Cheever, John ...The Wapshot Chronicle
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.
First Edition, First Printing.
Hardcover in Dust Jacket.
8vo; 307 pages.
Author's First Novel, and Third Book following two short story collections. Winner of the National Book Award for fiction in 1958. Number 63 on the list of top 100 20th century books from the Modern Library.
His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit.
Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.
Bindings tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Minimal handling wear. Dust Jacket with price is in a new clear protective Mylar sleeve with light sun-fading on the spine.
Points: The true first edition carries FIRST EDITION and B-G (February 1957) on copyright page. The book is light green cloth with yellow and red lettering on a black spine. The jacket carries a price of $3.50 on the upper front flap, and blurbs by the following authors on the back: Jean Stafford, Francis Steegmuller, and Robert Penn Warren.
REF: BSC; McBride; Allen, 171; Bruccoll , 71.