Dive deep into John Cheever’s The Housebreaker of Shady Hill with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion. A friend of mine suggested I read ‘The Housebreaker of Shady Hill’, and at the time I was resisting this writer’s work, for reasons that fail me. Cheever’s short story Housebreaker of Shady. Hill. The characters in these stories–upper-middle class suburbanites–live in a.

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May 18, Kate rated zhady it was amazing Shelves: To create a kind of Arcadia, and make amends with his estranged mother who he misses dearly.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill

If the first question is more serious, for I have not figured out if the lead man is good or bad, the second refers to the American measurements. She had sweetened houserbeaker of my life, and to watch her seemed to freshen the wellsprings of ov clear energy in me that made the room and the pictures on the wall and the moon that I could see outside the window all vivid and cheerful. I was not trapped.

I have a hard time getting into short stories, but this felt like a novel in bits and pieces. I was conceived in the Hotel St. The loss of his job, and his subsequent failure as an independent businessman, is the root of his anxiety. She sent me through college, arranged for me to spend my vacations in pleasant landscapes, and fired my ambitions, such as they are, but she bitterly opposed my marriage, and our relations had been strained ever since…I wanted to do it all over again in some emotional Arcadia, and have us both behave differently, so that I could think of her at three in the morning without guilt, and so that she would be spared loneliness and neglect in her old age.

But somehow, in the way the prose functions, Cheever, goddamn, he pulls it off. Rebecca rated it it was amazing Nov 13, It might not be worse different, it might even be better different, but your original longing is ultimately quashed, because the place no longer exists in your mind, having been replaced by reality.


Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life, characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.

And that in circumstances where people are not sure about important property limits and big shots embezzle hundreds of millions. Hake equates plastic with health and wealth.

In this story, the epiphany that comes from getting wet is akin to a kind of baptism. Women were taught to be mothers and homemakers, and that a strong interest in finances was unwomanly. In this light, nakedness refers to the shamelessness of the idyllic, prelapsarian, pastoral landscape.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever – Slap Happy Larry

Jun 22, Bridgette Davis rated it really liked it Shelves: Shacy Berry rated it really liked it Jun 28, In France, a banlieue French: A man with a family in the suburbs loses his job at company that manufactures parablendeum, which seems to be kind of color-tinted Saran wrap.

The milieu is important to understanding this dynamic: He becomes totally convinced of his criminality. Throughout the story the protagonist, Johnny Hake, desires to return to the days of his youth, and specifically to his vacations in the househreaker, when he was carefree and innocent. Andy rated it liked it Apr 14, Unfortunately for Johnny Hake, he is not a sociopath. He wants to go back to the garden of childhood.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever

Ultimately the story has a comedic structure: But things are shdy as clear cut as we may be tempted to decide, thinking that – Once a thief always a thief or – What else we need to know in order to classify him as a villain? He gets fired, decides to go into business on his own, and does a pretty pathetic job of it.


Very critical of bourgeois s America, but written from the bourgeois perspective. It seemed wrong to him that young couples should begin their lives in an atmosphere that lacked grace This is the 22nd story in the Vintage Cheever collection.

The concept may well have been around for a housebreakeg time. Jul 17, Realini rated it it was amazing Shelves: Refresh and try again. Posted by 3G1B Mar 4, Reviews 1.

John Cheever’s got a spot in my cynical heart. Now this is definitely dangerous territory for a writer. Kristian rated it really liked it Aug 01, Johnny Hake calls Shady Hill a banlieue.

The Housebreaker of Shady Hill.

The empty pit in his stomach which is hard to figure out, he realizes his friends are rich, and he knows this because they seem to be in a state of constant leisure, traveling, enjoying life, where Hake is confused by his own place in the world, and his job seems like a cheap sports coat that could be the lining to a better coat.

Sometimes, characters who are off-stage in the story are as influential to the plot as any who are present. And it was no skin off my elbow how I shxdy been given the gifts of life so long as I possessed them, and I possessed them then—the tie between the wet grass roots and the hair that grew out of my body, the thrill of my mortality hill I had known on summer nights…I looked up at the dark house and then turned and walked away.