Last night I started reading The Falconer by John Cheever. I’ve listened to one of his short stories “The Swimmer” on The New Yorker fiction podcast (you can listen to it here). In “The Swimmer,” the protagonist, Neddy, fancies himself an explorer completing a long journey through the “Lucinda River” across the county. Named for his wife, the Lucinda river is an imaginary map that compiles all of his neighbors’ and friends’ pools and the ultimate destination is his home–let’s just say a bit of alcohol is involved.
Along the way the friends, neighbors, and strangers feed him drinks, ignore him, pity him, and jeer him. His odd determination is depressing, and as the story progresses you begin to see that he has buried some painful memories and they start to resurface as reality seeps into the story. I encourage you to read it.
Anyway, The Falconer is great so far. It is about a drug addict in prison for murdering his brother. Sounds good huh? Well, it is in spite of the incredible violence at the end of the first chapter. Let’s just say it involved lots of cats and I like cats, so it was not only revolting but very sad.
It’s a pretty short novel, so look for a review in a couple of days!