BULLET PARK by John Cheever
Kirkus Star

BULLET PARK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bullet Park is in the heart of the Cheever country, landscaped with $65,000 houses, with gardens and golf courses and swimming pools, with empty bottles and full ashtrays, as well as the less definable malaise of the mid-century middle class man. It will be familiar to his readers. So are his characters, stubbing their toes on immaterial manifestations, the startled victims of a world they never made but inherited along with comfortable assurances of affluence and the moral fixity of God and family values. Until sooner or later there's the misgiving that something has been lost. Or someone. Like Eliot Nailes' son Tony who takes to bed with a depression no doctor can cure -- only a swami of dubious origins on the wrong side of town. Or perhaps like Paul Hammer, a bastard who has been circling the world in an alcoholic haze chasing chimera, who doesn't belong anywhere--not even in the bed of his new young wife. It is Paul who finally decides to fulfill his mother's last mad words--that a crucifixion in Bullet Park can shake the world loose from its torporous apathy and the bought releases which make it bearable (television for youngsters like Tony, tranquilizers for his baffled father). Cheever's novel, loosely and somewhat artificially structured, is as fragile as the world it conveys. Behind every well tended rosebush lurk the frustrations and fears of modern man. A twilight tale filled with the sweet, sad, muffled mystery of existence and there will be recognitions and reverberations for everyone.
Pub Date: April 28th, 1969
ISBN: 0679737871
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1969




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