• Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor

  • The John Cheever Audio Collection
  • By: John Cheever
  • Narrated by: George Plimpton
  • Length: 23 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is the preface to 12 magnificent stories, originally part of The John Cheever Audio Collection, in which John Cheever celebrates - with unequaled grace and tenderness - the deepest feelings we have.

As Cheever writes in his preface, "These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat."

Listen to more classic short stories in The John Cheever Audio Collection.
©1978 John Cheever (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

smart, melancholy & funny

Cheever's story, Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor was first published on the pages of The New Yorker in 1949. The story is funny and sad at the same time. In this one Cheever explores the question of whether charity is ever truly altruistic, but with a twist. Rather than emphasizing the motives of the giver, he creates a protagonist who exploits the giver. This is my third Cheever story and I am finding that he writes brilliant, intuitive endings. And this one wraps up the essential question with an answer... Of Sorts.

George Plimptom was excellent. I found him believable. He added so much melancholia and humor, as well as a little bit of sarcasm. It was perfect.

3 people found this helpful

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best Christmas story ever

this is a hidden gem of a story. funny and poignant and addresses class issues in a way that is compassionate and delightful, seeing the charitable equally in rich and poor.