The Wapshot Scandal (Perennial Classics)
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In this simultaneously hilarious and poignant companion volume to The Wapshot Chronicle, the members of the Wapshot family of St. Botolphs drift far from their New England village into the demented caprices of the mighty, the bad graces of the IRS, and the humiliating abyss of adulterous passion.
A novel of large and tender vision, The Wapshot Scandal is filled with pungent characters and outrageous twists of fate, and, above all, with Cheever's luminous compassion for all his hapless fellow prisoners of human nature.
afternoon, she found her car ticketed for being a little over a white line. She tore the ticket to pieces. Later that afternoon, a policeman found the pieces in the dirt and took them to the police station, where they were pasted together. The police were excited, of course, at this open challenge to their authority. Mrs. Jameson was served with a summons. She called her friend Judge Flint—he was a member of the Club—and asked him to fix it. He said that he would, but later that afternoon he had
he said. “That’s the main thing. You know what I did last Christmas? I bought one of those little trees you get in the five-and-ten, and I decorated it, in this room where I live, and I bought presents for the kiddies, and then on Christmas Day I just pretended that they came to see me. Of course, it was all make-believe, but I opened the presents and everything, just as if they were there.” After dinner Honora taught him to play backgammon. He picked up the game very quickly, she thought, and
There’s no point in having the news percolate up to him from the kitchens, and it will if the waiter sees you here.” In the end, he hid in the bathroom and she ordered lunch. After lunch he stretched out on the sofa and fell asleep. She sat in a chair, watching him, tapping her foot on the carpet and drumming her nails on the arm of her chair. He snored. He muttered in his sleep. She saw then that he was not young. His face was lined and sallow; there was gray in his hair. She saw that his
play games, they did not study, they did not skate on the ice pond or dance in the gymnasium but they menacingly circled all these activities, always in some doorway or on some threshold, in and out of the light as they were this evening. Then the pianist began to hammer out the music for his daughter’s solo and he saw the girl step shyly from the ranks of the chorus to the front of the stage. At the same time one of the hoods left his shadowy position at the door and joined a girl who was
was dust, move freely through his dreams, she would punish his and his brother’s wickedness with guilt, reward their good works with lightness of heart, pass judgment on their friends and lovers even while her headstone bloomed with moss and her coffin was canted and jockeyed by the winter frosts. The goodness and evil in the old woman were imperishable. He carried her drink back through the darkness and put another log on the fire. She said nothing more but he filled her glass twice. He called