When The Stories of John Cheever was originally published, it became an immediate national bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize. In the years since, it has become a classic. Vintage Books is proud to reintroduce this magnificent collection.
Here are sixty-one stories that chronicle the lives of what has been called "the greatest generation." From the early wonder and disillusionment of city life in "The Enormous Radio" to the surprising discoveries and common mysteries of suburbia in "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" and "The Swimmer," Cheever tells us everything we need to know about "the pain and sweetness of life."
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
In this autobiography, first published in 1929, poet Robert Graves traces the monumental and universal loss of innocence that occurred as a result of the First World War. Written after the war and as he was leaving his birthplace, he thought, forever, Good-Bye to All That bids farewell not only to England and his English family and friends, but also to a way of life. Tracing his upbringing from his solidly middle-class Victorian childhood through his entry into the war at age twenty-one as a patriotic captain in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, this dramatic, poignant, often wry autobiography goes on to depict the horrors and disillusionment of the Great War, from life in the trenches and the loss of dear friends, to the stupidity of government bureaucracy and the absurdity of English class stratification. Paul Fussell has hailed it as ""the best memoir of the First World War"" and has written the introduction to this new edition that marks the eightieth anniversary of the end of the war. An enormous success when it was first issued, it continues to find new readers in the thousands each year and has earned its designation as a true classic.
George Bowling, the hero of this comic novel, is a middle-aged insurance salesman who lives in an average English suburban row house with a wife and two children. One day, after winning some money from a bet, he goes back to the village where he grew up, to fish for carp in a pool he remembers from thirty years before. The pool, alas, is gone, the village has changed beyond recognition, and the principal event of his holiday is an accidental bombing by the RAF.
In the south of Italy, between Apulia and Calabria, lies a land that is barren, desolate, and malarial, where the peasants live out their existence in poverty and in the presence of death. it was here in primitive Lucania, at the start of the Ethiopian war (19350, that Carlo Levi, doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of letters, was confined as a political prisoner because of his uncompromising opposition to Fascism. Christ Stopped at Eboli is Levi's classic, starkly beautiful account of a place beyond hope and a people abandoned by history.
Early critical views are by Sylvester Baxter, William Dean Howells, Andrew Lang, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Whibley, Albert Bigelow Paine, John B. Hoben, and anonymous reviewers in the London Daily Telegraph and the Boston Literary World. The later critical essays are by Howard G. Baetzhold, James D. Williams, Kenneth S. Lynn, James M. Cox, Louis J. Budd, Henry Nash Smith, David Ketterer, and Everett Carter.
A Selected Bibliography is also included.
One of the most original American writers, Edgar Allan Poe shaped the development of both the detectvie story and the science-fiction story. Some of his poems--The Raven, The Bells, Annabel Lee--remain among the most popular in American literature. Poe's tales of the macabre still thrill readers of all ages. Here are familiar favorites like The Purloined Letter, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue, together with less-known masterpieces like The Imp of the Perverse, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym, and Ligeia, which is now recognized as one of the first science-fiction stories, a total of seventy-three tales in all, plus fifty-three poems and a generous sampling of Poe's essays, criticism and journalistic writings.
Orwell draws on his years of experience in India to tell this story of the waning days of British imperialism. A handful of Englishmen living in a settlement in Burma congregate in the European Club, drink whiskey, and argue over an impending order to admit a token Asian.
One of the most interesting phenomena in the history of literature, the Gothic novel -- which flourished from about 1765 to 1825 -- still has much to offer to the modern reader. Supernatural thrills, adventure and suspense, colorful settings, and, in the better examples, literary quality are all present. Unfortunately, true Gothic novels (not simply modern detective stories called "Gothic") are extremely rare books, and have never been as available as they should be.The first member in this collection, Horace Walpole's TheCastle of Otranto, published as a Christmas book for 1764, was the first and one of the greatest members of the genre. It has also been one of the most influential books in history. It motivated the Gothic revival in the arts, and it probably did more to usher in the early-19th-century Romanticism than any other single work. It also served as the model in plot, characterizations, settings, and tone for hundreds, perhaps thousands of successors.Vathek, by the eccentric British millionaire William Beckford, is generally considered to be the high point of the Oriental tale in English literature. Certainly no one has ever written (in any European tongue) a story which better unifies the stirrings of Gothic romanticism with the color, poetry, and vivacity of the original Arabian Nights.The third novel in this collection, John Polidor's Vampyre, emerged from the same soir es of ghost-story telling in Geneva that produced Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The first full-length vampire story in English, it initiated a very important literary chain that also leads up to the present. Included with Polidori's novel is Lord Byron's little-known Fragment, from which Polidori (who was Byron's physician in Switzerland) plagiarized his plot.These three novels (and the fragment) are still well worth reading. Generations of readers have found thrills and horrors in Walpole's fine work, while Vathek cannot be excelled in its unusual mixture of the bizarre, cruel irony, and masterful narration. Polidori's thriller still conveys chills, and the Fragment makes us all wish that Byron had completed his novel.