This write up was contributed by one of our regulars from memory as I was unfortunately unable to attend! Huge thanks!! DESCRIPTION
Based in part on Cheever’s adolescence in New England, the novel follows the destinies of the impecunious and wildly eccentric Wapshots of St. Botolphs, a quintessential Massachusetts fishing village. Here are the stories of Captain Leander Wapshot, venerable sea dog and would-be suicide; of his licentious older son, Moses; and of Moses’ adoring and errant younger brother, Coverly. Tragic and funny, ribald and splendidly picaresque, The Wapshot Chronicle is a family narrative in the tradition of Trollope, Dickens, and Henry James.
A few notes on our discussion today:
All of us were rather underwhelmed by Cheever, the book felt very disjointed. We all felt it was obvious that Cheever was more of a short story writer as the book was more a series of loosely connected episodes.
We all felt that the story suffered from some of the authors personal issues with the women in his life & his conflict over his sexuality.
We felt that the descriptions in the book were good & that Cheever was good at evoking the sense of small town America.
It was also felt that some of the blurbs on the book cover were rather misleading. The Wapshot Chronicle is not 'uproariously comic' as one claimed, but we felt is had a very dry black humour in places.
The difference in book covers was also commented on, the most recent edition had an illustration of a scene that wasn't really in the book and again implied the book was more amusing & light hearted than it is. It was commented that if they had got the earlier edition with the black & white photo of a New England house they would have had different expectations going into the book.
SCORE - 5/10
Next Read -
THE AWAKENING KATE CHOPIN
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