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Next Up: Falconer

Out of the first 39 books, Falconer, by far, has the least amount of information available about it online.

I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan, and the book’s title reminds me of them, so there’s that. But that doesn’t help you much, I guess.

From what I can tell, John Cheever’s story is about a former college professor-turned-drug addict who is now in prison for murdering his brother. According to Wikipedia, he “struggles to retain his humanity in the prison environment, and begins an affair with a fellow prisoner.” I’m not enthused to find out exactly what that last part means.

Some quick facts about Falconer and John Cheever:

  • Published in 1977.
  • The novel was number one on the New York Times best-selling list for three weeks.
  • In March 1977, the novel was featured on the cover of Newsweek, with the caption “A Great American Novel: John Cheever’s Falconer.”
  • Cheever won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for The Stories of John Cheever.
  • Cheever’s bisexuality was revealed posthumously when letters and entries from his journal were published. This was parodied on Seinfeld in 1992 (more to come on this).
  • He passed away from cancer in June 1982.
What did Time say?
“A story of suffering and redemption, told in Cheever’s fullest register. Ezekiel Farragut, university professor, family man, drug addict, is in Falconer State Prison for having killed his brother with a poker. In this shabby purgatory, he struggles with his memories, his guilt, and his need to remain human in a dehumanizing place…”

Having started the book, I can tell you the opening reminds me of one of my favorite movies of all time–Shawshank Redemption. So that’s promising.

After Tuesday’s post, I noticed some of you are John Cheever fans. But, for me, I’m totally jumping into the cold water again with this book.

Thoughts on Falconer? Anyone?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tyler #

    I love Shawshank Redemption. I’ll be interested to see your thoughts on this and how that comparison holds up.


    March 15, 2012
    • So far, similar. But it’s funnier. It has everything you would expect from a story about dudes in prison, even the gross stuff.


      March 15, 2012
  2. I really liked this book, but just be prepared to enter some weird places. There’s this one scene with a bunch of cats that almost made me puke.


    enjoy 🙂


    March 20, 2012
  3. Just read the cat scene. Disgusting!


    March 20, 2012

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