audrey_e (audrey_e) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 21-22

Originally posted by audrey_e at Books 21-22
21 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD  Thomas Hardy (England 1874)

This is the story of the beautiful and high-spirited farmer Bathsheba Everdene, and her three suitors, an honest farmer, a young soldier, and a desperate middle-aged farmer.
This is not Thomas Hardy's best (I prefer Tess and Jude), but it is still and enjoyable quick read. You will still find the combination of quiet pastoral landscape and bloody tragedy that is Hardy's trademark and that makes his novels so unforgettable. 

22 THE STORIES OF JOHN CHEEVER (USA 1978)  (the stories were written between the 1940s and the 1970s)

I was introduced to the work of John Cheever with the short story "The Swimmer", one of the best short stories I've ever read. Naturally, after reading it I decided to read the complete collection.
To be perfectly clear, nothing in this collection is as good as "The Swimmer", which is very disappointing. To me, the ones that stood out were "The Enormous Radio", "The Music Teacher", and "Artemis. the Honest Well Digger". The main issue I had with this collection is how repetitive it is. The most interesting short stories were the ones dealing with the American suburb (what Cheever is best known for). I found the ones about American expatriates in Italy incredibly tedious. In the end, I think I should have started with one of his novels because I really feel that this collection is made for the readers that already love Cheever.
Tags: classic, short stories

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