapshot Chronicle was a glorious read, but if you analyze all its separte pieces it doesn't seem as if it should. Set in a Massachusett [...]

  • Phil

    First off, this is not my sort of topic for a book. Waspy New England families of a bygone era? Blech blahh! Second of all, it doesn't matter when the prose is so lovely and vivid. Cheever manages to make otherwise boring crap sound beautiful. And out of the random doings of a family in a New England port town emerge many of the problems and themes universal to families, blah blah blah. But then out of nowhere, you see through the character's mundane workaday into what makes them tick. Cheever n [...]

  • Pavle

    „Crack your skull before you weep."Pokušavam da sročim utisak o ovoj knjizi, ali jedino što mi pada na pamet jeste da je ova knjiga kao da najlepši dan u godini provedeš zatvoren u sobi. Jeste, sve je divno-bajno-krasno. Ali kroz prozor. Zatvoren. Prilično mali. Podrumski. I onda postane potpuno svejedno to što je napolju oaza lepih stvari, kada je sve što vidiš fleka od masnih prstiju na staklu. Čiverova proza je možda i najbolja koju sam sreo. Rame uz rame stoji sa Nabokovim (od d [...]

  • Elizabeth (Alaska)

    This moves along with humor and old-fashioned New Englandness (is that a word?) and I expected to give it a solid four stars. But the ending made my heart sing and I will not feel stingy. I quibbled with Cheever off and on in this. There are two aging/elderly female characters who are single, wealthy, use that wealth to wield power, and wish to live in a chaste world. Well, almost. Honora Wapshot wants to leave her wealth to her nephews, but only if they produce sons. In any case, I could not re [...]

  • Marica

    Zio Pipino MarzapaneNei confronti di questo libro avevo un pregiudizio negativo, la copertina orrenda che mi ha respinta per anni e un pregiudizio positivo, dovuto alla lettura precedente di Il nuotatore, bellissimo racconto.Cheever racconta di questa famiglia del New England, degna rappresentante di un’aristocrazia naturale statunitense: arrivati dall’Inghilterra nel 1630, sono bianchi, belli, eleganti, sportivi, esperti di sport nautici. Nascono e crescono in una di quelle splendide case d [...]

  • Elizabeth

    I was hesitant to begin reading Cheever (I have no idea why I believed his fiction wouldn't interest me), and even more skeptical about starting with a novel rather than his more well-regarded short stories. However, this novel was nothing short of excellent, and makes me even more excited to turn to his short fiction. The Wapshot Chronicle tells the tale of a single family's existence in and around St. Botolph's, a fishing village on the northern coast of Massachusetts. The novel focuses most h [...]

  • Drew

    Cheever's sensory descriptions in this book made me nostalgic for things I've never even experienced. E.g. this whale of a sentence:"The attic was a fitting place for these papers, for this barny summit of the house--as big as a hayloft--with its trunks and oars and tillers and torn sails and broken furniture and crooked chimneys and hornets and wasps and obsolete lamps spread out at one's feet like the ruins of a vanished civilization and with an extraordinary spiciness in the air as if some ei [...]

  • Dillwynia Peter

    Cheever, based on my reading of this book, was one of the authors questioning the American Dream that was prevalent after 1945. What is this dream & will you be happy would be a decent premise for this novel.The farm outside Boston with its simple & idyllic lifestyle is juxtapositioned against the big bad cities & world of New York, Washington & new housing developments. While the home life doesn't change much, everywhere else is. The wonderful bitchy description of where all the [...]

  • El

    The "chronicle" here is the story of Captain Leander Wapshot and his sons, Coverly and Moses, and their lives on the New England coast. Parts of the story are told through Leander's diary, though other chapters are written as flashes, like pieces of short stories. This is Cheever's first novel, being a short story writer first so an entire novel being written in that format is not particularly surprising. It often reminded me of, ugh, Sinclair Lewis, or, double-ugh, Sherwood Anderson, but for a [...]

  • Stephanie

    Meh. That is all the emotion with which this book left me. Somewhere I read that Cheever was heavily inspired by James Joyce, and it is so, so obvious here. I don't mean that in a good way either.Cheever is not a novelist, and it is quite apparent. He is a short story writer who wanted to jump ship for novels, but this book is nothing more than a short story that is about 200 pages too long. I got bored more times than I can count.Aside from that, he is a good writer. The book flows well, and he [...]

  • Robert

    I hadn't read a lot of John Cheever but my mother loved him and his books were always around the house when I was growing up; my spouse has the big fat Stories of John Cheever collection and we've read stories like "The Swimmer" and "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor" together. Cheever was sometimes disparaged as a talented though middlebrow New Yorker type of writer by the literati, but revered by many (like my mom). One of his main themes was the vanishing of the old social order in Manha [...]

  • Veronica

    Set in the fictional seaside town of St. Bostolphs, Massachusetts, we meet the Wapshot family. Written with such flair, we get to know many of the Wapshots at a deep level and wonder if we haven’t met them all personally at some of our own family gatherings.The Wapshots face birth and death, financial crises and recoveries, sexual abstinence and experimentation and deal with the matters of life in their individual manners.The eldest son of Leander, Moses is most like his father and travels to [...]

  • Ubik 2.0

    Uno scatolone di vecchie fotografie.L’odore e il disordine sono le principali sensazioni che il romanzo mi ha lasciato al termine della lettura.Gli odori (ma anche i sapori) che nel primo ‘900 pervadono i paesi costieri del New England, sono rievocati dall’autore con meticolosa precisione, nella loro composita sostanza, densa di multiple percezioni sensoriali, profumi, afrori sgradevoli, acidità, esalazioni reali o immaginate dalla materia degli oggetti, tutta un’atmosfera che richiama [...]

  • Andrew

    I'll start with an oft-repeated saying, that, while oft-repeated, doesn't make it any less valid. That Cheever, master of the short story that he is, isn't as good of a novelist. I tried reading The Wapshot Chronicle for the first time during one of my listless summers home from college, and somehow couldn't get into it.10+ years later, I finished it, and I did like it. I liked the archival detail of childhood memory that Cheever explores, and the lazy-summer-by-the-sea day vibe of the novel, an [...]

  • Judy

    John Cheever is best known for his short stories, but his first novel won the National Book Award in 1958. I was expecting one of those John O'Hara or John Marquand novels because I had gotten the idea Cheever was a "New Yorker" favorite. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. The Wapshot family has lived for generations in a New England village which began as a sailing port. By the time of the novel, it is a dying town and the fading family lives mostly for tradition. Leander Wapshot, the current [...]

  • Janet

    The descriptions of New England small town landscapes are pitch perfect. Cheever's characterizations are great and detailed. One example - "He must have been fifty-the bags under his eyes couldn't have been formed in a shorter time". However, the plot is so meandering and lacking in cohesion it is sometimes difficult to remember what has happened from scene to scene. As has been noted by others this is Cheever's first novel and he is famed for his short stories.One of my favorite vignettes was w [...]

  • Jesse

    Cheever takes a velvet hammer to the institution of the Olde New England Family, with a case study of the Wapshots, a family with few skills or resources for functioning in modern society. Some shakeups at home lead to them finally getting properly injected into the modern American bloodstream, after a car crash victim upsets the ruling order of the house. Patriarch Leander is first to crumble, falling victim to his domineering Aunt, who tries to turn the family home into a bed and breakfast and [...]

  • Sara

    There are some serious problems with the male side of the Wapshot clan. But I could never quite tell if the author realized that or not. I bought the book because I've loved Cheever's short fiction that I've read and my edition has a saucy, Mad Men inspired cover I couldn't resist. Cheever inspires in me a similar guilt that Updike and Roth do, in that I enjoy them despite myself. As someone who considers herself a feminist (and doesn't consider that some sort of hex either), their portrayals of [...]

  • Justin Evans

    So, there are two types of card games. One you play usually as an adult, and each hand has an effect on the following hand. You know, you keep score and there's an ultimate goal. Then there are the games you play, usually as a kid, where each hand stands completely on its own. No scoring. No advantage to winning a hand. And this book is like the second. If you're not really involved in the hand you're playing/chapter you're reading, there's no reason to pay any attention whatsoever, because the [...]

  • Stephanie

    Highly recommended for anyone having trouble sleeping. Guaranteed to make your eyes cross with boredom after only five pages, after which you will fall into a deep sleep, if only to avoid having to read anymore of this. I really like a lot of John Cheever's short stories, but this has to be close to the most boring thing I have EVER read.

  • Christopher

    Ah New EnglandThis is the book Jonathan Richman would have written if he was born at the turn of the twentieth century and if he was a writer and a drunk.Weirdly recommended.

  • Bob

    The book follows a New England family, neither aristocratic nor proletarian, one of the first families of a provincial littoral town with all the places of honor in the annual 4th of July parade that such a social position offers.The narrative jumps around a bit chronologically, filling in background detail as needed, but mainly follows the two Wapshot sons, Moses and Coverly, as they become adolescents, leave the family home and town to try their luck in the big cities of New York and Washingto [...]

  • Chris

    Yet another book that makes me wonder what the real definition of a classic is. This book is on the Modern Library's list of top 100 books of the 20th century, and John Cheever was born in my hometown, so I've wanted to read it for a while. It's not that it's a bad book. But it is merely an OK book, and I don't see anything in it that would make future generations want to read it. The Wapshot family is about as old Yankee as you can get, and they can't imagine that their town of St. Botolph isn' [...]

  • William Kuhn

    I found this a strangely discontinuous book and I don't think I enjoyed it as much the second time around as I did the first. It has a send-up of someone who might be Isabella Stewart Gardner. I'd never noticed before. Nothing wrong with that. But I wonder whether Cheever had much affection for his characters. Leander and the two boys are the most memorable, but they all experience such outrageous reversals of fortune, that the overall feeling is one of melancholy. It's possible that Waugh-like [...]