The Stories of John Cheever

The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including "The Enormous Radio", "Goodbye, My Brother", "The Country Husband", "The Five-Forty-Eight" and "The Swimmer". It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1979 and its first paperback edition won a 1981 National Book Award.[1][lower-alpha 1]

The Stories of John Cheever
First edition
AuthorJohn Cheever
CountryUnited States
GenreShort story collection
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Stories included in the collection

  • "Goodbye, My Brother"
  • "The Common Regular Day"
  • "The Enormous Radio"
  • "O City of Broken Dreams"
  • "The Hartleys"
  • "The Sutton Place Story"
  • "The Summer Farmer"
  • "Torch Song"
  • "The Pot of Gold"
  • "Clancy in the Tower of Babel"
  • "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor"
  • "The Season of Divorce"
  • "The Chaste Clarissa"
  • "The Cure"
  • "The Superintendent"
  • "The Children"
  • "The Sorrows of Gin"
  • "O Youth and Beauty!"
  • "The Day the Pig Fell into the Well"
  • "The Five-Forty-Eight"
  • "Just One More Time"
  • "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill"
  • "The Bus to St. James's"
  • "The Worm in the Apple"
  • "The Trouble of Marcie Flint"
  • "The Bella Lingua"
  • "The Wrysons"
  • "The Country Husband"
  • "The Duchess"
  • "The Scarlet Moving Van"
  • "Just Tell Me Who It Was"
  • "Brimmer"
  • "The Golden Age"
  • "The Lowboy"
  • "The Music Teacher"
  • "A Woman Without a Country"
  • "The Death of Justina"
  • "Clementina"
  • "Boy in Rome"
  • "A Miscellany of Characters That Will Not Appear"
  • "The Chimera"
  • "The Seaside Houses"
  • "The Angel of the Bridge"
  • "The Brigadier and the Golf Widow"
  • "A Vision of the World"
  • "Reunion"
  • "An Educated American Woman"
  • "Metamorphoses"
  • "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"
  • "Montraldo"
  • "The Ocean"
  • "Marito in Città"
  • "The Geometry of Love"
  • "The Swimmer"
  • "The World of Apples"
  • "Another Story"
  • "Percy"
  • "The Fourth Alarm"
  • "Artemis, the Honest Well Digger"
  • "Three Stories"
  • "The Jewels of the Cabots"

Summaries of short stories

"The Five-Forty-Eight" is a short story that follows the actions of Blake, the main character, and his escape from a woman following him through the streets of Manhattan. The woman's name is Miss Dent; she was fired at the behest of Blake after they had a one-night stand together. Eventually, Miss Dent catches up with Blake on the Five-Forty-Eight train back to Shady Hill. During this train ride back, Miss Dent has a gun pressed against Blake, and she threatens to kill him if he tries to escape. After getting to the last stop, Miss Dent brings Blake to a freight house were she teaches Blake a lesson that he would be incapable of learning by himself. After pushing Blake into the dirt, Miss Dent walks away, and Blake continues his way home.[2]


  1. Cheever's Stories won the 1981 award for paperback fiction. From 1980 to 1983 in National Book Awards history, there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories. Most of the paperback award-winners were reprints, including this one.


  1. "National Book Awards – 1981". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-14
    (with essays by Willie Perdomo, Matthew Pitt, and Robert Wilder from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog).
  2. "The Five-Forty-Eight". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
Preceded by
Sophie's Choice
William Styron
National Book Award for Fiction
Plains Song: For Female Voices
Wright Morris
Succeeded by
Rabbit is Rich
John Updike
Preceded by
The World According to Garp
John Irving
Succeeded by
So Long, See You Tomorrow
William Maxwell

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