Overview Stunning and brutally powerful, Falconer tells the story of a man named Farragut, his crime and punishment, and his struggle to remain a man in a universe bent on beating him back into childhood. Only John Cheever could deliver these grand themes with the irony, unforced eloquence, and exhilarating humor that make Falconer such a triumphant work of the moral imagination. In a nightmarish prison a convict named Farragut--a professor, drug addict, and a ...
- ISBN-13: 9780679737865
- Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date: 1/28/1992
- Series: Vintage International Series
- Edition description: First Vintage International edition
- Edition number: 1
- Pages: 224
- Sales rank: 284,074
- Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)
3.0 / 5.0
After reading the first few chapters I put the book down for a month, not sure if I wanted to continue. A month later, however, I was still curious enough about what happened to the main character, Farragut, that I took up the book once more. Although I could not say that it was an enjoyable read, it had redeeming qualities. It did give emotional insight into the experience those confined to prison for life. And, surprisingly, the book ended on what can only be considered an optimistic note.
3.0 / 5.0
This book is typical of what you would expect in a prison in the mid-60s. The heroin addict Zeke Farragut is sent to prison for the [accidental?] killing of his brother while high on heroin. While in prison he performs as the good prisoner that society would expect. Wrestling with notions of homosexuality within and infidelity without, Farruagut's whole world has always seemed to be under control by someone else. He contemplate's the world's definition of love as well as his feelings of true love. The book keeps you reading but really is nothing special. It's a story and nothing much more. You can extract the analogies made against society as a whole quite easily which oversimplifies the thinking that is enjoyed in most other good books of this genre.
5.0 / 5.0
Cheever accomplishes something extraordinary in Falconer by writing a great novel while keeping it on a small scale. His themes of redemption and penance are nothing new, but he uses them in a uniquely insightful way and exhausts the subjects without making them tiring. Those readers who are turned off by ribaldry in their literature may not care for the book, unfortunate as that would be. The writing is rich but accessible. A wonderful read.
5.0 / 5.0
In his early middle age, after three novels and scads of short stories in magazines like the New Yorker, Cheever produced his masterpiece: a work about a married-but-homosexual heroin addict who shot his brother and is now in prison, most of the plot related in flashback. 'Farragut, Farragut, why is you an addict?' asks his guard, rhetorically, and the flashbacks give us insight into his life. The writing is luminous yet very accessible. As in all Cheever works, a heady blend of comedy and tragedy are at work, or to use the $10 words, satire and pathos. I think the reader who is willing to put aside his/her notions of good taste and tackle this book will be handsomely rewarded.