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Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey

Cheever is Blake Bailey's biography of the writer John Cheever drawn from his letters and journals as well as his stories. He was from a unhappy lower class family in Quincy, Mass. and his mother was an alcoholic. Cheever was also an alcoholic who spent years of his life in a drunken stupor. He was a homophobe who had sexual relationships with men. He presented one facade to the general public while detesting the family life behind it. His self-loathing eventually led to his own destruction. Cheever has received mixed reviews with the New York Observer saying, "Mr. Bailey's research is impeccable and exhaustive—a mighty feat, though sometimes a mixed blessing for a reader oppressed by the weight of stubborn fact and the ticktock march of seamless chronology. Fortunately, Mr. Bailey's encyclopedic knowledge of the particulars of Cheever's unhappiness has not clouded his appreciation of Cheever's writing; the commentary on the work is judicious and nuanced."
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Buy Cheever by Blake Bailey
New York Times review
by Geoffrey Wolff

Seattle Times review
by Michael Upchurch

New Yorker review
by John Updike

Washington Post review
by Jonathan Yardley

New York Observer review
by Adam Begley

USA Today review
by Deirdre Donahue

Bloomberg News review
by Jeffrey Burke

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review
by Bob Hoover

Blake Bailey
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